A Primer On Rising And Falling Worship Songs In The CCLI Top 100 For Spring 2016

Posted on March 28, 2016

For Christian song writers, music publishers and worship leaders, CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International) provides a strong indicator to the kinds of worship songs that churches are singing around the world. Every year, new songs rise into our repertoires, creating an interesting shuffle in the list of top worship songs. If we are looking specifically at the Top 100 Worship Songs, as reported by the latest CCLI bi-annual reporting, there are only 100 spots. That means, if a song comes into the list, a song has to move out of the list. Some songs have incredible staying power, while others lose their momentum. Some songs are for a season, while others have a deep strength to continue ministering to churches with their message and melodies. We have put together a comparison of the recent Top Songs From CCLI, assessing the movement of songs in this list to the previous reporting period.

The Most Notable Worship Songs

Out of all 100 songs, there are two that deserve notable attention. The first, This Is Amazing Grace, rose five spots to finally displace 10,000 Reasons. Bethel Church first introduced us to the song, but Phil Wickham set it to flight with his version on The Ascension. The message of grace and the power of the cross penetrate through the pulsing rhythm, turning this song into a modern day classic. The second, Holy Spirit, took a huge leap from number 32 all the way up to number three (just behind 10,000 Reasons). Originally written and recorded by Bryan and Katie Torwalt under Jesus Culture, Franscesca Battistelli found a way to really set this song apart, moving from quiet adoration to a powerful declaration. Through all our worship, at the end of the day, the Holy Spirit is the person we have with us - and that makes this song worth singing.


The Top Rising Significant Worship Songs

Next to This Is Amazing Grace and Holy Spirit, there is a collection of songs that have shown the greatest upward movement. These are the new songs making an impact in our church today. Ignoring their specific position, here is a list of 23 top worship songs, sorted by how far they rose. At least 13 of these songs were not even on the list last year. When it comes to fresh, new, modern worship songs, these are the best of the best.

  1. Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies) (Chris Tomlin)
  2. Because He Lives (Amen) (Matt Maher)
  3. Great I Am (New Life Worship)
  4. Jesus Paid It All (Kristian Stanfill, Passion)
  5. Forever (Kari Jobe)
  6. Come As You Are (David Crowder)
  7. Alive (Hillsong Young & Free)
  8. We Believe (Newsboys)
  9. This I Believe (The Creed) (Hillsong Worship)
  10. At The Cross (Love Ran Red) (Chris Tomlin)
  11. Good Good Father (Chris Tomlin)
  12. Your Love Never Fails (Jesus Culture)
  13. How He Loves (David Crowder)
  14. You Make Me Brave (Amanda Cook, Bethel Music)
  15. Always (Kristian Stanfill, Passion Band)
  16. Your Great Name (Natalie Grant)
  17. Christ Is Risen (Matt Maher)
  18. You Never Let Go (Matt Redman, Passion)
  19. Broken Vessels (Hillsong Worship)
  20. Break Every Chain (Will Reagan, United Pursuit)
  21. Open Up The Heavens (Meredith Andrews)

The Top Stable Worship Songs

Next to the new songs on the block are those top worship songs that clearly have staying power. These are the top worship songs that the world has been singing for years, and they are still standing strong.

  1. 10000 Reasons (Bless The Lord) (Matt Redman, Passion)
  2. Lord I Need You (Matt Maher)
  3. Cornerstone (Hillsong Worship)
  4. How Great Is Our God (Chris Tomlin)
  5. Our God (Chris Tomlin, Passion)
  6. In Christ Alone (Kristian Stanfill, Passion)
  7. Mighty To Save (Hillsong Worship)
  8. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) (Hillsong United)
  9. Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) (Chris Tomlin)
  10. One Thing Remains (Kristian Stanfill, Passion)
  11. Revelation Song (Kari Jobe)
  12. Forever Reign (Hillsong Worship)
  13. Blessed Be Your Name (Matt Redman)
  14. Everlasting God (Lincoln Brewster)
  15. Great Are You Lord (All Sons & Daughters)
  16. Your Grace Is Enough (Chris Tomlin)
  17. Open The Eyes Of My Heart (Paul Baloche)

Stable Worship Songs From The Middle Of The Pack

The next grouping might not be at the top of the list, but they don’t show signs of losing momentum yet. Some of them are classics that have been around for years. Perhaps not sung by the most modern churches anymore, they still deserve honor as a mark of great song writing that continues to speak today in a significant way.

  1. How Great Thou Art (Paul Baloche)
  2. The Stand (Hillsong United)
  3. You Are My King (Amazing Love) (Christy Nockels)
  4. Happy Day (Tim Hughes)
  5. God Is Able (Hillsong Worship)
  6. Holy Is The Lord (Chris Tomlin, Passion)
  7. Shout To The Lord (Hillsong Worship)
  8. Only King Forever (Elevation Worship)
  9. Great Is Thy Faithfulness (Lincoln Brewster)
  10. Lord I Lift Your Name On High (Paul Baloche)
  11. Glory To God Forever (FEE Band)
  12. Lead Me To The Cross (Hillsong United)
  13. Man Of Sorrows (Hillsong Worship)
  14. The Heart of Worship (Matt Redman)

Worship Songs Rising In From The Bottom Of The List

Here’s a list of worship songs that may be lower down, but most of them are brand new to the list. Certainly, they are gaining momentum and worth watching out for.

  1. Lay Me Down (Chris Tomlin)
  2. Before The Throne Of God Above (Shane & Shane)
  3. Victory In Jesus (Travis Cottrell)
  4. Set A Fire (Will Reagan, United Pursuit)
  5. Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me) (Casting Crowns)
  6. I Will Follow (Chris Tomlin)
  7. No Longer Slaves (Bethel Music)
  8. Give Me Faith (Elevation Worship)
  9. It Is Well (Kristene DiMarco, Bethel Music)
  10. Jesus Loves Me (Chris Tomlin)
  11. Ever Be (Bethel Music)
  12. Overcome (Jeremy Camp)
  13. Unstoppable God (Elevation Worship)

Top Worship Songs On The Decline

Most modern worship songs have a season. Who knows exactly why they rise and why they fall, other than that they are making way for the new songs. Here is a small list of top worship songs that have taken the biggest decline.

  1. Here I Am To Worship (Chris Tomlin, Passion)
  2. Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) (Paul Baloche)
  3. Your Name (Paul Baloche)
  4. Hark The Herald (with King Of Heaven) (Paul Baloche)
  5. Joy To The World (Unspeakable Joy) (Chris Tomlin)
  6. Our God Saves (Paul Baloche)
  7. My Lighthouse (Rend Collective Experiment)
  8. Found In You (Vertical Worship)
  9. Come Now Is The Time to Worship (Brian Doerksen)
  10. Beautiful One (Tim Hughes)
  11. Give Thanks (Don Moen)
  12. Christ Is Enough (Hillsong Worship)
  13. Stronger (Hillsong Worship)
  14. I Give You My Heart (Hillsong Worship)
  15. Today Is The Day (Lincoln Brewster)
  16. Here For You (Matt Redman)
  17. Better Is One Day (Re-Recorded) (Matt Redman)
  18. How Deep The Father's Love For Us (Stuart Townend)
  19. Jesus Messiah (Chris Tomlin)
  20. Indescribable (Chris Tomlin, Passion)
  21. Build Your Kingdom Here (Rend Collective Experiment)
  22. Forever (Chris Tomlin)
  23. God Of Wonders (Paul Baloche)
  24. You Are My All In All (Dennis Jernigan)
  25. Hosanna (Hillsong United)
  26. The Wonderful Cross (Chris Tomlin)
  27. Days of Elijah (Robin Mark)
  28. Sing To The King (New Life Worship)

Songs That Got Bumped Off The List

And finally, it is time to pay homage to the older songs that had to give way for all the great new songs. These are the ones that got bumped off the CCLI Top 100 song list.

  1. Offering (Paul Baloche)
  2. The Same Love (Paul Baloche)
  3. Jesus All For Jesus (Robin Mark)
  4. There Is A Redeemer (Keith Green)
  5. You Are Good (Bethel Music)
  6. Once Again (Matt Redman)
  7. Hallelujah (Your Love is Amazing) (Brian Doerksen)
  8. Desert Song (Hillsong Worship)
  9. Hope of the Nations (Brian Doerksen)
  10. Be Unto Your Name (Travis Cottrell)
  11. Refiner's Fire (Brian Doerksen)
  12. He Reigns (Newsboys)
  13. I Exalt Thee (Pete Sanchez)
  14. Majesty (Mark Cole)
  15. Give Us Clean Hands (Charlie Hall)
  16. My Redeemer Lives (Hillsong Worship)
  17. Faithful One (Brian Doerksen)
  18. All Who Are Thirsty (Brenton Brown)
  19. Praise Him (Hillsong Worship)
  20. Agnus Dei (Michael W. Smith)
  21. He Is Faithful (Bryan & Katie Torwalt)
  22. As The Deer (Martin Nystrom)
  23. Lord Reign In Me (Brenton Brown)
  24. He Knows My Name (Tommy Walker)

What Is The Difference Between CCLI, SongSelect and PraiseCharts?

At PraiseCharts, we have great admiration for the services that CCLI and SongSelect provide. Often, we are asked what is the difference between CCLI, SongSelect and PraiseCharts. Here is a brief answer to that question. PraiseCharts is focused on providing downloadable print and audio resources to help your musicians play together with excellence and confidence. For the most part, we are not a publisher that owns the rights to worship songs. We don’t have a vested interest in any one catalog of songs. We work together with all the major publishers, creating a platform that represents as many of their songs as we can. We provide chord charts, lead sheets, orchestrations, and variety of multi tracks.

The bottom line is, PraiseCharts is focussed on providing advanced music resources for musicians. CCLI, apart from SongSelect, is not a resource company. CCLI helps churches obtain copyright permission to perform and reproduce certain resources of certain songs in the context of congregational worship. As a by-product, churches report their song use activity to CCLI, which is what makes their Top 100 list so revealing. SongSelect is a branch of CCLI that provides basic music resources for worship leaders. Many churches use their lead sheets and chord charts as their only resource. Others use the service as a means of song discovery and research.

In genreal, SongSelect has not been as focused on creating arrangements that reflect specific recordings, measure for measure. This is where PraiseCharts is distinct. In SongSelect, you’ll only ever find one version of every song. In PraiseCharts, you’ll find multiple versions of the top songs, because their are multiple recordings from multiple albums. The resources from PraiseCharts give you a foundation to work from with the recording as a starting place, measure for measure. Then, we take the best of the best songs and create music for a wide range of instruments, so that you can lead worship with a small band, small ensemble, or even a full orchestra. Wherever you get your music, let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Category: Song Lists