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.
There’s 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.
Grace Greater. Artist: Travis Cottrell
Here’s a brand new one released in May 2022 that is essentially a modern hymn.
Thank You Jesus For The Blood. Artist: Charity Gayle
This song sums up the whole point of faith and life. It’s a powerful telling of Jesus’ sacrifice and gift.
Jireh. Artist: Elevation & Maverick City. CCLI #7164826
I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it. The song is simple enough for congregations to learn, but it’s not so simple that it’s uncreative, like many worship songs today. This will bless your church and you personally as well.
Honey in the Rock. Artist: Brooke Ligertwood.
A slow but soulful new song by Hillsong’s Brooke Ligertwood (What a Beautiful Name, Who You Say I Am). This could be a good medium-tempo song to introduce in your church.
Old Church Basement. Artist: Elevation & Maverick City. CCLI #7171577
I was really excited about this song but V2 is based on such a specific personal story that it may not work in a congregational setting. Still, it’s one to listen to and use for personal worship times. Oh yeah, the personal story is this (verse 2) We got together every Wednesday night / About 30 teenagers / My friend Josh bought a cheap guitar and barely knew how to play it. I love the creativity, and it seriously breaks the mold of the standard cliche worship song. In fact, it almost perfectly describes how I started: in a church basement with about 30 teenagers. Love it. But not everyone had this experience (especially those in the congregation singing) and even fewer had a friend Josh who bought a cheap guitar. Anyway, at its core, it’s a fantastic song for many purposes but perhaps not to lead in a congregational setting.
Miracle Power. Artist: We The Kingdom
Just released in 2022, you’ll probably be hearing this one a lot more soon.
Talking to Jesus. Artist: Elevation & Maverick City. CCLI #7171559
Ok ok, I know, I’m mentioning a lot of Elevation/Maverick songs in a row. The reason is that they are experimenting and breaking the mold of what a worship song is. Elevation/Maverick City are writing from very personal experience. Sometimes the lyrics are so personal that they don’t make sense for corporate worship. Still, I like what they are trying to do: bring a new song to the Lord. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you hear this one.
Too Good to Not Believe. Artist: Cody Carnes. CCLI #7174874
Cody Carnes is another artist who is pushing the boundaries of worship music. When you hear the beginning of this song, you’ll assume it’s just another solid worship tune. But then you get the bridge. And then Carnes makes you stop and analyze how real your own faith is. Here’s what he says: I’ve seen cancer disappear / I’ve seen broken bodies healed / Don’t you tell me He can’t do it. Ok this is where I have to stop and say, before I sing this, is this true for me? Well, so far so good. I have seen cancer disappear (my mom) and broken bodies healed (many examples). But wait, there’s more. I’ve seen real life resurrection / I’ve seen mental health restored. Carnes just raised the stakes. Exactly how real is my faith? I personally haven’t seen a resurrection. So I might skip this line if I sang it in front of a congregation. I believe I have seen mental health restored, so all good there. But then Carnes follows with I’ve seen families reunited / I’ve seen prodigals return / I’ve seen troubled souls delivered / I’ve seen addicts finally freed. Yep, I’ve personally witnessed all of these. This song is unique, creative, and everything that makes a great worship song. But you have to think about whether you would use it for corporate worship. Even if you have seen all the things mentioned, many worshipers in your church have not. By using it as a worship song, you are suggesting people sing something that may not be true for them. So while I love the song for personal worship and as a creative work, I’m not sure that I would use it in a congregational setting. But feel free to use it if you feel led to do so. If nothing else, it will get those in the congregation to think about how their faith is or isn’t being made real for the lives around them.
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.
I’m Listening. Artist: Chris McClarney. CCLI #7107534
I’m a big fan of Chris McClarney for his talent for putting together songs that are easy for congregations to learn, yet still fun for worship leaders. I’ve enjoyed leading this song at my church with my daughter, since it’s a fantastic male/female duet with lead parts and harmonies for both. A great one for male/female co-leaders.
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 2022. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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