Finding the right songs for your worship ministry can be tough. In this article, I share my favorite worship songs as I build a song library from scratch.
In a few weeks, I’ll be helping launch Mission Lakewood Church as an interim worship pastor. Since I’m building a worship ministry from the ground up, I need to begin creating a library of songs for the church to sing.
I want your input in this process! What are your favorite worship songs right now? Make sure you tell me below in the comments.
Mission Lakewood is being planted from Cherry Hills Community Church, a mega-church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. While it’s easy for me to move forward on my own picking what I think are the best songs for our congregation, I want to acknowledge that these people already have a collection of songs they have been singing.
In fact, Cherry Hills has a strong worship ministry and they have just released an original worship album. My assistant worship leader, Sarah, is on the worship team at Cherry Hills, so I’ve asked her to compile a list of twenty songs which are standards at that church. I want to make sure we launch the worship ministry with a decent amount of music being familiar to the congregation.
At the same time, Mission Lakewood will have its own unique identity as a church. It is not a campus of Cherry Hills. It is completely autonomous. That means our worship ministry does not need to be a copycat of their church.
One of my favorite responsibilities as a worship leader is choosing songs for our church to sing. I’ll admit, sometimes I’m a bit selfish in my song selection. I like choosing songs that are my personal favorites. At the same time, I want to make sure the church has a healthy diet of diverse worship songs.
In the rest of this video, I’m going to outline some of the worship songs I’ll be including in our library. I think the easiest way to do this is categorize the songs by the following themes. That will ensure I have diverse pool of songs both in the sense of energy and the different aspects of the gospel narrative they emphasize. Here are the categories.
When I plan worship, every Sunday I try to tell the gospel story through my song selection. That story being, God is great, we are not, but he forgives us, and we are sent out on mission to serve him. I learned this approach to worship planning for the book, Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell.
Generally speaking, Adoration songs are higher energy and toward the opening of worship. Confession songs are more reflective on our sinful condition and the need for grace. Assurance songs have a triumphal and thankful feel to them. Sending songs get the congregation fired up about living for Jesus.
Using this categories helps me plan worship with a more meaningful mindset than just playing with emotions. I want the gospel story to inform how I plan.
So here are the songs I chose to get this worship ministry off the ground. I think you’ll quickly be able to tell who my favorite worship bands and songwriters are. This list of songs will most likely evolve and change overtime, but I hope it gives you some ideas of great songs to add to your own song library.
Songs of Adoration
Nobody Like You - Red Rocks Worship
There’s No Other Name - Bethel Music
Lion and the Lamb - Bethel Music
Ever Be - Bethel Music
Great Are You Lord - All Sons and Daughters
Holy Spirit - Brian and Katie Torwalt
So Will I (100 Billion X) - Hillsong United
Behold(Then Sings My Soul) - Hillsong Worship
What a Beautiful Name - Hillsong Worship
O Praise the Name - Hillsong Worship
Only King Forever - Elevation worship
Right Here Right Now - Red Rocks Worship
Songs of Confession
Path of Sorrow - All Sons and Daughters
Come Thou Fount - Traditional
O Come to the Altar - Elevation Worship
Prince of Peace - Hillsong United
Crowns - Hillsong Worship
Tremble - Mosaic MSC
Lord I Need You - Matt Maher
Songs of Assurance
How Beautiful Your Grace - Red Rocks Worship
King of My Heart - Bethel Music
Reckless Love - Cory Asbury
Mercy - Bethel Music
I Will Boast in Christ - Hillsong Worship
How Beautiful - Mosaic MSC
Good Good Father - Christ Tomlin
In Christ Alone - Getty
This I Believe (The Creed) - Hillsong Worship
Songs of Sending
Not Afraid - Red Rocks Worship
Old for New - Bethel Music
Glory to Glory - Bethel Music
Faithful to the End - Bethel Music
I Surrender - All Sons and Daughters
Christ Be All Around Me - All Sons and Daughters
Shadow Step - Hillsong United
Wow, sorry that was such a long list. But it feels great to have that all documented before I start adding songs to my Planning Center Account. I’m still waiting for Sarah to add her recommendations.
As I mentioned, this song will evolve over time, and I know there are great songs I don’t have on the list. I will probably add some hymn arrangements as well.
Once we’ve completed our list of approximately 50 songs, we will begin creating library assets for each song. Those assets include:
Backing track sessions
If you want my complete song list with links to resources like charts and multitracks, you can download my free guide.
What songs should I add to this list? What are your favorite worship songs right now? Let me know in the comments.