Cool guitar worship songs for teens

Hey all.

I lead worship on retreats for 6th graders to teens at my church. It is just me and my guitar. I have a decent, but tired repetoir of songs. Do any of you have suggestions for fun songs that they may like, or songs that you have heard modified for praise music?

I am thinking of adding the chorus from Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” to as song, as well as doing "How Sweet it is to be Loved by You by James Taylor,

Any ideas are appreciated!

You might check with your local religious radio staton for some ideas. They have some pretty good music with a background you’re looking for.

Good luck, sounds like you’re doing a good job with the kids.

'Why Should the Devil have All the Good Music?" is a start.

Vivaldi, who was a priest, made sacred songs for the guitar.

*Pharaoh Pharaoh * (to the tune of Louie Louie)
Trading my Sorrows, Your Everlasting Love, Shout to the Lord are all good too.
In your Eyes is covered by a Christain Artist. I hear it on AIR-1
I would recomend finding Air 1on your radio and listening to their Contemporary Christian Music.

I don’t know how this would go over at your Church, but Cat Stevens has written some beautiful inspirational ballads, if that’s what you’re looking for. Morning has Broken, Moonshadow, etc.

You could also learn some of the spirituals that have been used in rock music, like “The Unclouded Day” by Don Henley, or “People Get Ready” by Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck. Both great versions.

For more secular stuff, John Prine has a lot of nice guitar-picking campfire songs. Some with absolutely innocent lyrics suitable for a church retreat.

Then there’s, “In the Garden of Eden”, by I-ron Butterfly. Those guys could rock.

[capacitor** beat me in suggesting this one but still allowed me to pass on the name of the artist, Larry Norman, who is widely credited as the original Christian rocker. Larry is a very talented and inspirational artist whose body of work spans the distance from the Jerry Lee Lewis flavored rockabilly of “Why Should the Devil” to early nineties techno style remixes of several of his older songs (Remixing this Planet). A few other songs of his that might interest you:

The Rock that Doesn’t Roll
One Way
Jesus Freak (I believe DC Talk did a cover)
Twelve Good Men

And the Live at the Vineyard album, though hard to find is largely just him and one guitar so that might appeal to you.

I’m too tired to think of specific title right now, but you might want to check out music by Bob Stromberg and Jars of Clay – both are heavily guitar-based.

Michael W. Smith’s <i>Worship</i> album is great, but I think he’s more piano-based. Audio Adrenaline and DC Talk might be more ambitious (and faster-paced)…

Oh, I think Steven Curtis Chapman relies mostly on guitar, too. I hope this helps. :slight_smile:

On a side note, there’s a chart here – – that tries to list secular bands and their Christian equivalents. [Disclaimer: I’ve heard the maintainer of that site speak twice, but I am in no way affiliated with him or any organzation he may be affiliated with. He’s a bit extreme for my tastes, but he suits many others just fine.]

newcrasher, try this site:

There are some annoying popups, but it looks to contain a ton of tabs for praise music. There is even a section for “praise themed” music - stuff that wasn’t necessarily written to be christian, but works.

Morning Has Broken is included in the Baptist Hymnal!

Moving this from IMHO to Cafe Society.

Turn the kids on to some Dylan. Born Again Dylan.

Anything off Slow Train Coming.


Friend of the Devil

Drawing on my memories of parochial school in the seventies. We too used Cat Stevens’ Morning Has Broken at mass.

Pretty much the whole Godspell song book is good for this, especially Day by Day and All Good Gifts.
Stevie Wonder, You Are the Sunshine of My Life.
James Taylor, You’ve Got a Friend.
England Dan and John Ford Coley, Love Is the Answer.
George Harrison, Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).
The Shaker hymn Simple Gifts (which Aaron Copland used in Appalachian Spring).

If you can find some of the songbooks from the 60s-70s-80s Catholic folk mass movement, there are some great songs in there that aren’t really Catholic-specific.

Praise and Worship was good. Another good one (with several volumes) was Glory and Praise, which appears to be not only out of print, but hard to find online. I have a piano accompaniment version of Volume 2 somewhere back at my mother’s house, but they have a guitar version as well.