As a worship leader, just like any job, it is hard to sift through all the information out there. This is a guide on worship resources, including worship blogs, fantastic articles, top worship songs, magazines, worship projection, finding new worship songs, and how to efficiently find chords for your favorite worship songs.
Worship Blogs Worth Subscribing To (And Other Helpful Readings)
This is by no means an exhaustive list of worship blogs and I am still looking to find those who are writing insightful thoughts as to how to be a worship leader in an ever-changing culture.
Bob Kauflin/Worship Matters – This is the best worship resource on the net that I have found. Bob is also the author of the book Worship Matters, which is the best worship leader book I’ve ever read. I advocate this Sovereign Grace Ministries leader to all of my worship leader friends.
Worship Together Blog – Worship Together is one of the main hubs for worship leaders online. Video tutorials, free sheet music for top worship songs, solid worship articles, and sheet music for purchase.
Ross Parsley’s Blog – Ross Parsley is the leader of New Life Church, the mega-church in Colorado Springs that had the unfortunate incident with Ted Haggard. Ross writes good thoughts on worship and as many of my friends who know him tell me he has a very humble heart despite his huge reach on American Christianity. I’m a fan of Ross’. He also started an entire school for training young worshipers and has helped develop Jared Anderson (Amazed, Rescue) and Glenn Packiam (I am Free).
Glenn Packiam’s Blog – As I said, Glenn is another talent to come out of New Life’s congregation. He writes some good practical advice and good insights if you can sift past all of his ads for his books.
Worship Resources Int’l – A whole host of great information and advice on worship and effective leading on a global scale.
Worship.com – Blog on worship and other theological insights. Some great articles, but you have to dig since they post a lot of other things on God too.
All About Worship – Blog format on Worship – lots of videos, giveaways, and helpful thoughts on worship.
Biblical Worship – A focused blog on asking practical questions on worship that points us to the cross. Huge focus on the history of where worship has come from. Who knew Southern Baptists could produce some great content? 😉
Reformed Worship – Reformed and old-school, but a few good nuggets of information on worship.
David Crowder – You should read everything from Crowder because he is the best worship leader alive (whatever that means). Ha! He is my favorite writer and thinker when it comes to worship and how his album actually sounds, although his blog is more goofy than helpful for worship. You can see his books here which I’ve skimmed and found very insightful.
John Piper – John Piper, one of the most popular Christian teachers on the planet, writes daily on all sorts of topics. Here is a link to all of his sermons and articles on worship. Really solid stuff.
CCLI – The necessary evil in the industry (I suppose). They have expanded beyond just being a copyright and data collection group to having some resources for worship leaders, including videos of how/why top worship songs were written.
Worship Links – TONS of links. Lots of terrible ones, but a lot of helpful links to articles, Christian publications, publishers, dance, denominations, arts, and other worship resources.
LifeWay – Christian publishers who also have a worship blog that is decent. Mission statement: “helping put ‘the exaltation of God’ into the mouths of God’s people and sharing the thoughts of others as they write about worship.”
Calvin Institute of Christian Worship – A HUGE plethora of resources and articles to grow and learn from on Christian Worshipers (tools for preparing to worship, reflections on what we do as worshipers, and insight on how worship looks from the pew), Publications (practical resources for congregational leaders and scholarly works on the history, theology, and practice of worship worldwide), Leadership (materials for worship planning, pastoral and lay leadership, teaching worship in schools and seminaries, and nourishing congregational life), Arts (enhancing and disciplining creativity in liturgical expression, including dance and drama, language arts, music, technology and media arts, and visual arts), Worshiping Communities (snapshots, studies, and stories of worship renewal in congregations, campuses, and communities throughout North America and around the world), and Interdisciplinary Learning (essays and documents on how worship interacts with biblical and theological studies, philosophy and the humanities, and the social sciences to shape transformative Christian living).
Resurgence – I’m no advocate for Mark Driscoll, but this is a concise and accurate description of the Scriptural requirements of a Worship Pastor at his site that I found helpful.
Engage Worship – Worship resources geared towards a younger audience. Like.
Experiencing God – Slightly old-school, but has some good articles and advice on worship leading and tech information. I appreciated their dedication to Women in Worship. Cool to see a whole section dedicated to advice from women.
Reformed Worship – “Our site features more than 1,700 articles for planning and leading worship – including complete service plans, dramas, litanies, seasonal resources, and more. Browse by issue, subject, season, or search by keyword.” It’s a decent resource.
Israel Hougton – Blog from a top worship leader (not all that helpful though IMHO).
Don Moen – Another blog from a top worship leader that is more helpful.
Gateway Worship – Top Worship group definitely worth following, but no blog (that I’m aware of).
Paul Baloche/Lead Worship – Some resources, but not all that helpful from Baloche.
Building Worship – Not much here other than free worship backgrounds and a video countdown to start the service.
Resound Worship – “RESOUNDworship.org is an exciting free resource for churches worldwide. Our aim is to provide local churches with fresh worship songs containing strong, Biblical lyrics supported by singable, contemporary music.” Decent.
[If you have more that are helpful, please let me know in the comments below.]
Finding Chords for Worship
The beauty of the internet is that it has made a lot of things cheaper and in many cases free. If you are looking for sheet music, your best option is to probably go through Praise Charts or Worship Together. However, many people do not need the 4 part harmony or even the melody line. They just need chords and .mp3’s. The simplest way to find these chords is to “google it”. Since many worship leaders are not internet-savvy or search-savvy, simply type in exactly what you are looking for. A good search would be “Chris Tomlin Here I am To Worship Chords”. You should get a good list pretty quickly and the top sites that show up are easy to navigate. Most are set up to allow many different users to upload what they have found (often in many different keys) and are rated by users as to the accuracy of the chords/tab. Some of the better sites with worship chords are: Christian Guitar, 911tabs, or my personal favorite is Ultimate Guitar. There are a ton of others, but the best way is to just “google it”. [I am uncertain as to the legalitese of this advice and want to promote free things, but not illegal things…].
A couple of the “cutting edge” worship leaders (boy do I hate that language) give their tabs out for free. Crowder does it with some of his more popular songs and so does Charlie Hall. Huge fan of that.
Instructional videos can be found at CCLI TV or a bunch are on youtube. Google it. YouTube it. More and more artists are putting up how-to videos that is really helpful for worship leaders (especially if you are a guitar player).
Finding Music – Entire Arrangements
If you are looking for more than just guitar chords and need any sort of orchestration, Praise Charts is the place to go. It’s fairly inexpensive for the value you get and is easy to use. You can also use Worship Together to find chords. Barn Charts is another resource similar to Praise Charts, but smaller. It does include jazz and dixieland arrangements.
Top Worship Songs in Rotation
Praise Charts Top 100 – Current list of top worship songs.
CCLI Top Songs – Top songs according to CCLI, but also seems to be about 5 years behind.
Finding Up-and-Coming Worship Music
Worship Leader – Probably the best worship magazine.
Relevant – Not a worship magazine, but very good insight into music that twenty-something Christians find worth listening to. I love it. Paste is also great for music directing Christians who are not into typical Christian music (not a Christian publication).
Projection Software for Worship
There are tons, but I will only list the most popular and one’s that seem to have gotten the best reviews.
Easeslides – Free!
ProPresenter – For Mac’s.
For a more comprehensive list on projection (as well as pricing comparison), check out this article from ChurchTechMatters.
Worship Planning Software
Although I have never used the software, there seems to be software to help quickly and efficiently organize your worship (however, it comes with a $20 monthly charge). Either way, check out 1CN Worship or watch their video tutorial if this is a need for your ministry. LifeWayWorship also delivers a similar worship planning software that seems to be more up to date, but a smaller catalog of songs (still in Beta form). Worship Manager is another one with a one time fee. Tomlin and friends have made one too called Frequency Worship, but it seems like a ploy to get money (I hate things with monthly fees). There are tons of these, but I don’t see this as a necessary investment for a worship leader unless they really struggle in the organizational department.
There are around 70 links from this article that I’ve recommended. If you found this helpful, please leave a shout out below!