NEXT: the Best New Worship Songs of 2015

Screen shot 2016-01-07 at 1.11.50 PMI can’t tell you how hard this list was to compile. I perused my past “NEXT” posts, worship set-lists, CCLI’s top lists – anything I could find – & have attempted below to craft my “Top” new worship songs of 2015. Did I miss any? Be encouraged to share below!

 

 

Good Good Father” – Zealand (Chart available HERE)
(If you’d like to check out the original version by Housefires, you can find it HERE, then my earlier post referencing 10,000 Fathers version) Have you ever loved a song, then heard a new version that made you love it EVEN MORE? The original taps into that simple love for our Heavenly “Daddy”, then 10,000 Fathers‘ arrangement added that cool walk-down, & even more depth & beauty. Then Zealand came along & made the song into the sonic celebration that the lyrics beg to be! It’s this generations’ “How He Loves” – the song will be around for a long time. You’re already leading this regularly, right?

Our God will not be Moved” – Patrick Bass (Chart available HERE)
Though I originally heard this led at Catalyst, I somehow missed that it had been released until ’15. A song with that “How great is our God” simple SOLID-ness about it: a powerful anthem that just BEGS to be sung. Even though it nods to the hymns, there’s no complex theology, & the message is not a new one. It’s just good, Biblical truth put in a new, incredibly singable setting. Honestly, it’s a fantastic song. I wish I’d written it. By the way, Patrick released a NEW CD – check it out!

Seas of Crimson” – Bethel (Chart available HERE)
Co-written with Daniel Bashta (“Like a Lion/God is not Dead“), & released by Daniel in ’15, Brian Johnson’s arrangement here with the Bethel team really sets the mood for this modern-rock hymn.

Until my voice is Gone” – Travis Ryan (Chart available HERE)
Travis is an excellent worship songwriter, & “We Believe” (as recorded by the Newsboys) might be the one that everyone knows, but “Until my Voice is Gone” is the one that moves my soul as a worshiper. I’m teaching this one to my band – a great Sunday morning “closer”. This one captures the cry of my heart.

Echo” – Newport (Chart available HERE)
Jumping very successfully onto the current 80’s-electro-pop resurgence (which I LOVE), this song does it better than any I’ve heard but “Alive” from Hillsong Young & Free. The chorus is a bold proclamation to abandon your life for Jesus & “echo” His heart. It’s simultaneously intimate & personal, & loads of fun. I might take some time before intro-ing this to most Sunday morning church services, but I’d throw this into your youth services next last week!

Everything and Nothing Less” – Chris McClarney  (Chart available HERE)
Most know Chris for his contribution to “Your Love Never Fails”, made famous by both Jesus Culture & the Newsboys, but his contributions to the modern worship catalog run much deeper than that. Recorded with Jesus Culture in California, his latest CD is heart-felt & beautiful. The title track is my personal favorite. A deep, passionate cry of surrender, “Everything and Nothing Less” waves a White Flag before the Lord, offering Him quite literally everything. A great corporate song, but also a wonderful “special” during offertory in more traditional churches. Due to the bridge, this also works great as a medley with the hymn “I surrender All”.

Always will Be” – Benji & Jenna Cowart (Chord Chart available HERE)
THIS ONE lights me up! Though also recorded by Aaron Shust (& that version is GREAT), I love the Cowart’s harmonies here. A fun, upbeat proclamation of God’s faithfulness, this is like a high energy response to John Mark McMillian’s “Future/Past” – in fact, the songs could well be used in the same worship set. Another bonus; “Always will Be” is available as part of Ascension Worship’s CITY WORSHIP PROJECT, which is full of helpful resources to use that song & many more!

Heart won’t Stop” – John Mark & Sarah McMillan (Chord Chart available HERE)
Easy to sing, & easy to play, that doesn’t hinder “Heart won’t Stop” from being the most creative setting of Psalm 139 yet written. I’ve used this often this past year, & everyone loves it.

Brother” – The Brilliance (Chord Chart available HERE)
Now for something completely different. Simple – repetitive in the best sense – & friendly…like a favorite folk song from the late 60s. Timeless. As a horizontal song, this would be an excellent Call to Worship for many churches. It may seem odd at first listen, but it’s effective & powerful in it’s understatedness.

Even So Come” – Kristian Stanfill (Chart available HERE)
A newer Tomlin song, Stanfill’s version with the Passion band home-runs this powerful corporate anthem. One of the most powerful songs to come from the Passion movement for several years.

We are Warriors” – Dustin Smith (Chart available HERE)
Fair Warning: if you do lead this song at your church, it may turn your congregation into crazy Jesus-freaks, on a mission to actually “GO!” & spread the Kingdom of God in their wake. In all seriousness, this is a challenging song on SO MANY LEVELS, but I’ve been spinning it for the past few months, & it’s message has sunk deep into my soul – WHOA! God is the victor! We have NOTHING to fear! Woooohoooo! By the way, if you do lead this song, please let me know what happens and how it goes. (Also, be sure to check out Dustin’s new FREE resources, the “Healing is Right” app

So, those are my picks. I’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you tried any of these, & how did they go over with your congregation? Is there anything that needs to be added to my list? I look forward to hearing from you…

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Comments

  1. I love this list. I have some songs that I need to check out. Some that are really surprising but isn’t that the way with music? Different things strike different people differently :)
    Dude but if you like Everything and Nothing Less from McClarney you MUST check out the new Austin Stone worship album. He and Aaron Ivey wrote that song and I think Ivey’s work on the new Stone project is phenomenal! Some great songs on there that speak truth and are the most accessible yet of their work.
    That Bethel CD was quite a different direction for them but I loved it. And I can never ever get enough of JMM. The new release with his wife was just super sick!!!
    Love it! Well most of it. Hahaha

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  1. […] to really sit with some new music (you can read 2015’s “end of the year best-of” HERE), the NEXT playlist/blog is back in play. I’ve found a few lesser-known gems from newer […]