Requests for "good contemporary worship songs" from pastors and others was one of the reasons I created this website. So I've been working on compiling a few lists, arranged in different ways that I hope will be helpful. Most of these songs I have either led or sung in worship services. For notes on how I choose songs for these lists, see below the links.
These lists are intended to function like the sections or indexes you would find in a hymnal. Lyrics, lead sheets, and sound samples can be found for most songs on CCLI SongSelect (subscription required).
Each link will open a separate document in google docs:
There are many, many worship songs out there. Therefore the panel (of one, though not without input from others) was quite selective, choosing songs that are not only of high musical quality and singable, but that also align with the focus of Lutheran theology. This is obviously a highly subjective process, especially when it comes to musical quality. Perhaps you’ll be surprised that certain songs were not included. Please tell me! Input and suggestions are always welcome. What songs have allowed your community to worship in spirit and truth? The lists are always under revision, especially as I am exposed to new music.
The following values have informed the selection of music included in these song indexes. For a more in depth description of these values, see this blog post.
The "modern worship" movement,
with roots in the "Jesus Music" of the 1960s and 70s, was carried into the 90s by labels like Vineyard and Maranatha. But it wasn't until the mid-to-late 1990's, when worship acts like Delirious (UK) and Hillsong (Australia) started to gain attention from the church around the world, that the movement exploded. As this new, passionate form of worship music took hold in the U.S. and around the world, songs were evaluated primarily based on the sense of passion and "intimacy with God" they created.
In many if not most settings, the depth of biblical theology reflected in the lyrics we sing is still not a primary focus. However, many artists are increasingly aware of the image of God created by the words we write and sing. With these lists I try to point us to those songs which are anchored firmly in biblical theology, move our worship forward liturgically, and move us toward participation in God's mission in the world.