The 2013 list is ready! There are just so many good songs out there, it has been pretty tough to eliminate ones I love. But it is great to have a plan mapped out. Some of these songs have been waiting in the wings for several years, so it is exciting to finally get everyone singing along.
There is nothing like a new song to present God’s truth to people in a new and refreshing way, and to focus people’s attention on some important element of the Gospel of Grace which they may have overlooked. I have included lots of details for our music team at ARPC to consider; would love to hear your thoughts on any songs that stand out, for whatever reason. I have also commented on the feel and theme of the song, plus the key I think fits best for a congregation. At our church we have two services, a more traditional family service in the morning, and an evening Cafe Church service, with an average age of around 30, and a good number of teenagers – this is why I have designated some songs to fit only one service. (Sorry if I have overlooked some details. Hope you can find them easily enough. Most lead sheets are on CCLI. Purchase individual songs on iTunes.)
1. No Other Name (Trevor Hodge 2010, EMU – Album: Undivided). Listen here This is such an uplifting song, with a tremendous crescendo in verse three which is sung up the octave (for those of your congregation who can). Jesus is our joy in sorrow’s tears, my broken heart’s delight, my strength, my hope! (Key Bb – use key A capo 1 for guitars, or key G capo 3)
2. See the Man (Trevor Hodge 2008, EMU – Album: Advent). In this song we connect the man Jesus with the promises to the first Adam, and to Abraham, and we see how Jesus has come to fulfill these promises and undo what sin has done. Great theology and a lilting 6/8 rhythm. (Key D)
3. We Belong to the Day (Michael Morrow 2006, EMU – Album: Come hear the Angels sing). Listen What I love about this one is the minor/major change from verse to chorus, and the really triumphant bridge. It challenges us to see that our identy and security is in Christ, He is our refuge from the coming wrath. This song makes no apologies about the reality of what is to come. (Not too many songs feature the coming wrath!) (Key E)
4. Majesty of Heaven (Chris Tomlin 2010 – Album: And if our God is For Us). Listen “To You the nations bow down, To You creation cries out majesty, All things You hold together, Your name will stand forever, Majesty You are majesty.” What a great way to praise the King! (Key G)
5. Saving One (Jon Neufeld, Mia Fieldes, Tim Neufeld 2010 – Starfield). Listen “And heaven can’t contain the glory of the Son, Jesus is the Christ, The Saving One”. The bridge of this song brings an awesome reminder that all who call on the name of Jesus will be saved. This is a simple song but the message is clear – Jesus saves! (Try Key Bb, so bridge is not so high. Guitars can Capo 1 in A)
MORNING service only:
1. Creation Sings the Father’s Song (Getty, 2008 – Album: Awaken the Dawn). Listen This modern hymn from the Gettys invites us to join with creation and praise the Father. “Let all creation stand and sing! Fill the earth with songs of worship! Tell the wonders of Creation’s King.” (Key Bb, guitar Capo 3 in G)
2. All I have is Christ (Jordan Kauflin 2008, Sovereign Grace). Listen That is, afterall, all we have that we can count on in this world! Hallelujah! The song moves us to know that Christ, who saved us from our “hell-bound race” is indeed now our only boast. (Key C, so it’s not too high!)
3. Never Alone (Philip Percival & Simone Richardson 2006, EMU – Album: Let All Creation Sing). Listen This is a gentle song, with a simple melody, but the lyrics bring much comfort. Christ is with us. We are not alone. The song tells the story in 4 verses, of the God-man come to earth, dying and rising for us; now he walks with us in joy and pain. (Key D)
4. Show us Christ (Doug Plank 2011, Sovereign Grace). Listen A reflective prayer song, asking that God would reveal His glory through the preaching of His Word, that our hearts would be ready to receive His Word, that it would be implanted there and grow much fruit in our lives. This would be great to sing before hearing a message. The wording is very inclusive (us, our, we) and calls people to recognise the community of the church. (Key Bb, use A for guitar, Capo 1).
5. Hear the Call of the Kingdom (Getty 2006 – Album: In Christ Alone). Listen This is a pretty exciting song about the call of the Kingdom, from Jesus, to us, to be part of His expanding Kingdom stretching across time and space, into eternity. We are called to be children of light, living with the humility of Christ. (Key F major, guitar capo 3 in D)
CAFE CHURCH only:
1. 10,000 Reasons/Bless the Lord (Matt Redman 2011 – Album: 10,000 Reasons). Listen This is a gentle yet important song with a rousing chorus. It invites us to tell our souls, in no uncertain terms, that we must value, trust, sing out/call on the Holy name of the Lord – afterall, we have 10,000 reasons to do so! I love the dramatic pause he has created with the inclusion of the two-four bars, leading into the chorus.
2. Hosanna (Brooke Fraser 2006). Listen Yes, we are a little behind the times having not taught this one yet! It is a favourite for many people, especially for the heartfelt cry of the Bridge section, “Heal my heart and make it clean, Open up my eyes to the things unseen, Show me how to love like You have loved me.” (Default Key is E, but maybe try in D major).
3. Our God (Chris Tomlin – Album: And if Our God is For Us). Listen There is no one like our God, and He is for us. That’s all I need to say. It is a powerful message. (Key G)