Every season we put together a mix of the songs we are listening to at the minute, some brand new and some not so much, and a combo of genres and styles. But if you’re on the hunt for something in particular, maybe you don’t want to sift through the whole playlist to find what you want. So here is a brief breakdown of what is included this playlist to make things easier for you.
Songs perhaps suitable for your church
The King in all his beauty- Matt Boswell and Matt Papa
This is my favourite off the new Matt Boswell and Matt Papa album. It is simple, and prayerful, exploring that great contradiction between the glorious, sovereign, creator King we know is right now exalted in Heaven, and the humbled, reviled King on the cross. And how actually both these pictures make him beautiful and worthy. Can you tell I like it?! Check it out- It’s easily picked up and should give your congregations many reasons to rejoice.
The only thing your drummer might not thank you for is the time signature, which is a helpful alternating 3/4 to 2/4 switch in the verse, and then 4/4 in the chorus. Easy once you’ve got it in your head, but potentially not cool if you overthink it.
The goodness of Jesus- CityAlight
Another little gentle peach from the last CityAlight EP. This one is lyrically beautiful, and easy melodically apart from maybe two unexpected notes. And while not saying lots theologically, is full of the warmth and trust of the relationship we can have with Him , which can often be accidentally lost in stodgy exegesis, or overshadowed by the hardships of living the christian life.
Lord from sorrows deep I rise (psalm 42) – Matt Boswell and Matt Papa
We’re always on the hunt for good psalm renditions, and this one is great. Not word for word on the psalm in any way, but capturing the psalmist’s struggles and desire for rescue, and more importantly, desire for faith to trust the Lord throughout it all. Brilliant stuff to be singing together in a series on suffering, or faith in doubt.
Oh my soul, put your hope in God. My shield, my rock, my salvation. Sing, o sing through the raging storm, you’re still my God, my salvation.
Behold the Lamb – Phil Wickham
This was a good find on the most recent Passion album. If you’re in search of a new song on the cross, this could be one to consider.
The only thing to note is that I find the wording in v2 a little unclear. ‘offer up this sacrifice, for every sin our Saviour died’. I think what he means is to remember that for every sin, Jesus sacrifice was enough, but it’s worded in such a way as it sounds like there is something we have to continually do. Not ideal, and perhaps worth a brief explanation to your congregation.
But even if you don’t use it, sing along for yourself, the words are fab. And enjoy the brilliant female BV in the last chorus. She hits the happy notes..
King of Kings- Hillsong Worship
Another good song from the Hillsong Worship camp. The words are great (apart from one line in v1 I don’t love..), and moves from Christmas to the cross to the resurrection to the church today. Really good stuff.
The only downside is actually in it’s melodic simplicity. Hillsong get away with super simple songs (remember ‘cornerstone’ was like this) because they have such massive, powerful production, and also the ability to jump an octave, or in this case, change up the melody in v3. Now it might be that your church can pull this off more or less identically, and perhaps teach v3 as more of a bridge than a third verse, but in a small church with perhaps just a piano, I fear this might fall pretty flat.
All people that on earth do dwell – Emu
Emu have just today released this album of hymn arrangements, some of which you might find useful in keeping hymns fresh in your churches- check it out!
This is one where they’ve added a chorus, which in a hymn like this that moves along at quite a pace, can help to give a break and space to focus on what you’re actually singing.
They’ve also shortened the rhythm in the last line of the verse which I really like.
Come ye sinners- Sojourn
Sticking on the hymn theme, this one is an older one, probably released a good 8 years ago by Sojourn, but every now and again it pops up on my shuffle and blows my socks off again. Yes I love a bit of grunge, but also the words are just wonderful. This Jesus who LOVES when we come to him to ask for repentance. Who doesn’t expect us to be ‘fixed’ before we come, and who welcomes us with open arms because of the cross.
Amazing. Add this in to your repertoire when you’re preaching through the cross or redemption.
Story of the cross – Rend co. Kids
Rend recently released this kids album, which might be a good one for your car if you have kids. Not all of them are translatable to church kids clubs, but this one might be. I don’t love some of the wording, such as ‘i’m in love with you’, (always brings up unclear, watery sentiments where i could be talking about Jesus or my boyfriend), but aside from that, for kids/youth, the subject matter is spot on. It doesn’t just teach the cross and redemption, it also brings it home in a way kids might need to hear. “even at my loneliest, there’s no greater love than this’. With the stats of teenage mental health issues and feelings of isolation soaring, what a better truth to be reminding kids of.
Mighty Savior, Father, Friend —Ghost ship
This is off Ghost Ship’s newest album, which has me confused style wise! They’ve gone in quite a country direction, so if you’re a fan of that genre, check it out. This isn’t the strongest song in the world, and kind of covers the same ground as “Behold our God’ from Sovereign Grace, so I wouldn’t prioritise it necessarily unless it perfectly ticks a box for you and your sermon series.
I will sing your praise alone – Sovereign Grace and Shiloh Gospel Choir
This album was without a doubt the most joyful of the summer! If you have a percentage of church members from a gospel background, and your musicians have the ability to play with a good gospel stop or two, then by all means include this in your repertoire on a Sunday, the words are great, riffing on romans 1:16.
Ones for your car.
Jumping from jaded heights- Kings Kaleidoscope
If you have teens in your family, you really should introduce them to KK. They aren’t the most lyrically explicate on the gospel, but they are sound, and they also are as musically talented as many mainstream acts that teens will want to listen to. Often that’s where christian music falls short.. when it is just not as gripping musically as secular music.
This is one of my favourite off their newest album. It riffs on the battle between apathy, and a wholehearted striving for the new creation (albeit in a slight metaphorical way), and then uses the melody of the old hymn ‘I’ll fly away’ over a confident refrain of ‘I know where I’m going’. Great stuff.
Take Heart- citizens
This song is a battle cry.
Run, into the heart of the flame
Stare down the eyes of the grave
You’ll never die, that’s a promise you can bet on with your life
Set all the worry aside
I’ll be your shield in the fight
Don’t be afraid, there’s a light inside of you they cannot take
And much much more to encourage your heart and focus your gaze.
Even so come- Brooke Griffith and Tommee Proffit
This is a more chilled cover of a recent Matt Redman song. It might be that you think this could work in your church, but I thought it might be too irregular for many smaller churches. Regardless, it is a beauty of a song, and a wonderful declaration for churches to sing as we wait for Jesus return.
All the poor and powerless- all sons and daughters
A lovely little chilled out track that grows into something powerful and declaration-like. The lyrics explore how all people will one day see that Jesus is Lord.
The Gates- Young oceans
Young Oceans are who to listen to if you are wanting to wind down. This track is a prayer to be fully satisfied in Jesus.
Oh Dreamer – the Brilliance
I think this song is on the idea of what the world could look like if we were to practice christian love in the world around us. It doesn’t say much of any great edifying value probably, but as with many of these songs, are more beneficial than what is on mainstream radio, so enjoy!!
Ps 139/in the dead of night- Leeland
This is a little older but a favourite of mine. Yes, it has very clearly been influenced by a couple of Coldplay songs, but it a beautiful version of a psalm, and captures two sides of the pslamist’s mood.
I will fear no more – the afters
This is another song on the idea of trusting in the middle of trouble, and if your preferred style of music is boyband, then this is your jam.
Brighter than the sun- Rivers and Robots
R&R aren’t generally a band known for their in depth, biblical lyrics, but they write beautiful songs that will help to settle your heart on Jesus rather than the world as you drive along.
Prince of peace – Hillsong United
This is another that is a few years old, but it came up on a playlist recently, and I was reminded of how much of an encouragement it was to me during a very difficult loss a few years back. I prayed through the first half and cry/sang from 6.30 minutes in on a pretty daily basis for a along time.
While it is not the most biblically rich song in the world, if you (or someone you know) needs reminding that God is in control in the middle of turmoil, loss , depression, or whatever they are facing, and a song to sing to preach some truth to yourself throughout it, this could be a great song to listen to.