Great new songs for worship are prevalent today. There’s also quite a bit of music written today that should be bypassed for corporate worship. As worship leaders, we need to stay current with newer music to find those gems that will connect with our congregation–those songs that are textually and musically worthy.
I encourage you to spend some time weekly or monthly exploring the “top” lists – songs that have already proven themselves to be effective in churches across our nation as well as songs that are very popular this week. Here are some great tools for you.
The best place to start is to explore the CCLI Top 100. These lists are drawn from actual usage reports from churches of all sizes and denominations across North America. These songs have already stood the test of a period of time and have been well-used in congregational worship. You can always find the Top 100 CCLI songs here. I predominantly draw from this list when I lead worship in events representing many churches; in ways, this list has replaced your denomination’s hymnal as a go-to list for known songs.
By midweek each week, the top 20 worship songs from CCLI, PraiseCharts, and LifeWayWorship.com are published on this blog. Here you can find the most popular songs for the past week. All three sources have helpful links to aid you in evaluating the music. We draw these lists from three sites:
- CCLI. This list is different from the Top 100 CCLI in that it is drawn from the CCLI service, SongSelect rather than the license usage reports that churches report to CCLI. These songs represent the top songs downloaded by churches the previous week from SongSelect. NOTE: We include STREAMING AUDIO of all of the CCLI top 20 songs to make it simple for you to review songs you do not know.
- LifeWayWorship.com. LifeWayWorship.com is an amazing resource for worship. Their top list indicates the best sellers for the past week. You will see a correlation with the songs on the list and special seasons of the year as well. The links for these songs will take you to LifeWayWorship’s site where you can listen to audio and purchase any associated products with that song. I really like the fact that LifeWayWorship songs are in congregationally-friendly keys and arranged with the congregation in mind.
- PraiseCharts.com. This list represents the top selling arrangements for the past week on the PraiseChart website. Our weekly list will take you directly to the song on the PraiseCharts.com website for you to evaluate. One caution: be careful of the keys that the songs are written in. Many are in keys too high for the congregation. In most cases, one of their alternate keys will be acceptable, but check that out before you purchase the song. (Help on getting the right keys is here.)
The Top 20 Worship Songs of the Week is probably one of the best resources for worship leaders who want to keep up with new songs for worship. You can sign up for our weekly newsletter that will point you to the top 20 songs each week as well as make you aware of the weekly blog post.
More on New Song Selection.