Planning worship services is fun, but serious work. Worship leaders and creative teams are tasked with the responsibility of weeding through possible song choices, trying to find what aligns best with message and stays true to the Bible. One of the greatest joys of my life has been to listen to music with ears to hear how a worship song might impact the people of God. I love searching for the subtext, emotion, veracity, and movement of worship music. I also enjoy discovering new music. While there’s something special about a song that sticks around, the benefit of new music is that we may hear a classic truth framed in a fresh way that renews our affections for Jesus.
You see, worship music communicates truth about Jesus in a unique way. It touches our soul and whispers God’s promises in our ears; melodies resonate within us through and wordlessly echo the truth that God is faithful, good, and relentlessly loving.
If you’re a worship leader or serve on a creative team and you’re looking for some music, this post is for you. If you simply love worship music and want to know why the songs on this list are worth singing, this is for you, too!
Here are five (newer) worship songs worth singing:
1. O Praise the Name
This brand new song from Hillsong Worship is an addition to your song rotation you won’t want to skip. In a world where so many songs are designed to help us navigate our own thoughts about God, which is not always a bad thing, this song reflects on the narrative of our salvation. By singing back to God the story of his sacrifice and resurrection, we are guided back to the reason why we “praise the name of the Lord our God.” The final verse directs our attention to our great hope: that Jesus will return and draw his saints with him into eternal praise. The song lacks a bridge, but this is fitting. The song is designed to keep us focused on the reasons for our praise rather than to give us space to lose ourselves in praise. Start singing this song now, and it will be a powerful song at Easter as all the voices in your church sing out: “For endless days, we will sing your praise, O Lord our God!”
2. Sinking Deep
This song is the near mirror opposite to O Praise the Name. This song, certainly worth singing, is crafted to settle our hearts on Biblical truths before leading us to bold adoration of Jesus and the power of his love. The initial verses, choruses, and bridge are led only by vocals and keys. The band, Hillsong Young & Free is known for their electronica and rock sounds, which makes this song stand out from other tracks on the album. The simplicity of the melody and lyric, “Here in you I find shelter, captivated by the splendor of your face,” worshippers are drawn to the quiet places of their soul. Unexpectedly but with anticipation, the second bridge makes the turn as the drums come in heavy and usher in a bolder announcement of praise: “Your love so deep is washing over me.” As the bridge repeats, worshippers find themselves overwhelmed by the reality of God’s relentless and unfailing love and a heart to see his face. This song would make a great even if unlikely opener. People expect for a service to begin fast, but the pacing of this song from soft to heavy is a different twist to start worship.
3. My Anchor
Christy Nockels has one of the most powerful vocals in worship. Her songs consistently weave Biblically sound lyrics with melodies that stir our affections for the Lord. This song in particular masterfully reminds worshippers of the faithfulness of God in the midst of uncertain circumstances. The reassurance that God is our rock, our shelter, and our anchor in life’s storms is a necessary theme for so many who come to church week after week searching for hope. Perhaps the most encouraging lyric in the song is found in the bridge which simply repeats, “I hold onto you, and you hold onto me.” Many times we believe that God is our rock and our anchor, but it’s up to us alone to hold tight to him. The truth of Scripture, which this song recalls for us, is that God holds onto us, too. In fact, the Bible promises this hope to us: that if we would draw near to him he will draw near to us, and that his saints are safe in his hand. This song serves as a wonderful response to the preaching of the Word, especially when the message reflects on the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord.
4. One Thing
This is another brand new song from Hillsong Worship off of the album, Open Heaven // River Wild. “One Thing” sings like a prayer. The song flows beautifully as a reflection on the superiority of Christ over the world. As worshippers sing, “the things of this world, I counted as loss. I lay them all down, to take up this cross,” they are remind d of the essence of discipleship. To be a Christian isn’t to merely agree to a certain belief statement. Instead, following Jesus means forsaking the world and carrying our cross through obedience. The song guides the worshipper through this prayer of confession before boldly praising, “I’ll sing whoa, whoa! I want nothing but to know you and to worship you, my God!” This song would fit perfectly coming into or out of a time of prayer and reflection.
5. You Make Me Brave
Despite the fact that this song contributes to our cultural twisting of the word brave, this song is worth singing for one main reason. The song emphasizes the source of our boldness. This is a better word, contextually, than brave… But bold doesn’t rhyme with made and wave. The song reminds us that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence, not because we are great, but b cause there is a “champion of heaven” who has “made a way for all to enter in.” We need not fear condemnation for mercy has been bought and won for us. So often, we desire for our acceptance by God to be dependent upon our performance, but this song graciously reminds us that our ability to walk into uncertainty with confidence is possibly because of Christ alone. This song is worth singing because we can never have too many reminders that grace has been won for us, and because of this we can worship the Lord boldly, confidently, and yes, bravely. This song would make a great closing song as it reminds us that wherever we go, the God of heaven is welcoming us and he is for us.