I am blessed to have a number of friends in worship ministry, and one recurring question we discuss from time to time is, “What good fast songs are you using in your church service?”
I decided to compile a list of 20 up-tempo, up-beat worship and praise songs. They are in no particular order – they’re all fantastic to me and can work in your corporate setting. Some are newer than others, but I hope you can sift through and find several that will work for your worship planning experience.
Let’s get started!
1. In Your Light (Graham Moore / Jeremy Riddle)
An energetic anthem with a catchy melody.. I can see it being incredibly versatile – whether full band or simple acoustic, this song will really shine. The theme here is the wonderful and noticeable difference Christ makes in our lives.
2. Let It Be Known (Nick Herbert / Tim Hughes / Tom Smith)
This fast song is passionately missional; it’s all about lifting our God up so that the world may take notice and be drawn to Him. Although the “rap bit” gives some character to the song and is really fun, it can be easily omitted if that’s not your church’s style.
3. Praise Him (Matt Crocker / Nathan Finochio)
An upbeat call to worship, absolutely perfect for your service’s opening song. Don’t believe me? Try it, and see if you don’t get a few toe taps, bobbing heads, and clapping along. ;)
4. Everywhere That I Go (Cindy Cruse Ratcliff / Israel Houghton)
I remember doing this gospel-flavored song with the talented Rachel Adams and a makeshift band during a missions trip a few years ago, and while the song itself is fabulous, I love it so much because of the memories! But truth be told, there is something powerful about singing the promises of God over your church!
5. You Never Cease to Amaze Me (Aaron Keyes)
The first time I heard this song, it reminded me of a song that would be played during the chase scene in a Scooby-Doo episode! But jokes aside, this song is another outstanding number to open your service with. What’s so powerful about the writing of Aaron Keyes is that he intentionally packs each stanza with Scripture, and thus emerges an incredibly Christ-centric anthem.
6. Promises (Jared Anderson)
There is something unmistakably powerful about this song! The melody is just downright fun to sing. I’m such a grammar geek, and the tag “All of Your promises won’t let go of me” really bothered me at first, but I have seen congregation after congregation forget grammar rules and dive into praising the Lord with this one. I don’t know, it just works. :)
7. Word of God (Andy Rozier / Brenton Brown)
“Word of God,” in my opinion, would be a great song to lead in to intimate worship, maybe following a bigger number. What I love so much about this one is that it declares the power of Scripture in our lives.. not many songs carry this important message! It also describes Jesus Himself as the very Word of God, which is another important topic not often sung about.
8. Living in Me (Cindy Cruse Ratcliff / Joel Camey / Jonathan Camey)
Here is great, well-rounded upbeat song that proclaims the life, death, and resurrection of Christ – and sung by a female lead (Cindy Ratcliff), which is rare for fast worship songs these days. Great for Easter, or well, anytime of year.
9. Always Been About You (Fellowship Church)
This is a song I have discussed previously as one of the best 2013 songs so far! Truly a dance-worthy number with a solid choir part (I LOVE that choirs are making a comeback!). Fun, fun, fun, with a great reminder that it’s always simply been about Christ.
This is a classic. Just old enough to be a fun “throw-back” song, and this is also one that works cross-denominationally. Some churches shy away from Houghton’s work because it usually demands advanced musical skill, but this one is relatively simple and downright fun.
11. God is Here (Darlene Zschech / Israel Houghton / Phil Wickham)
This song is one we do often at Transit, and every time we do it, our church just lifts their voices a little louder and sings a little more passionately. Beautiful song (incredible album if you haven’t listened to it yet), and will perfectly set the tone for the rest of your service. “Jesus be revealed!”
12. Undone (Daniel Bashta)
I can’t help it – I always SMILE when I play and sing this song! To be undone in Jesus’ presence, what a wonderful thing. The song has a large vocal range for those worship leaders who are excited by a challenge, but it can be easily stripped down to a simple octave.
13. Be Lifted High (Jane Williams / Jess Cates / Mack Brock / Wade Joye)
This is a rich gem of a song. It explores the theme of total surrender, which is unusual for most faster songs (which usually carry a very simple message). The content of the song will 100% challenge your church, but I have found that our church rose to that challenge. The result is powerful! “Lay down my rights / Lay down my life / I will abandon all of my pride.”
14. Open Up the Heavens (Andi Rozier / James McDonald / Jason Ingram / Meredith Andrews / Stuart Garrard)
Now this one is a powerful service-opener that gives voice to the cry of many churches. It meaningfully describes an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and a heart of expectancy. This is one of those rare songs that can easily transition into the “slower” part of your worship set – every worship leader’s dream! Do yourself and your church a favor and add this one to your repertoire.
15. Alive in Us (Jason Ingram / Reuben Morgan)
Easily singable and easily playable, “Alive in Us” recalls Christ’s victory over death and authority over the enemy. This is another that just works in corporate settings. It could also be the perfect addition to an Easter worship set.
16. Lift the Name (Jared Anderson)
This one is a fantastic call to worship! There are a few fast chord changes and one or two irregular rhythm patterns, but all in all not too tough. Your church will have as much fun worshiping along with this song as Jesus will probably enjoy all the dance moves they are inventing!
17. Closer (Braden Lang / Jason Ingram / Joel Davies / Reuben Morgan)
Another great addition to fast song arsenals everywhere, a la Hillsong. Simple chords and a song with a very limited vocal range, so it’s perfect in most any key.
18. My Heart Must Sing (Jared Cole Porter)
“My Heart Must Sing” is one of those rare fast songs that deals with suffering and doubt. It brings so much God-perspective as it instructs us to worship our sovereign God in seasons of joy and seasons of loss. Remember when selecting songs for your set, that the songs our church sings should very well be used as a teaching tool – and this is a great lesson for us all.
19. Great God (Israel Houghton / Ricardo Sanchez)
This Gospel-flavored song is so noteworthy, not only because it is awesome in its own right, but because it is very evangelistic. The bridge belts out, “We won’t stop ’til the whole world knows!” Wow! Great for use at a missions-oriented service or conference.
20. How Could You Save (Chris Crow / Jaron Nix)
Originally by the group VMusic, who is now renamed Warr Acres, the song “How Could You Save” is just a whole lot of fun! A couple non-chromatic chords make the song a little tricky, but it is a perfect opening number for your service.