Communal rather than individual: Counterculturally, our relationship with God happens primarily in the context of community. Our worship should include more "we's" than "I's". Biblically, God relates to humanity mostly through Israel (OT) and the church (NT). The wonder for the New Testament writers was not simply that Jesus died “for me,” but that I (and everyone else!) am included in the community that receives God’s promises.
So to review so far: God, not me; and not “I” but “we.” Should we then strike all “I’s and “me’s” out of our worship? No, but we should be conscious of them as leaders. Another problem with too much first-person language is that we may put words in worshippers’ mouths that may not be true for them in that moment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped singing in worship because what was being sung did not express my heart at that time. But if we are singing about God – or if we are singing as a member of a community – we can sing about deeper truths whether or not we feel them at the moment.
Anchored in Scripture: Scripture is the primary anchor for lyrical themes. The language we use in worship is extremely powerful. Language gives shape to reality. If we are using “small” language, our concept of God and of our relationship with God will correspond with that. I am not saying that the more ten-letter words we have, the better. I am referring more to concepts. Our language should be intentional—not just regurgitated Christianese. When held all together, our worship should tell the whole story of Scripture and of the gospel - from creation and fall through redemption and renewal.
The language of Scripture is not small (although of course, if you sing ten songs based on the same verse, its likely to lose its power). Songs that are born from specific passages of Scripture, therefore, are more than likely to pass the “small” test. But there are two other “anchor points” that derive from Scripture: liturgical function and season of the church year. Both our worship order (assuming it is formed throughtfully!) and the church year are themselves informed by Scripture, and especially by the gospel. So songs can also be properly anchored to a specific part of the service (confession and absolution, Holy Communion, etc.) or to a season of the church year (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, All Saints, etc.)
Gospel-centered: Our worship follows a two-part rhythm: acknowledge our need, celebrate Christ as fulfillment of that need. In choosing worship songs, we need both parts. Not necessarily in the same song; but we need songs that do each.
Hopefully this gives you some things to think about as you choose songs and plan worship on behalf of your community. Have fun, and let me know how it goes!