If you’ve already read my first blog, you know that I believe that good music is a critical component of Catholic Youth Ministry. That’s why I’m sharing my top 20 favorite praise and worship songs of the decade. In today’s blog, I am sharing songs 11-20, in no particular order. Remember, they’re all #1…
11. Matt Maher: “Your Grace is Enough”
This might be the most ubiquitous praise and worship song of the decade. (I found nearly 100 versions of the song on iTunes.) Matt Maher first played “Your Grace is Enough” at Life Teen’s own XLT in Phoenix earlier this decade and then broadcast through LifeTeen.com. There’s a reason why ever sense the song is played in churches all over the globe–it’s catchy.
12. Hillsong: “From the Inside Out (Everlasting)”
I imagine that some day this song will be performed on American Idol and then quickly become the most requested song on pop radio. Until that day comes, “Everlasting” will remain a special song that Christians can sing together about how our soul longs for God. The song really starts to boom at the 2:30 mark. The room shakes every time.
13. Chris Tomlin: “How Great is Our God”
This song is easy to perform and easy to sing. What makes this song special is that at it’s peak, music ministers often flip to the Stuart K. Hine’s classic gospel hymn “How Great Thou Art” and then back to “How Great is Our God.” I know that if you’ve never heard this done before, it seems confusing and therefore unappealing. But trust me…this song is so beautiful! I had Matt Maher play it at my wedding. I’m pretty sure the whole congregation started crying.
14. Matt Maher: “Adoration”
Totally Catholic and totally beautiful.
15. Chris Tomlin: “Indescribable”
This song goes far because it’s catchy plus it includes imagery from nature, making it a staple at Life Teen and Edge Camps each summer. (I would prefer to share the song from the Passion Conference, but it wasn’t available online.)
16. Traditional: “It Is Well With My Soul”
This song is as old as the hills, but it still sounds relevant today. A cool way to gently end an evening of praise and worship. I prefer Shane & Shane’s recording…
17. Matt Maher – Divine Praises [chorus from "King of Glory" by Third Day]
There’s no better way to close Eucharistic Adoration that with Matt’s Divine Praises.
18. Chris Tomlin: “Holy is the Lord”
What can I say? It’s awesome.
19. Delirious? / Martin Smith: “Our God Reigns”
EPIC. The chorus of this song is about as good as it gets. If you’ve ever attended a Steubenville Conference and stood amidst 2000 teenagers singing this song, then you know how gentle but powerful this song can be. At Steubenville San Diego several years ago, Matt Maher and the music ministry team built up the group to the chorus and then slowly stepped away from the microphones and stopped playing their instruments. The teenagers continued the song completely unaware that it was their voices alone that were filling the arena for the next three minutes. Tear jerker. If you like this song, don’t miss Martin Smith’s “My Glorious.” It’s just as good.
20. Chris Tomlin: “Holy is the Lord”
I don’t know how Chris Tomlin can write so many great songs. It’s amazing.
BONUS: Coldplay: “Fix You”
Okay, so we all know that Coldplay isn’t known for writing church music. But some songs so inherently beautiful that they stir your soul even without words. The 2:25 minute mark in Coldplay’s “Fix You” does exactly that. I was at NCYC several years ago when Matt Maher’s band transitioned between two praise and worship songs with Coldplay’s giant instrumental arrangement from “Fix You” and the teens went crazy. Even the grownups in the room who didn’t know it was Coldplay were completely drawn into the moment. Beautiful!
Summary: Music Matters!
So there you have it–my favorite 20 praise and worship songs of the past decade. What are you favorites? Leave a comment and share your top picks! Also, let people know in what environment the song fits best. I want to hear from you!