Anyone who has led worship or attended a modern church service knows that there are way more slow worship songs than fast ones.
Even though slow worship songs are fairly easy to come across, I thought I would put together a list of some of my favorites, a lot like I did for fast worship songs.
I chose songs that I think would work well and be easy to play for worship leaders and teams who are serving in their local church.
Slower songs are so popular because they give the congregation a chance to rest in Christ’s presence. The Holy Spirit seems to dwell in slower songs in a different, more intimate way compared to upbeat music.
There’s also an unexplained power hiding within many slow worship songs. Some songs start off very laid back — but then you get to the middle of the song and suddenly there’s unstoppable power coming from the midst of the worshipers. It’s hard to explain but very real.
While there is a place for all tempos and styles in today’s church services, here are some slow songs that will ignite an attitude of power and worship in your church or youth group.
Graves Into Gardens. Artist: Elevation feat. Brandon Lake. CCLI #7138219.
Well, this is technically a slow song, but don’t be surprised if you’re out of your seat and moving by the end. Brandon Lake brings down the house with his heartfelt worship leading and powerful, authoritative voice.
The Blessing. Artist: Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes. CCLI #7147007.
I was curious whether this song was a direct quote of scripture: “May His favor be upon you / And a thousand generations / And your family and your children / And their children. Well, TheBereanTest.com points out that this section of the song is based on a few verses: Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 7:9, and Psalm 103:17-18. The Deuteronomy reference says “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments (NASB95). So not an exact quote but this song certainly captures the essence of these passages.
Promises. Artist: Maverick City Music feat. Joe L Barnes and Naomi Raine. CCLI #7149439.
Barnes and Raine are not just singers but true worship leaders. From the first note, they embark on a ten-minute journey that will leave you breathless. Listen to it all the way through. You won’t be the same.
Holy Water. Artist: We The Kingdom. CCLI #7136448. Album: Live At The Wheelhouse.
This is a band that you’ll want to watch in 2021. Holy Water is not just a catchy tune, it’s a powerful worship tune that will work in youth groups or adult services. It walks the line between fast and slow, and could be placed in a variety of spots within the worship set. Let me know what you think of this song and band in the comments at the bottom of this post.
Champion. Artist: Elevation feat. Dante Bowe. CCLI #7130941.
We all hope in different things but only one Person is worthy of all our hope: our Champion — the one who will never let us down.
Way Maker. Artist: Sinach. CCLI #7115744.
This is one of those songs that unexpectedly takes the world by storm. Nearly every worship band and major Christian artist has covered it by now, and it will continue its rise in 2021. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a farming town in Iowa or urban Los Angeles, or London, England or Lagos, Nigeria. Your church will worship like never before when you play it.
Christ Be Magnified. Artist: Cody Carnes. CCLI #7139866.
I almost left this one off the list because I felt it was cliche. However, there’s a place for songs that are familiar-sounding and easy to learn. Your church needs a mix of songs that push the limits of creativity and ones that are more accessible. This falls into the “accessible” category. If you do it at your church, let me know if the congregation picks it up quickly.
Egypt. Artist: Cory Asbury. CCLI #7133348.
Speaking of songs that push the limits of creativity, I had to check this song out just because of the title “Egypt.” Cory Asbury is one of the most dynamic songwriters/worship leaders today, and this song is more proof of that. It compares the salvation of the sinner with Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt. I love a good metaphor. While a little on the edgy side, this song could work well in many churches.
Never Lost. Artist: Elevation feat. Israel Houghton. CCLI #7134788.
Israel Houghton and Elevation worship team up to bring you a soulful, moving song that will encourage your church.
Surrounded (Fight My Battles). Artist: Elyssa Smith. CCLI #7098758 Album: Moments
I think what I love about this song the most is that it was written and performed by a seemingly plain and ordinary worship leader. She doesn’t jump around, wear the latest sneakers, or seem to care much what she looks like at all. But what she does care about is worshiping the living God in a powerful way. If you think you can never be a worship leader because you’re not a charismatic band leader, take some notes from Elyssa Smith.
Be Strong. Artist: Jon Egan. CCLI #6223670. Album: Unveil
I would suggest listening to the whole album “Unveil” because it has a number of gems like this one. Jon Egan doesn’t just deliver a great worship album, but a spirit-filled worship service. Turn it on at home and you’ll feel like you’re in the room with him worshiping.
Be Thou My Vision. Artist: Audrey Assad. CCLI #7056332. Album: Inheritance
Audrey Assad’s version of Be Thou My Vision has become my favorite rendition of this song ever. I encourage you to check out her entire album of hymns.
Good Grace. Artist: Hillsong. CCLI #7122177. Album: People
This is a rare stripped-down song by worship artists known for their world-class production. But don’t let the acoustic feel of the song fool you. This song gets loud and powerful. It would be a great song to end a worship time. Start low and build it to get everyone excited for the rest of service.
Hallelujah For The Cross. Artist: Chris McClarney. CCLI #7107551. Album: Breakthrough
From the writer of one of my personal favorites “God of Miracles” comes another powerful medium-tempo worship song. Chris McClarney delivers another vehicle for true worship. It could serve as a great Good Friday / Easter song in 2021. Enjoy!
Speak The Name. Artist: Koryn Hawthorne. CCLI #7096041. Album: Unstoppable
This isn’t exactly new, but it’s worth mentioning here because it is such a powerful song. And this Dove Awards performance will inspire you to introduce the song at your church.
Run To The Father. Artist: Cody Carnes CCLI #7133494. Album: Way Maker
I just love the lyrics of this song “My heart needs a surgeon / My soul needs a friend / So I run to the Father again and again”. More worship songwriters need to push the envelope on what lyrics “should” be in a worship song. Forget “Great are you Lord” and “We honor you.” While those are great lyrics, they are overused. Today’s worshipers are looking for worship that is in spirit and in truth — as evidenced by unconventional lyrics that display our heart towards God and God’s toward us. Enjoy this fantastic example of a new breed of worship song.
Well, this is a short list of the best slow worship songs that churches are singing currently.
But these are just my favorites. I’d love to hear what which songs have worked in your church or youth group. Leave your comments below and if I like your suggestions I’ll add them to this list.
Featured image by Stefanus Martanto Setyo Husodo