Top 50 Worship Songs
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.” Psalm 40:3
Westside has always been known for our music ministry. Long before I pastored the worship here, I used to attend “Saturday Night Alive” with my high school friends. I remember thinking, “This is the coolest church music I’ve ever heard.” It’s never been anyone’s overt intention to make cool music at Westside but the fact remains; it’s pretty cool. If you foster a creative worship culture in a church, where people can write, record and perform music, there’s a certain magnetism that comes along with that.
All that said, there are a few pitfalls along the path of a creative worship culture that can hijack the whole thing. One of them is the constant flow of new songs into our worship sets. Singing new songs is good, biblical even, but too many of them can hinder people’s worship experience, and can hinder their discipleship process as well (since songs are really just mini, easier to remember, sermons).
I’ll be the first to say that our system is not perfect. I violate my own rules constantly because…well…I like new music. And if I’m honest, I get bored pretty easily. Keep in mind that by the time a typical church-goer hears a song like This Is Amazing Grace, I’ve already discovered it, researched its doctrine, altered its sheet music, altered its arrangement, played it for Jesus in my quiet time, practiced it with the band, and led the song 5 or 6 times. All that to say, it takes discipline and a watchful eye to keep the song flow in check.
For those wondering what we do at Westside: We have a master song list of no more than 50 songs that worship leaders can choose from in a quarter. When the quarter is up, we evaluate the list, add new songs if need be and take old songs away. There’s some built-in elbow room for those awesome songs (originals and non-originals) that just HAVE to be sung, but we really try to stick to the list.
If I’m honest, I think 50 is too much. There’s only so much bandwidth a congregation can give. They’re trying to remember work stuff, family stuff, and crazy life stuff. If I can get a few songs, with good doctrine and good melody into their heads, to help them turn to Jesus in the mix of their real, crazy, roller coaster lives, I’ve done my job. So we’ll keep refining and tuning up the process and hope that in all of it Jesus will be glorified.
Here’s a link to our current Top 50 songs on Spotify if you’d like to stay on fleek with the music.
p.s. If you don’t know what “on fleek” means, you are probably a better person than me, but you certainly aren’t “on fleek”, so don’t even worry about what it means to be “on fleek”. 🙂