While talking to some worship pastors recently, I asked them a question that I’m often asked during my worship clinics: “Where do you find good songs?” Their answer was, “Everywhere.”
Great answer. It’s important to be aware of what’s available beyond the songs that have been the backbone of your worship sets.
Here are a few ways to keep in touch with what new songs have been released, and to find solid, scriptural songs that will have longevity and impact.
Listen to the radio, Spotify®, YouTube, or a streaming audio platform.
I was sitting in my car one night waiting to meet with a pastor to schedule a worship clinic. I had the Christian radio station playing and the song Glory by Phil Wickham came on. I truly sensed the presence of God while simply sitting in the car. Since I had never heard the song before, I typed some of the lyrics into my phone. Once I was home, I found the song on CCLI®, downloaded the chord chart with lyrics, and sent details about the song to the team I was leading at that time. It’s a great song that I’ve led in worship in many countries since I first heard it. I was grateful that the station played that song that night.
Not every song on a Christian radio station qualifies as a worship song. You may hear many songs that are Christian entertainment or encouragement before you hear a song that resonates as worship of and to God. Listen and evaluate.
Talk to other worship leaders, or join groups on social media that share worship information.
You are not in a competition, and sharing information, songs, and even resources is part of being the Body of Christ. People have told me about new songs being released, and I’ve been able to use some of them when leading worship. If you would like a list of songs that I recommend, let me know.
Watch for new releases from a band, artist, or church that consistently has solid new songs.
There are certain groups that consistently release new music. I anticipate hearing what they produce. However, not every song on someone’s project is something that I would use in a worship service. It’s important to evaluate what songs and styles would be a good fit for your church.
Make the time to study the Bible and write your own songs.
You don’t need to limit yourself to the songs that everyone else is singing. The same Spirit of God who lives in other songwriters is the same Spirit who lives in you (1 Corinthians 3:16). He can and will inspire you with lyrics and lead lines as you seek Him. If you aren’t comfortable writing the supporting chords, then find some musicians that you can worship with and allow God to flow through all of you as you seek Him for new songs.
Most importantly, evaluate what you are writing against the criteria of whether it truly is praise and worship of and to God—songs that tell who He is and what He has done. If the song is focused on the singer, then you really aren’t worshiping God, you’re encouraging yourself. There’s a place for songs of encouragement provided they agree with what the New Testament says about you as a believer. New Testament scriptures are clear about who we are and what we have in Christ because of His sacrifice and His resurrection.
I love the connectivity that happens when I talk to other worship leaders, listen to what’s being released, and write and share my own music. We’re in this ministry together.