Top Ten Congregational Songs from 2011

Each year after Christmas I spend some time reflecting on the singing at my church (Christ the King) during the previous year.  Mostly this turns into a journaling session where I thank God for the joy of serving the church in this way and note any special moments in our congregational song that struck me.  I will spend a few hours pouring over my excel file from the previous year and try to list the top 10 or 20 songs we sang and why (maybe a sermon series emphasis, a biblical/theological theme I felt we needed to emphasize, a song that captured the cong’s imagination, a season of spiritual renewal, struggle, etc).

Here is the list from this year.  One of the goals for 2011 will be to sing these enough so that members have the words memorized and new comers feel well acquainted with the core song repertoire of the church. (Here is our list from 2010)

**I would love to see other Worship Leader lists. Feel free to post your list below in the comments!

1. In Feast or Fallow (Sandra McCracken)
mp3 | leadsheet | chords | info

This song by Sandra McCracken does a great job of reflecting many of the themes of Lent. It was our theme song for a series through the Beatitudes.

2. I Will Sing Praise to God (Anonymous)
mp3 |  leadsheet | youtube

This is a simple praise song that captures the compelling biblical image of being fed by God in worship.

3. Here is Love (Traditional Hymn)
mp3 | leadsheet | youtube

This is a fantastic hymn text and tune that I picked up when I was working for Camden Town Church in London.  Matt Redman also has a nice arrangement with an added chorus.

4. Come All Ye Pining (Red Mountain Music)
mp3 leadsheet

This was our favorite communion song for 2011.  From the most recent Red Mountain Music album “All Things New“. From the hymn “Lord, We Adore Thy Boundless Grace” by Anne Steele. Gadsby #1039

5. Christ has Arisen, Alleluia (World Music)
mp3 | leadsheet | purchase

Greg Scheer introduced this song to me from his work on “Global Songs for Worship.”  We introduced it on Easter Sunday and sang it for the next 5 weeks.  It is now in my permanent Easter season repertoire.


6. Grace Unmeasured (Sovereign Grace)
mp3 | leadsheet | youtube

We had a few Sovereign Grace folk marry into our church this year and I realized that I needed to incorporate more songs from the wonderful cannon of song being produced by Bob Kauflin and friends.  This has been my favorite so far and is a wonderful song of response to sing after the assurance of pardon.

7. O God of Our Salvation (Matt Boswell & Michael Bleeker)
mp3 | leadsheet | youtube

Probably the best modern worship song focused on the Trinity that I have found.  This was one of my personal favorites at CtK this year.


8. O Israel, Put Your Hope Upon the Lord (Psalm 131)
mp3 | leadsheet

The psalms needs to have a presence in our congregations song and this was one of a couple we sang regularly in 2011. This version we wrote for our Psalms of Ascents grant and works off of words by Isaac Watts.

9. Come, Holy Spirit Come (Hiram Ring arr)
mp3 | leadsheet | text | pageant music

I’ve been convicted this year about how little our worship song reflects a biblical picture of the Trinity. (Read This) This song has been one we have regularly sung to remedy that.  Cardiphonia also produced a collection of hymns this year focused on texts celebrating Pentecost and the Holy Spirit’s work in our worship.


10. Then There Shall Be (Chad Gray)
mp3 | leadsheet | info

I’m always looking for great sending songs that point us towards mission and also remind us that re:creation is our intended resting place! This is an adaption of a song Chad Gray wrote for our Apostles Creed project.

—Honorable Mention:

Jesus, the Light of the World  (Old Gospel Tune)
mp3 | leadsheet | youtube (choral vers)
My father introduced me to this gospel reworking of Wesley’s “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” last year.  We used it with our children’s ensemble and even sang it on Christmas Sunday.  A very singable and fun congregational carol.  Here is a choral version from the Boston Camerata.

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Congregational Songs from 2011

  1. Thanks for this list,… got me some new songs for 2012.

    Some new ones I have done this year or are planning to that I really love:

    “God of Grace, God of Love” A re-setting of the puritan hymn “Show Pity Lord” to the Doxology melody with a new refrain written by Thomas G.Clay (C) 2009 GraceAnne Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8231cJFT1es

    “By Thy Mercy” Listen: http://igracemusic.com/iga/ | chords: http://www.igracemusic.com/hymnbook/hymns/b07.html

  2. I found this list while looking for a song on the beatitudes. I really love all the songs though. Thanks for making this list!

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