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Pat Barrett singing 'Build my life."

“Build My Life” ranked as top worship song last year

Build My Life” by Pat Barrett was the most popular worship song of 2021, according to research by Faithlife. The church technology company reviewed 2.7 million songs that churches sang and 91,000 sermons delivered last year.

The second-most popular song in 2021 was “Way Maker, which was the top song in 2020, followed by “Great Are You Lord ” “Goodness of God” and “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord).”

“Altogether, the average age of the top 20 songs is just over 11 years, driven down by ‘How Great Thou Art’ from 1949,” the report said. “The top 10 songs are even younger, with an average age of 8.6 years.”

Hymns continue to be among the top worship songs during services. “How Great Thou Art” was the 13th most popular in 2021, while “Lord I Need You” placed No. 14 and “Amazing Grace” placed No. 16. “Cornerstone” ranked No. 17.

The sermons delivered in 2021 followed the most common topics of 2020. But some topics became more popular in 2021, including the No. 1 ranked topic, eschatology/resurrection, which was six times more popular than the previous year. The topic of grace (No. 2) was four times more popular. Other topics that increased in popularity were family and children, creation/renewal, philosophy, revival, cults, compromise, persecution and hospitality.

“These topics demonstrate the internal and external tensions many churches are facing,” the report said. “Torn between fear, hope and simply surviving, preachers dedicated many of their sermons to helping their congregations understand how scripture applied to their struggles.”

Faithlife CEO Vik Rajagopal said the data show how church leaders met the needs of their communities and congregants amid another challenging year during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The trending preaching topics demonstrate that even as the world navigated the challenges of the COVID pandemic, churches delivered God’s truth about the hope found in Jesus,” he said.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice