Here’s my conversation with a dear friend and fellow member of our church last week…
Him: Bro…I found a $10 itunes gift card in my drawer the other day.
Him: So, I need some help here. This is a “worship pastor” question…What would be the 10 top songs you would encourage me to buy so I can sing loud on Sunday and lead from the congregation?
Me: That is the greatest question I’ve ever been asked. Give me few days.
Preface: Asking a worship pastor for his top 10 songs is a tough request. It’s like asking him for the top 10 movies of all time. It’s like going to a Texas BBQ and limiting your order to one meat instead of the combination platter. It’s like giving him a kitty pool on the beach to swim in instead of a vast ocean. It’s like…you get the picture.
So friend, here’s my recommendations. These songs are not necessary my favorite according to preference, but these are the songs that we are using (and need) to remind us of the truths gospel. So think of it like this…as you listen to these in your car on your way to work, this list is for: 1) Directing you closer to the heart of God and 2) a prayer for you from your friend and worship pastor. Enjoy!
- I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art from “Together for the Gospel-Live II”
Theme: As you wake…
Prayer: My prayer for you is that you would wake each day with the heart to “greet the Lord”. May your first thoughts be of Him, your first words be prayer unto God, and your first steps be towards his word…after you brush your teeth.
- We Believe by Newsboys
Theme: First things first
Prayer: A.W. Tozer said, “The most important thing about you is what you think about God.” Living in a world where our minds could run to so many things, I am praying that you would remember what you believe. This will center your life and priorities on the things that are eternal.
- Across the Lands by Keith and Karin Getty
Prayer: This song exalts Christ as creator and Lord. Truly, “He’s the Lord of every man…” As you dwell on these words, I pray would dwell on the truth that you are not your own but have been bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20).
- All I have is Christ by Jordan Kauflin and Sovereign Grace
Prayer: “Now, Lord, I would be yours alone and live so all might see – The strength to follow your commands, could never come from me – O Father, use my ransomed life, in any way you choose – and let my song forever be, my only boast is you.”
5. Jesus I my Cross have taken by Indelible Grace
Prayer: I pray that as you listen to this song, you would be absolutely convinced that following Christ with worth it…not only in the life to come, but in this life as well. Philippians 3:7 describes the joy of knowing Christ as a “surpassing greatest” that is far better than this world. Love Him and in your hard times, identify in Christ’s sufferings that you may know Him more.
- Be Still my soul
Theme: Joy in Suffering
Prayer: In general, the Church does no know how to lament in a biblical manner. This is not only true at an individual level, but especially at a corporate level. We need to learn how to lament together in our pains and hardships. Loss in the Christian life is real. Pain and grief are normal experiences in this world. There are songs out there that help us with our grief and pain! Yet sadly, we don’t know that because our services tend to lean towards the chipper, light and fun feeling. I pray you dwell on the words to this song and look to Christ in your pain. And yes, David Archuleta is singing this song:)
- How firm a foundation
Theme: The Word
Prayer: Memorize this one! There are treasures in this song that are invaluable. Here’s two that have encouraged me through the years: 1) “What more could he say that to you He hath said?” I feel like a football player wrote that line, not a gentle shepherd. This line kicks me in the throat every time we sing itJ 2) God not only calls you to do something, but also gives you the grace to do it. “Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed, For I am thy God and will still give thee aid; I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand, Upheld by My righteous omnipotent hand.”
- All the earth by Vertical Church
Prayer: My prayer is that your life would exalt just one name…the name of the Lord Jesus. Isaiah 26:8 says, “Yes Lord, we wait for you. Your name and renown are the desires of our hearts.” Bro, when our heart’s are so inflamed with delight for Christ, the peoples of the earth (even the people across the street) hear of Him.
- Build Your Kingdom Here by Rend Collective
Prayer: I love the line, “We lay down our lives for heaven’s cause.” But, just as a good friend get’s in your kitchen a little bit…My prayer for you is that you would plan well to lay down your life for heaven’s cause. May your whole life and calendar be consumed with Christ’s work. Spend your life on Him. My prayer: That this line would be the theme of your calendar sessions with your wife and family.
- He will hold me fast by Matt Merker
Prayer: Friend, as you listen to this one, I pray you run to the Lord for your refuge and strength. He alone is your portion (Ps 73:25-26) and your lot (Ps 16). You can’t strive in your own strength, but only through His (Gal 2:20). James instructs us to ask when we are lacking (James 1). This song cannot be sung with an arrogant heart.
…because 10 just isn’t enough
- Whom shall I fear? By Chris Tomlin
Theme: Our battle
Prayer: I pray you remember “our struggle is not against flesh and blood” (Eph 6:12). As you labor for Christ, remember He is FOR you and will fight your battles.
- Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery by Matt Boswell
Theme: The Gospel of Jesus
Prayer: “What a foretaste of deliverance!” Friend, do not be discouraged. I pray you will look to Christ in all things and have perspective in this life. The greatest comfort a friend could provide in the great news that Jesus is coming again, and we will be with Him (1 Thess 4:18).
Imparting the word, imparting our lives…
Your worship pastor and friend,