TOP NEW CHRISTIAN WORSHIP SONGS EACH MONTH
For Worship Leaders in Small Christian Churches, here’s another set of new worship songs. Keep your Worship Team growing and your worshipers inspired!
If you are a regular part of The Creative Little Church community, welcome back! If you are new here, be sure to check out other top worship songs this year by clicking here.
These monthly picks are based on 4 Essentials (click here) I look for in choosing songs for my small inter-generational congregation. They are do-able for our band and relate-able to our congregation. We do mostly Contemporary Worship with some traditional hymns mixed in.
My hope is to save you time! It’s hard enough worship leading in a small church, with second jobs and lots of other responsibilities. So here are 3 new worship ideas for your congregation!
A WORD ABOUT COPYRIGHT & ETHICS IN WORSHIP LEADING
God cares much more about your heart than your worship leading skills. Your first job is to love and serve Him and shine the light of Christ.
Part of that is Ethics.
Following Copyright Laws in your church is not optional. Your ethical use of projecting lyrics, making copies, and showing video clips speaks volumes.
Please learn and follow the legalities of using worship songs, both in print and projection.
Getting a Church Copyright License through CCLI makes it easy. But there are still rules to follow. For instance, having song info and copyright projected at the end of each song. If you do not include those little lines at the end of every song, you are in violation even if you have a CCLI License.
Do what’s right. And what’s legal. And toss the excuses out the window.
AUGUST 2019 EDITION: TOP NEW WORSHIP SONGS FOR SMALL CHURCHES
As always, I’ve got one fast, one medium, and one slow for you this month.
#1 PRAISE HIM FOREVER by Chris Tomlin
- TEMPO: FAST
- CCLI Song # 7117454
- Chris Tomlin | Jonathan Smith | Phil Wickham
- My Chosen Singable Key: F (if you have novice guitarists, print in D and capo 3)
PRAISE HIM FOREVER is a great UPDATE for your classic worship stand-bys
If your congregation loves BLESSED BE YOUR NAME (Beth/Matt Redmen) and FOREVER (Chris Tomlin), they have been waiting for this one!
PRAISE HIM FOREVER has a familiar sound even on first hearing. The lyrics are uncomplicated. This is pure, simple praise with a clapping beat.
It has a contemporary worship feel that takes me back to the early 2000s. It’s not hipster. No banjo or tambourine. No heavy electric or synthesizer.
Easy to learn. Easy to sing.
PRAISE HIM FOREVER is a great song to mix up the percussion
Because of the familiar sound, a few of my more proficient musicians might roll their eyes just a tad! If it hits you as a little boring or “already-been-done,” try mixing in some funky percussion. Add congas, a cajon, whatever you have on hand.
I’m expecting to have a little fun with my team making this our own.
When introducing a new song to my team, I forward them the links (actually this entire post!) and hopefully everyone puts them in their playlists to get familiar. At a practice, we will listen to the recording together one time and then we just give it a try. After a few rough run-throughs, we can usually catch the feel.
I’m not trying to duplicate the recording. First off, we will never sound like the recording. And, second, I don’t want to. I work to highlight our gifts and our styles and make it our own. Sometimes we change it up a bit. Other times it’s close to the same.
PRAISE HIM FOREVER is a perfect opening or closing song.
#2 SPLIT THE SEA by Hanna Kerr
- TEMPO: MEDIUM
- CCLI Song # 7100993
- David Blake Neesmith | Hannah Kerr | Jeff Pardo
- My Chosen Singable Key: Em
Who is HANNAH KERR?
Hannah Kerr is fairly new on the scene.
Her recording career started in 2015. I hope she hangs in the industry for awhile. She has a sensitive worship style. Not only with powerful vocal skills, but she apparently has some songwriting skills as well.
According to Hannah’s website she’s touring with Jordan Feliz, Fall 2019 (CHANGED, WITNESS, THE RIVER). If you know Jordan Feliz, I think this is a pretty kicky pairing.
If they were coming to my state, I’d be looking at some tickets. If you are in Florida, East, or the Midwest, you might want to check out her tour in case she’s at a church near you!
Since I can’t attend her concert, I’m thankful for YouTube. And I’m looking forward to watching her evolve on the worship scene.
SPLIT THE SEA for SUNDAY WORSHIP
The Chorus is moving. The Bridge is compelling. The message develops throughout the song.
I believe – Every promise that you’ve spoken
I believe – You are faithful every moment
It may look impossible
But you’re the God of miracles
You have always made a way for me
You can still split the sea
The imagery is strong throughout. I’m not sure you can sing this though seeing the waters divide before you.
With a word, the waves will separate
Who You were, You are, you’ll neve change
Hearts would heal and mountains move
There is nothing that You cannot do
Use Worship Scripture to introduce SPLIT THE SEA
The depth of this song is in its emotional component.
When we come into Sunday Worship, we all fight a lot of mental noise. Family Dynamics. Spilled Coffee. Running Late. Looming Responsibilities.
Even the air conditioning being too hot or too cold throws us off kilter.
Setting up this song with a quiet word will serve everyone well.
Verse 1 is specific and bleak. While we’ve all had these hopeless points in our lives, that might not be our state on any given Sunday. So, try an introduction like this, and watch worshipers breathe more into their spirits.
Read first from Psalm 43, and then add a personal heartfelt connection (an example of mine is below).
PSALM 43 SAYS,
For the enemy has pursued my soul, crushing my life to the ground,
making me dwell in darkness like those long since dead.
My spirit grows faint within me; my heart is dismayed inside me.
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works;
I consider the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
“FOR SOME PEOPLE….
… Psalms can seem unrelatable when it talks about enemies. David was literally running and hiding from human enemies trying to take his life. Most of us here today don’t have enemies hunting us down. We might not even have contentious people in our lives today.
For me, when I read Psalms, the word enemy takes on a different meaning. My enemies might not be people. They are simply things that pull me away from God and what He wants for me. My enemy might be Depression. Or Selfishness. Or just a Stronghold of wanting things my way.
You might be facing Loneliness today. Or Grief. The Noise of the World. Maybe you are stuck in a Job You Hate. Anxiety.
As we sing this new song, think about what is standing in your way. Keeping you from living in God’s freedom. Love and life and joy.
Let’s watch for God to make a way. Watch Him Split the Sea. Wide open. Like He did in days of old. He is still the same.”
Find SPLIT THE SEA Chords and Lyrics at ULTIMATE-GUITAR.com
I love Ulitmate-Guitar.com. It used to me my go-to for finding chords and lyrics until I became a Song Select member. Most songs covered under the CCLI license are at my fingertips now in Song Select.
But occasionally there is one missing or incomplete. This is one of them. I trust it will be up at Song Select before long, but until then you can find it here: SPLIT THE SEA LYRICS at Ultimate-Guitar.com
There is an easy click at the bottom of the chord chart for transposing. The Key of Em is the best fit for my vocal range and what works for our congregation.
#3 HOLY GROUND by Hillsong United
- TEMPO: SLOW
- CCLI Song # 7124906
- Matt Crocker | Benjamin Hastings | Ben Fielding | Aodhan King
- My Chosen Singable Key: G
HOLY GROUND takes me back to my campfire days, worshiping outdoors at a youth event. It is prayerful, singable, and repetitive. There are only a few dozen words in the entire song.
But I think we need this now and then. Simplifying worship can take us to our core sometimes. To close your eyes and not worry about the words.
Pair HOLY GROUND with Other Worship Favorites for Greater Impact
This song is going to pair beautifully with so many other songs.
Pair it with some of your favorites. For me, I’m thinking: COME TO THE ALTER, BUILD MY LIFE, HOLY SPIRIT, STILL, HOW HE LOVES.
If your worship culture includes hymns, why not follow a traditional hymn, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY with Hillsong’s United HOLY GROUND. It gives me chills just imagining that one.
Practice Transitions with your Worship Team
Practice transitions between two slow worship songs with no starts or stops. Make it seamless.
This might mean changing the key (easy on Song Select or Ultimate-Guitar Tabs). Simply holding a sustained chord on a keyboard sometimes does the trick.
For many worship bands, practicing transitions is neglected. And if you lead worship, you know that is usually the make-or-break moment.
So instead of using your limited practice time running through entire songs that you already know, take some of that time to practice the transitions between songs. You’ll be glad you did!
MAKE INTRODUCING NEW SONGS A REGULAR HABIT – BUT DON’T BE A WORSHIP HOARDER!
I try to introduce at least 1-2 new songs a month.
It keeps the worship time fresh and seems to provide interesting God-moments as new lyrics have new truth to impart. New inspiration.
Your Worship Song List Should Function Like a Closet, not a Storage Unit
Keep an eye on your current repertoire, the current song list that you choose from when making worship orders. Don’t let it get so big that you are only singing songs once or twice a year. That leads to newer worshipers feeling a bit left out because they are too unfamiliar.
It’s kind of like your closet.
If you add new stuff, you need to get rid of something else.
Or it just won’t all fit in the closet.
Hoarders can’t find what they need when they want it. And valuable stuff gets lost in the piles!!
I keep my list to around 30 current favorites. I retire old ones and keep them in special folders. One of my folders is named: Mostly dead. One named: Retired, but great for special services. The ones we never want to see again get tossed!
It doesn’t mean you can’t go back and reintroduce a classic. I do that often! Just keep a managing hand on it.
Keep your worship closet organized. And send some songs to storage for safe keeping.