Okay to be fair, this is not very new music.  Some of it has been around for more than a decade but I’m guessing not a lot of people have heard of it.  This came courtesy of Josh, our worship minister.  The ZOE Group puts together CDs, sheet music and (more recently) mp3 downloads of acapella arrangements of worship music.  When we were starting out with our Sunday night worship service we used a tonne of their arrangements.  They’re not exactly something I’d listen to for entertainment but they are a fantastic resource to add new songs to your worship service.  New new songs.  Written since the last edition of Songs of Faith and Praise was issued, anyway.

Their mp3 store is here.  I’ve added a few links to specific songs below that we use in our worship that have particular meaning to me.  Most of them have a ‘play a clip’ option which may or may not work in your browser.

One of the things I like about a lot of newer songs is that they’re more “vertical” than a lot of the old.  Worship songs are now really about worship to God rather than singing to people around us.  I’m not opposed to encouraging others through song but I can do that more easily with words.  Singing is one of my favourite ways of worshipping.

We’ve sung a lot from the Fearless album (though not necessarily ZOE arrangements).  Mighty To Save, At The Cross and Hosanna are some of the best from that CD.  Looking back into their older catalogue are songs like You Never Let Go (which nearly makes me cry almost every time we sing it) and How Can I Keep from Singing (ditto).  

The recorded stuff is a good learning resource but is very technically accurate.  It doesn’t have a lot of feel to it, which is great if you’re just trying to learn a song.  When we sing them, the parts are more or less the same but there is a lot more emotion to the words.  It is so good to sing and worship and mean it.  Some of the ones that are really fun to sing and easy to get into are At The Name of Jesus, All Who Are Thirstyand This is How We Overcome (we often use this as the last song of the service.  It gets people moving).

Magnificat is a very beautiful 4-part song that’s based on Mary’s Song.  We sang it at last year’s Christmas service.  I’d say give a listen to a bunch of the snippets and see if there is anything that inspires you.  I’m more than happy to recommend songs if you have specific questions.

take no prisoners