TOP NEW CHRISTIAN WORSHIP SONGS FOR SMALL CHURCH WORSHIP MINISTRY

If you’re a worship leader in a small church, before we get to our 3 new worship songs for October 2021, don’t forget:

Save the date! April 30, 2022 is our FREE online Worship Ministry in Small Churches Conference

If you haven’t been to one of our Small Church Ministry Conferences, you don’t know what you’re missing. This will be our first one focused on Worship Ministry -and WE CAN’T WAIT! Keep an eye on upcoming small church conferences at www.smallchurchsummits.com

WHAT MAKES A SONG PERFECT FOR A SMALL CHURCH

Some months I struggle to find 3 awesome new worship songs that I would truly recommend for a small church. This was NOT one of those months!

The reasons it can be difficult aren’t because there are no great releases, but I look for a few key things before I recommend them for smaller churches:

  1. Songs that can be put in a singable range, without the vocal range that most of us can’t sing.
  2. Lyrics that an intergenerational audience can relate to.
  3. Music that can be led by minimal instruments and doesn’t need a full band with backup singers to sound great.
  4. Songs that can be successful with either a piano or a guitar.
  5. Worship songs that are easy enough for non-singers to follow and yet still take us deeper to God’s heart.

As I’ve said before, every great worship song is not meant for congregational worship. Worship leading is so much more than worshiping IN FRONT of others; it’s about facilitating THEIR worship.

Think about the people you are leading in worship. It’s incredibly important to consider their skills, their comfort, and their needs as we lead in worship.

So here are three new songs I totally think you should check out!

OCTOBER 2021 EDITION: TOP NEW WORSHIP SONGS FOR SMALL CHURCHES

#1 I’LL FOLLOW YOU  (Jonathan Traylor)

  • TEMPO: FAST
  • CCLI Song #: 7183165
  • Jonathan Traylor
  • My chosen singable key: E
  • 2021

Quick-paced, upbeat, with a positive message

Don’t let the talent in this recording scare you away from making this song your own!

The keyboard has a gospel-pop feel. There is some quick rhythm, syncopation, and great musicianship here. In fact, it’s so good I wasn’t sure I could recommend this until I tried it on my own.

Honestly, there is nothing I could do to sound anywhere like this recording, but the song itself, I can make it work. If I can, you can too! So, as I’ve said in other blog posts, print out the music, put it in a key that works for you, and play around with what you have.

If you choose to have fun and make your own music, you’ll be a lot more successful than trying to sound like this recording! (unless you’ve got mad talent like these musicians!)

VERSE:

I cannot see what tomorrow will bring

But I know You are with me

I do not know what the future will hold

But You’ll never forsake me

Experiment with dynamics to make this song more powerful

Whether you have 1 musician or 8, please experiment with dynamics. One of the mistakes less experienced worship bands make is playing at full volume with all instruments through the entire song.

I’LL FOLLOW YOU is a great model of varying dynamics. Start at 1:41 and listen to the bridge build. It isn’t until the second time through the bridge that they add the full percussion. And at the end of the second bridge, at 2:45, there’s a clear drop in instrumentation.

BRIDGE:

Every step I take You’ve already been there

And every move I make You’ve seen it before

So I won’t turn back now for You are with me

You have led me here so I will trust in the Lord

Varying dynamics like this makes music a lot more engaging and memorable. And it’s not out of reach for your talent base – even novice musicians can practice this. Your worship band will have lots more fun and bonding over trying new things (and failing at them too!). Practice having fun trying things even if they crash and burn!

Practice laughing together and build in some freedom to experiment with instruments, dynamics, and even re-working a song. It changes your team culture from performance to enjoying the gift of music!

#2 WHERE I’M STANDING NOW (Phil Wickham ft. Brandon Lake)

  • TEMPO: MEDIUM
  • CCLI Song #: 7176778
  • Brandon Lake | Brian Johnson | Phil Wickham
  • My Chosen Singable Key: E
  • 2021

Hallelujah I’m Free!

Just put this song on repeat already. The song starts a bit slower, but builds to a great medium tempo.

The verses tell the narrative, the chorus is a declaration, and the bridge is the celebration.

This chorus is gonna stick with anyone who hears it, and the ‘Hallelujah’ bridge (wow!) could easily be unending (in a good way!).

I’m just loving it!

Perfect for themes of redemption, freedom, name of Jesus, the prodigal, and more

As a worship leader, if you ever try to “theme” a service, this is going to be a definite go-to song. Whether the sermon is about redemption, freedom, the name of Jesus, the prodigal, forgiveness, wilderness … you get the picture … it’s a lot of goodness!

VERSE 1:

Out of the wilderness

Into Your deliverance

Look where I’m standing now

These hands that once were chained

Now lifted high in praise

Look where I’m standing now

Look where I’m standing now

WHERE I’M STANDING NOW is a great sending song to close a service

I personally would have a hard time sitting down after this song! So, unless you’re going to follow it with another worship song that calms my heart, I think it’s a great pick to close a worship service!

#3 ALTAR (Maryanne J. George | Tribl)

  • TEMPO: SLOW
  • CCLI Song #: 7184280
  • Dante Bowe | Eniola Abioye | Maryanne J. George | Mitch Wong
  • My Chosen Singable Key: E
  • 2021

ALTAR is simple, melodic, prayerful

If you’re looking for a true prayer to set a quiet tone, whether moving into silent reflection, repentance, or surrender, ALTAR is for you.

For congregations that are contemporary or more traditional in worship

If your congregation is more traditional but mixes in contemporary choruses, consider ALTAR as a bridge between elements in your service order.

VERSE:

Jesus set my heart on fire

Till you’re all I want

Till you’re everything

CHORUS:

My life is the altar

My song will be the sacrifice

So let it rise higher

Till You alone are glorified

Less musicians does not equal less worship

One of the things I love about ALTAR is the clear power of simple worship. This song could be powerfully led with one voice and one piano.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the “noise” of worship today and lose sight that less really can be more! If you are in a small church, embrace the gift God has given you.

Our entire ministry at The Creative Little Church is built on the truth that small church ministry isn’t less, but it is different. This one song – ALTAR – is a beautiful choice to highlight the beauty of less is more.

If your church is looking for some hope and encouragement in their “smallness” please join our facebook community, Hope & Solutions for Small Churches. We’d love to connect.

From children’s ministry to adult leadership, we are all about supporting small churches with resources, conferences, and connections that are created just for them.


MORE GREAT WORSHIP SONGS:

3 NEW WORSHIP SONGS: SEPTEMBER 2021

3 NEW WORSHIP SONGS: AUGUST 2021

WORSHIP LEADING IN A SMALL CHURCH: 4 KEYS TO WAKE UP YOUR WORSHIP