New Songs – part 1
I wrote a few weeks back about choosing core song repertoire for congregational singing, and wrote that I might share my list… well, the music area leader at our church recently called for new song suggestions, so I thought I’d share what I put together as a list of new songs which I hope our International Worship team can draw from. The list is meant as a guide, not a restriction, but out of the dozens of great new congregational worship songs, I tried to narrow it down to songs which I hope will be helpful to our congregation (there’s a whole post in that idea!), in our international context, and the context of our teaching series in 1 Peter. Given that we only meet monthly, wider popularity is also a consideration (though by no means a sole reason!) – the fewer songs we need to actively teach (hard to do in a monthly rhythm) the smoother things will be. There are a bunch of great songs which I would love to do, but it’s just not possible to do them all.
1. Holy, by Matt Redman:
Matt Redman has to be one of the masters of songs which are so inevitable that you feel like you’ve known the song for years. I particularly love the bridge of this one. It’s in Bb but I’d also do it in G.
(Spotify | Chords)
2. 10,000 Reaons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman
3. Cornerstone, Hillsong
4. Forever Reign, Hillsong
I initially liked this song in spite of myself, which says more about my own prejudices than anything else (more on that later), but it became clear that there are good reasons to like this song. The simple (but true!) repeated statements in verses make this helpful for those for whom English is not their first language. While I initially took the chorus to be a bit too sentimental for my tastes, I realised that it is actually just describing the prodigal father of Luke 15.
(Spotify | Lead sheet) Hillsong has also recorded this in German on their ambitious Global Project, and indeed, made translations of a bunch of their songs available.
5. One thing remains, Jeremy Riddle
One of the reasons we decided to study 1 Peter is that it’s written to the diaspora, which is somewhat of a similar context to ‘internationals’, and the community of asylum-seekers who meet with us, and this song’s simple declaration that nothing can separate us from God’s love, will, I hope, be encouraging. My only caveat is that it stops short of explaining that God’s love is most displayed ‘in Christ Jesus’, and so I suggest that it needs careful contextualisation with a song or passage which does elaborate on that. (Another Jesus Culture / Bethel song which has been put forward is Your love never fails which is similar in theme, and with the same caveat, and while I love the guitar riff, it’s a bit trickier to sing congregationally IMO). It’s in C originally but I’d probably do it in G.
(Spotify | Chords)
6. Sola, by Zac Hicks
7. The same love, by Paul Baloche
Here’s the whole Spotify list in one place:
In my next post I’ll highlight some of the not-quite-new songs which I hope to introduce to our repertoire.