After reviewing 2.7 million songs churches sang and 91,000 sermons delivered in 2021 amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic, church tech company Faithlife has released its annual report revealing top trends in worship songs and sermons from the past year.
The maker of Logos Bible software has released its 2021 Year-End Report on Songs and Sermons Last week. Faithlife highlights worship music trends based on data from over 705,000 presentations using its Faithlife Proclaim Church presentation software. The report’s overview of the most covered topics in sermons is based on data from sermons published on Faithlife Sermons.
According to the report, the most popular worship song last year was the 2016 song “build my lifeby Pat Barrett.
The first verse of the song, which was second most popular in 2020 and took first place in 2019, says:
“Worthy of all the songs we could sing
Worthy of all the praise we could bring
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for you.”
The second most popular song of 2021 was 2015’s song “Way Maker” by Sinach, the most popular song of 2020.
All Sons & Daughters’ “Great Are You Lord” was at No. 3. Bethel Music/Jenn Johnson’s “Goodness of God” was fourth, and Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” took fifth. . . Chris Tomlin’s 2004 hit “How Great is Our God” came in at No. 6.
“In total, the average age of the top 20 songs is [just over 11] years, driven by 1949’s ‘How Great Thou Art,'” the report read. “The top 10 songs are even younger with an average age of 8.6.”
Faithlife notes that the “youngest” song on its Top 20 list, 2019’s “Graves into Gardens” by Elevation Worship/Brandon Lake, was the only new addition to the Top Songs list of 2021, finishing at No. 9 .
The report finds that hymns continue to be among the best worship songs during services.
“How Great Thou Art” was the 13th most popular in 2021, while “Lord I Need You” ranked No. 14 and “Amazing Grace [My Chains Are Gone]ranked #16. “Cornerstone” ranked #17.
Sermons delivered in 2021 tracked the most popular topics of 2020. But some topics became more popular in 2021, including the #1 ranked topic, eschatology/resurrection, which was six times more popular than the previous year. .
Grace (#2) was four times more popular.
Other topics that gained popularity were family and children, creation/renewal, philosophy, renewal, cults, compromise, persecution, and hospitality.
“These topics demonstrate the internal and external tensions that many churches face,” the report details. “Torn between fear, hope, and simple survival, preachers devoted many of their sermons to helping their congregations understand how Scripture applied to their struggles.”
The trending Bible passage was John 3:16, which says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The second most used Bible passage was Matthew 28:18–20.
The passage states: “And Jesus came near and said unto them, ‘All power has been given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, unto the end of time.'”
Some passages saw a significant increase in usage in 2021. Ephesians 3:14-21 saw a 26% increase last year, according to a statement shared with The Christian Post. Other trending passages include John 17:6-19, John 14:8-21, Acts 2:14-39, Acts 2:40-47and 2 Timothy 2:1-13.
“While there aren’t many surprises in the top 10 verses, Faithlife found that of the Bible’s 31,102 verses, 29,321 verses were mentioned in at least one sermon in 2021 (94% ),” the statement read.
Faithlife CEO Vik Rajagopal said the data shows how church leaders have responded to the needs of their communities and congregants during another challenging year during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The trending preaching topics demonstrate that even as the world has risen to the challenges of the COVID pandemic, the churches have been delivering God’s truth about the hope found in Jesus,” Rajagopal said.