Worship Leader Magazine’s Top 20 best congregational songs of 2014

Worship Leader Magazine’s Top 20 best congregational songs of 2014

As you may know, our very own Andy Chamberlain writes a monthly column “Musical Chops” for Worship Leader Magazine.

Each year they publish a Best of the Best issue and of the resources highlighted, Managing Editor Jeremy Armstrong selects what he considers the  top congregational worship songs of the year.

We thought we’d share that with you. It’s good to see a broad range of song writers represented. We’ll have many of these available as MultiTrack backing tracks in due course.

20. “No Fear in Love”

Steffany Gretzinger

The Undoing

Writers: Nate Ward II, Steffany Gretzinger

Just in time. In a world of fear, a prayer for love—God’s kind of love—a prayer of consecration and the need for God’s persistent tending, leading, reminding. Beautiful transcendent, essential.

19. “Say the Word”

Beth Croft

Rule in My Heart

Writers: Beth Croft, Tim Hughes

Matter morphs. Bodies, hearts, and minds sync with Jesus’ perfect intention when he speaks. Restoration. Mountains move, circumstances and perspectives transform. Love sees and acts. Just a word, just a touch, and the broken become whole.

18. “God Demonstrates His Love,”



Writer: Harvest Parker

Emotion ascends. Scripture declared. Musical drama. Glimpse the near future of worship. God magnified. We bow in grateful humility and wonder at his love demonstrated. Whispers and swells, synthy cinemizing. Whoomph! Watch and listen for more.

17. “Psalm 118”

Robbie Seay Band

Psalms, Vol. 2

Writers: Robbie Seay Band

Emotional, devotional. Reflecting the Psalms and directing us to them. Follow. Read. Sing aloud with a polyphony of voices … listen. Listen in silence and make melody in your heart. Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Wisps and waves. Delicate and weighty. Beat of heart. Beat of drum. Layers. A transfusion of truth, the truth we must return to now and always.

16. “Unstoppable Love”

Jesus Culture

Unstoppable Love

Writers: Christa Black, Kim Walker-Smith, Skyler Smith

Nothing, nothing can separate us from his unstoppable love. Warrior king. Passion multiplied, awed, and amazed by God’s relentless pursuit of us. We sing. Loud, lidless, intimacy. Unending wonder at his powerful mercy.

15. “All Arise”

Michael W. Smith


Writers: Jason Ingram, Michael W. Smith

All arise at the name of our Savior. Such completely Christ-centered, gospel-anchored praise is rare these days. A song that answers the need of the Church for more of God and less of me. An anthem and impassioned call to revere and honor the only one whose majesty is unending: the King of all Kings.

14. “At the Cross (Love Ran Red)”

Chris Tomlin

Love Ran Red

Writers: Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jonas Myrin, Matt Armstrong, Matt Redman

Ever present, never-ending redemption, mercy and grace at the Cross. Love bled. A perpetual flood of love. We breathe/sing/inhabit eternal awe, gratitude, and devotion. The power of sin is broken and we are saved. Shame is gone, and Christ’s peace reigns.

13. “It Is Well (Live)”

Kristene DiMarco

You Make Me Brave (Live)

Writers: Horatio Gates Spafford, Kristene DiMarco, Philip Paul Bliss

One of the more emotionally powerful and hauntingly beautiful adaptations of an iconic theme from a well-known hymn in recent history. It is well with my soul … And through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You / and it is well with me.

12. “My Heart Is Yours”

Kristian Stanfill

Passion: Take It All (Live)

Writers: Brett Younker, Daniel Carson, Jason Ingram, Judson Wheeler Van DeVenter, Kristian Stanfill, Winfield Scott Weeden

Prayer of consecration, responding to the Holy Spirit’s drawing and calling. The great and ongoing surrender of faith and the resolute choice to take up the cross and follow. Bold and intimate.

11. “Made for Worship”


Endless Praise

Writers: Andy Harrison, BJ Pridham

Prayer of consecration. Proclamation of purpose, identity, and intention. Declaration of God’s sufficiency and unending generosity. Accessible. Adaptable across styles and generations. I will shout your praise forever / I was made to worship / I was made to bless your name.

10. “Nearness of You”

Loud Harp


Writers: Asher Seevinck and Dave Wilton

Refreshing. Delicate and weighty. Elaborate and simple. A quiet revival of waiting, worship, and contemplation. Congregational, relational, dimensional, nuanced and compellingly beautiful with deep emotional resonance. A Psalm to be sung alone… together … often. The nearness of you is my only good / Who have I but you?

9. “Future/Past”

John Mark McMillan


Writer: John Mark McMillan

The paradox of the gospel. The awe-inspiring God calls us friend. Powerful. Poetic. Worshipful. Ascendant. Plaintive. Aching. Grand. Sweet. You hold the reins on the sun and moon … Yet …You ask me to be Your friend / And You / You are my first / You are my last / You are my future and my past.

8. “I Am”


Neon Steeple

Writers: David Crowder, Ed Cash

Tape it to your mirror. Stick it on the fridge door. A permanent place on your personal and congregational playlist. Sing it every morning. Sing it every Sunday. Holding on to and being held by the Great I Am. This is a song that can dig you out of any hole, and resurrect your hope. There’s no space that his love can’t reach / There’s no place where we can’t find peace / There’s no end to amazing grace … I am / Holding on to you!

7. “You Lift Us Up”

Paul Baloche

Paul Baloche Live

Writers: Matt Maher, Paul Baloche

Congregational worship at its most accessible. Healing for the wounded, the broken, a promise of resurrection for what has died in us. An “us” and “God “ song. Focus on our need and his response. Sometimes it’s our need for deliverance in the present that reminds us what he’s done in the past.

6. “Vapor”

The Liturgists


Writers: Lisa Gungor, Michael Gungor

Vapor finds ground in you, music finds sound in you. Dream. Float. Reflect. Imagine. Believe. Be swept into the wonder, the holiness, the paradoxical mystery and beauty of God. Holy. You are holy / Infinite and Holy / … impossible and holy / A billion suns rise for you / Clouds paint the skies for you.

5. Only King Forever”

Elevation Worship

Only King Forever

Writers: Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Steven Furtick, Wade Joye

Proclaim. Shout out. Be enveloped in sonic glory. There is only one king forever. Matchless, wise, just, almighty, calling forth worship, every knee bowing. More of God. Less of us.

4. “Joy”

Rend Collective

The Art of Celebration

Writers: Rend Collective

Pain will not define us. Song for life. Song for the ages. Song for what ails the world and the Church and every believer. Song to remember. Song to exultantly shout and dance and sing through the dark and on the mountaintops, Joy will reignite us. You’re the Song.]

3. “Christ Be All Around Me”

All Sons & Daughters

All Sons & Daughters

Writers: David Leonard, Jack Mooring, Leeland Mooring, Leslie Jordan

Echoing Saint Patrick, encompassing us in timeless entreaty.Your life, your death, your blood was shed for every moment. A prayer, a declaration, words on the lips of the Church across time.

2. “This I Believe (The Creed)”

Hillsong Worship

No Other Name

Writers: Ben Fielding and Matt Crocker.

At the heart of our faith, Father/-/Jesus/-/Holy Spirit; foundational beliefs echoing across generations, denominations, and nations—unalterable, unchanging, shouted, wept, whispered, dreamed, drilled in and planted deep, echoing Christ in us, the hope of glory. Yes!

1. “Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)” (MultiTrack backing track here)

Kari Jobe

Majestic (Live)

Writers: Brian Johnson, Christa Black Gifford, Gabriel Wilson, Jenn Johnson, Joel Taylor, and Kari Jobe.

What will you be singing on Easter next year? … and for years to come … maybe even “Forever.” Cinematic co-write elevates drama, hope, and the level on contemporary songwriting. Lament kisses ultimate victory for maximum celebration and endless exultation.


Which songs are you surprised to see? Which do you think are missing?