Top Ten Congregational Songs from 2012


Here is my list of the top congregational songs from this year that were particularly new.  You can see our lists from 2010 and 2011 many of which I could have included again!

All Things New (Red Mountain Music)
mp3 | chart | lyrics

From the most recent Red Mountain album – a retune of Horatius Bonar’s text “Come Lord and Tarry Not.” We’ve been using Karl Digerness’s 6/4 adaptation and have been singing it as a song of response after preaching this year. A great call that reminds us our lives are wrapped up not in the present but in the future of Christ’s consummation.  Really looking forward to digging into it in 2013 with our Revelation series.

All I Have is Christ (Sovereign Grace)
mp3 | chords | leadsheet | youtube

Superb modern hymn from Jordan Kauflin (son of Bob Kauflin).  Great lyrics, good music, drives us to Christ. Enough said.

Bless the Lord (10,000 Reasons) – Matt Redman
mp3 | chart

Great text (based in Psalm 103) and tune from the popular songsmith Matt Redman.  While we don’t sing a lot of CWM at CTK we do a curated selection as part of doing good church hospitality. Our bluegrass arrangement is awesome too!

Bread of the World (Clint Wells / Luke Brodine)
mp3 | chart

I love this song cuz it’s a good song, but I love it even more because it’s liturgically clever and a great example of collaboration that would only happen with people connected to the history of congregational song.  The original text by Heber was retuned by Clint Wells.  The text was originally written as a substitute for the traditional Agnus Dei in the anglican church so I asked Luke Brodine to add a chorus with those words.  I polished off the arrangement and it has been one of our (well, mine at least) favorite communion songs this year. 

Praise to the Lord (Redemption Hill arr.)
mp3 | chart | info

Our friends Shelby Murphy and co. up at Redemption Hill in Richmond are writing, recording, and arranging some great music.  Check them out HERE.  This 4/4 arr. of Praise to the Lord just hit a sweet spot for us as an opening song.  We keep the feel of their arr. without the added chorus and edits.

Jesus Spreads His Banner O’er Us (Jeff Crawford – Gathering Church)
mp3 | chart

Besides the fact that I have a man crush on Jeff Crawford I love that he finds these gems of old hymns and records them with their original settings.  This is a gorgeous song we sing regularly during the Lord’s Supper.

Satisfied (Karl Digerness)
mp3 | chart

I’ve known about this song for tons of years and have heard it led at various places but it never clicked for me…until!  we started using Magik*Magik’s string quartet arr. that speeds up the tempo.  Voila!  I love this song now.  Can’t wait to get back to it in 2013.  

Lo! He Comes with Clouds DescendingBruce Benedict
mp3 | chart

There are a lot of great retuned versions of this text by Wesley with all the heavy hitters weighing in…but my congregation is stuck with my version.  We ended every advent service with it so I think they’ve warmed up to it by now. 

Upon a Hill in BethlehemBruce Benedict
mp3 | chart

A totally original song that I worked up as part of Dr. Lester Ruth’s songwriting class last year.  I’ve gotten great feedback on it so we sang it a couple of times during advent this year and I asked our local RUF group at NC State to record it for our Xmas CD

SolaZac Hicks
mp3 chart | info

Again I’m a sucker for clever, liturgical songwriting.  This fine piece of craft putting the reformation “Sola’s” to music from Zac Hicks was a part of our children’s song curriculum this Fall.  While the congregation didn’t sing it I’m looking forward to our kids singing it for the next 20 or 30 years as they grow into church leadership at CTK.

3 thoughts on “Top Ten Congregational Songs from 2012

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  1. we don’t sing a lot of CWM at CTK we do a curated selection as part of doing good church hospitality

    Amen and ditto. This is exactly what we do at our church as well. If it were solely up to me, we wouldn’t sing any song that hadn’t stood the test of 25 years, but I recognize this has the potential to be off-putting and counter-productive. So we sing this song as well, even though I don’t particularly care for it.

    1. I’m not trying to pick a fight.. but just wondering how you see wether songs would stand the test of time if they’re not sung until they’ve been around 25 years?

  2. Great list!
    Ah.. Eb is a good key fro 10k reasons, the original G is just way too high. I’m hoping to introduce it this year, and was thinking E, which is quite nice for amateur guitarists like me! I’m also going to add Sola to our rep.

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