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2021’s most popular worship songs, sermon topics revealed

Artist Pat Barrett had the most popular worship song in 2021 with "Build My Life," according to church technology company Faithlife. Photo from Facebook

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (BP) – “Build My Life,” Pat Barrett’s passionate proclamation of holiness and righteousness, was the top worship song of 2021, church technology company Faithlife said in its annual report March 30.

Concurrently, sermons focused mostly on God, Jesus, love, power, faith and glory, while the top trending Bible passage was Ephesians 3:14-21, exploring the “Appreciation of the Mystery” of God’s love.

Faithlife, makers of Logos Bible Software, based its report on data from more than 705,000 presentations and 2.7 million songs churches sang together using Faithlife Proclaim Church Presentation Software, and 91,000 sermons posted to Faithlife Sermons.

“The 2021 Faithlife data highlights how church leaders are meeting the needs of their congregants and community in another difficult year,” Faithlife CEO Vik Rajagopal said in releasing the data. “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.”

Joining Build My Life, the top 10 worship songs were, in descending rank, “Way Maker” by Sinach, which lost its 2020 top spot; “Great Are You Lord” by Sons & Daughters, “Goodness of God” by Bethel Music, “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman, “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin, “What a Beautiful Name” by Hillsong Worship, “This is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham, “Graves into Gardens” by Elevation Worship and Brandon Lake, and “In Christ Alone” by Adrienne Camp.

The top 20 songs include several hymns, with “How Great Thou Art” at 13, “Lord I Need You” at 14, “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone),” ranking 16, and “Cornerstone,” 17th on the list.

“The list highlights that hymns are still present in many churches,” Faithlife said in a press release, “even if they are sung alongside contemporary songs.”

While the top sermon topics were similar to top topics in 2020, Faithlife said several topics gained in popularity in 2021. Those include eschatology/resurrection, which was six times more popular; grace, four times more popular, followed by family and children, creation/renewal, philosophy, revival, cults, compromise, persecution and hospitality.

Joining Ephesians 3:14-21 as top trending passages are John 17:6-19, when Christ prays for His disciples; John 14:8-21, when Christ answers Philip’s request to show the disciples the Father; Peter’s Pentecost sermon in Acts 2:14-39, 40-47; and Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-13.

Of the 31,102 verses comprising the Bible, 94 percent of them – 29,321 – were referred to in at least one sermon uploaded to Faithlife Sermons in 2021, Faithlife said.

A free download of the full 2021 Year-End Song & Sermon Report is available at grow.faithlife.com.