Worship Music - 'the best' - purely subjective!


@Firemonkey - Your husband’s favorite - Blues Counsel w/Phil Keaggy - ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL! I love it. Bunch of old farts who can make their guitars really sing! I love Phil Keaggy’s work - his guitar instrumental music albums are priceless!
Thank you for sharing this!


Well this is quite a hard topic to respond to, but I feel I should.

I had been involved with worship for most of my IC life, which ended two and a half years ago. For most of that time I found worship music to be tedious and banal, and not something I would ever listen to. When asked to play a new song I would look at the music and think about how it worked for me. I actively avoided listening to it, as hearing it made it harder to come up with a good arrangement.

I did a lot of small group worship, where we frequently just made up really simple songs or worshipped in the Spirit.

Now if I want to worship, either I’ll go for a walk, or pick up a guitar and just play whatever feels right.

I do acknowledge that there are some really skilled worship musicians out there, however there is a lot of chaff too.

I do understand that worship is different to entertainment.

Often on Sunday mornings my wife and I will sit in bed, read and listen to Jazz Record Requests - BBC Radio 3 from the previous day.

Please don’t take this as a criticism of you or your music, because - thankfully - our Heavenly Father has made us all different and we all are part of His kingdom. I just felt I should tell it like it is for me. If listening to worship works for you and is an important part of your life then bless you in that. It just isn’t for me.

One of the the things IC often majors on Is pretence and I’m not prepared to do that here.

Apologies in advance if this post has been difficult for you.


Excellent response @TimFrost - Yes indeed, different things for each of us. No “difficulty” at all. When our likes “harmonize” (music pun) that is great. We can respect each other. My wife and I have different tastes in music. I don’t care for a lot of the newer “worship” music, myself.
I, too, have been in some pretty “tedious and banal” so-called ‘worship’ settings myself - very sad, when you can’t wait to get out of there. And some of it is either shared or received more as entertainment, as you say! Sometimes the music or the musicians can really get in the way.

The Lord does a living thing, that is new and fresh and touching and really affects you. Worship is a spiritual activity, coming from deep within us.

I am curious enough to ask you this - Are you familiar with all of the songs on my ‘list’ above?
There are 3 of the songs right in the middle of this list that really stand out FOR ME as so special - I WILL WORSHIP YOU, WE ALL BOW DOWN, and SONG OF MARY - have you heard these? I would be, again, curious. Sometimes the very spirit in which songs are presented can be the problem. Sometimes it is the spirit of the musician, I am sure (personal experience!).

Thanks for sharing!


I think that a lot of Christian music has gone the way of the Institutional Church. Just as the IC is limiting to the gifts and callings of most of the saints the music industry likewise has limited the freedom to express true worship in the interest of profits. Check out this video if you haven’t already seen it.


Yes, indeed - we are ALWAYS battling the ways of the world, aren’t we?
I will check it out. Thanks!

I checked it out. Very good! So funny, the Star Trek captain with his head in his hands at 11:00! He has a very nice attitude and demeanor in this video.

Certain musicians/artists are in seemingly higher levels. Keith Green (not mentioned that I heard), Rich Mullens, Twila Paris (also not mentioned), Michele Pillar - so many.

This is partly why I submitted this topic. I want to know of others who share their talents and gifts in this beautiful realm of music.


@art4dsoul.rob - I didn’t realize it would be! Worms can be okay, too!

That’s okay - no fear. I agree with you as well. True “WORSHIP” is a very private thing, and trying to make it a corporate effort that fits everyone and feels good to everyone and satisfies everyone - yes “forced or contrived” are apt descriptions. “Trying to make it more spiritual…” I have seen and even attempted to do that sometimes - not good!

It can be like trying to find a TV show or movie that will work for a whole family of mom/dad/and five kids from 5 to 20 years old!!! Good luck with that. I have watched quite a few ‘kid’s shows’ but I won’t force my kids to watch the “Dirty Harry” series with me! Ha Ha.

Maybe part of our seeing what God can do will be to explore “new wine” and new expressions of fellowship that just don’t follow old standards, or what we think is a return to 1st century Christianity - What does God want here, now, for us?

Keith Green is another one! What a heart for worship, but some of his music is dated, and even can grate on me a little bit - but some songs when he gets right into the face of God and mindless of the crowd - JUST WOW! And Petra could possibly be my all-time favorite, if I had to pick one. Eden’s Bridge - love them!



Those are NOT all Christian songs/music - it ranges from 400-year-old classical stuff to pop to classic rock to Andy Williams to 60s to 80s to some current. No rap. Very little country. No punk. Very little heavy metal. But still a good selection! Keeps me going at work, while driving, etc.


I love this conversation. Every opinion is valid. Experiences are great to read, thank you all for sharing. If I may share an example of the the POWER of GOD in music. Many communities have deep ethnic origins that continue to this day. I had occasion to attend a dedication of a new foot bridge in such a community with Russian Christian roots, who fled persecution years ago. They had a a very large community hall that I think doubled as a church. I guessing the capacity at over 500, which was packed to overflowing. After the speaches and ceremonies everyone stood and started to sing in their native tongue. Appreciate 500 voices strong, and not one wall flower anoth them. Men, women and children. With voices cranked to 10.nYou could feel the volume physically. I felt compelled to parrot the words at a way lesser volume. It was so moving it brought me to tears. Afterwards I asked the person standing next to me what the name of that song was. He simply said, “The Lords Prayer”.


The guy who made this video references a Spotify playlist in the comments section below the vidoe. Check it out.


Just found this guy on Youtube. Definetly not mainstream but powerful in is gift!


Oh I love Josh Garrels! So good. Check out “At The Table”, and “Born Again” if you haven’t yet.


I worked out why eternity is going to be so long - so we have time to sing all the worship songs that have been written…


That would be another thumbs up @TimFrost :+1:


I was raised on Twila Paris’ music. My parents played at least two songs of hers during their wedding. “We Shall Assemble” and “How Beautiful” both move me in very different ways. Michael W. Smith was another favorite of mine growing up with “Secret Ambition” and “Kentucky Rose” topping the charts for me. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I discovered Keith Green, Larry Norman, Petra, Whiteheart, The Rez Band, etc. which introduced a different style of “worship” music.

I will add, not as condemnation of this thread but just as a general observation from my personal experience, that while I have a sentimental attachment to “Christian Music”, the concept that worship music is a talent reserved for the musically gifted elite smacks of the Institutional Church.

For example, my baby brother is a musical prodigy; he can play guitar, piano, drums, banjo, and cajón. He’s also a talented lyricist. However, I’m an English teacher and can write prose and poetry on demand.

Both of us ought to be free to share our particular edification with the Body (1 Corinthians 14:26). However, within the I.C. only my baby brother is invited on stage to perform “worship” music.

I’m not offended by this. I count my brother as more important than myself (Phillipian 2:3). Yet, I become enraged in my spirit to see the I.C. whoring out the Spirit-given talents of my brothers and sisters for its own ill-gotten gain (Proverbs 1:19).

The more organic our music is the higher our sense of shared ownership in our worship. It’s raw and real when those who don’t have certain skills, branch out into developing them; for we see them at their most vulnerable and that is Church, that is worship.


What are you really trying to say? :wink:
I hear you. I agree.

See @Firemonkey 's post above - The Problem with Christian Music -

The video is very good.


I totally hear you Andrew! There are so many gifts that God gives but it seems only certain gifts are preferred in the IC. One of my favourite songs is by Jars of Clay Art In Me

Enjoy :blush:


I feel as if the maker of the video had bugged my spirit and had been listening in on my thoughts over the course of the last several years. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one.


This song has become the anthem for my unchurching journey and, for me, it reflects our journey together. The lyrics describe the pain of leaving our old ways in order to enter the rest that is offered in Christ.

Give it a listen and be edified!


I have trouble with the phrase “worship music”, as it is over emphasized in Christian circles and equated to what worship exclusively is. But it seems to be a standard category of music.

The other issue is that I can worship to many songs that are not included in the “worship music” category.

I’ve given up on the contemporary Christian music scene as being mostly fluffy songs with little depth. And I’ve given up on the idea of finding Christian music that is really good musically. So much of it just sounds so cheesy to me.

All that being said, the artists I listen to from the Christian genre are Josh Garrells, Josh White, Godfrey Birtill, Rend Collective, occasionally Julie True to relax.

What I’ve come to mostly prefer are songs that our fellowship has created to sing together, or songs that were passed down to us.

Here’s a favorite by Godfrey Birtill. Note that the song is the opposite of legalistic, perfection based religion.

Here’s a pop song that reminds me of Jesus. Spending time with Him makes me feel young and refreshed.

Or this one:

If you’re still reading, here’s a song I changed the words to:


I did a little “talk” on Words that I try not to use wrongly anymore. Church being the most obvious. But “Worship” being right up there #2. So many have equated “Worship” to the song-service part of IC. Although most everyone would say, we know it doesn’t mean that, I think when you continue to use biblical terms incorrectly it does change your thinking and heart over time. I want to worship every day, all day (and that does not mean I sing all the time!) :smile: