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7 Ways To Create a Powerful Worship Set List

For instance, if you know your pastor will speak on faith, you might plan on doing Hillsong United’s “Oceans.” If on Christ’s forgiveness, perhaps you would play “At the Cross (Love Ran Red)” by Chris Tomlin. You get the idea.

Your pastor will love that you are ready with songs that back up his or her message.

Just a note here, however. Don’t feel that every song has to be in lock-step with the theme of the sermon. You have to deal with so many other factors when creating a worship set list—from keys to familiarity to song difficulty—that one or two strong songs around the theme is usually sufficient.

Sample worship set list based on the Theme “Surrendering to God”

“Lay Me Down” – Chris Tomlin
“Forevermore” – Jesus Culture
“Come as You Are” – David Crowder
“I Surrender All” (hymn)
“Glory to God” – Steve Fee


The tough thing about a worship set list is that it’s really five or six songs that are really one song.

What I mean is you have to ease from one song to the next. One song can’t be too different in tempo from the one before or the one after. Sometimes you can get away with big differences if you are creative with your transitions. But going from Hillsong’s “Oceans” to “Shout” by Chris Tomlin usually doesn’t go over too well.

Sample worship set list with smooth tempo changes

“Go” – Hillsong United (Fast)
“Hosanna (Praise Is Rising)” – Paul Baloche (Medium-fast)
“Waiting Here for You” – Martin Smith (Slow)
“How Great Is Our God” – Chris Tomlin (Medium-slow)
“Glory to God” – Steve Fee (Medium-fast)