As the church grows and grows, worship music is becoming more and more popular. There are new Christian artists making music every week, and new incredible songs are being released. With Christians using social media and being online more and more every year, it’s much easier to discover new worship songs than ever before.
In 2022, the genre of worship continued to grow and change. While the genre itself is still focused on songs that glorify and edify the Lord, it has started to take on new sounds and transcend various genres. There has never been a better time to listen to all different kinds of worship music, but in this article, we’re going over the very best.
Certain worship songs capture the hearts and souls of Christians across the world and become anthems in churches every day. Our top songs of 2022 are taken from the CCLI top 100 lists. These lists are derived from a broad spectrum of large and small churches in CCLI-licensed denominations. Since all churches must use CCLI to play worship songs in church, they have collected the most accurate data out there in regard to what is most popular.
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes
Table of contents
- What Makes a Worship Song Popular?
- The Top 10 Worship Songs of 2022
- Using These Songs in Your Church
- Conclusion: Most Popular Worship Songs 2022
What Makes a Worship Song Popular?
As mentioned previously, 2022 was a big year for the evolution of Christian music. We saw albums and artists in all kinds of different genres giving glory to God with their music. Still, with R&B worship, Pop worship, Folk worship, and so much more, what has been the most popular among Christians?
Worship music has seen a transition in recent decades from classical hymns to a more pop-rock influence. Popular worship songs are now often those that feature guitars (sometimes electric), drums, keys, and multiple vocals. Not only is the instrumentation catchy and similar to the popular music of the times, but the lyrics are also solid as well.
A popular worship song these days is one that has lyrics that are simple and powerful. It has a chorus, bridge, and verses that are easy to remember and flow well together. Worship songs are not just meant to be sung by the worship team, they are meant to be sung together by the whole congregation. Because of this, worship songs need to be catchy and easy to remember.
As we go through our list of the most popular worship songs of 2022, you may notice trends in regard to the genre, instrumentation, and lyrics of the songs. Noticing what makes a popular worship song can help when choosing worship songs to play during service, or even when writing your own.
The Top 10 Worship Songs of 2022
These are the top 10 worship songs of 2022. While not all these songs came out last year, these were the most popular among churches worldwide. This data is taken from CCLI licensing.
1. Build My Life
The #1 most popular worship song of 2022 is Build My Life, written by Brett Younker, Karl Martin, Kirby Kaple, Matt Redman, and Pat Barrett. It was originally released in 2016 by the Atlanta-based worship community Housefires on the group’s album Housefires III.
The song is based on the biblical tenet of building one’s life on something Godly that lasts forever, rather than something earthly and temporal. Songwriter Pat Barrett says that song is “a reminder for us that we can build our life on anything, we have the freedom to build our life on whatever we want. And the invitation of Jesus is to build our lives on things that last”.
Since its release, this song has spread in popularity to churches all across the globe. Its lyrics are simple and easy to remember, but also very powerful to sing. It is also easily transposable into different methods of instrumentation, whether with a full band, acoustic, etc. Furthermore, popular worship leaders/teams that have recorded their own covers of Build My Life include Soul Survivor, Michael W Smith, and Passion.
2. Way Maker
Way Maker was originally written and recorded by Nigerian worship artist Sinach in 2015. By early 2019, the YouTube video of the song had reached over 100 million views, making Sinach the first Nigerian worship artist to ever achieve this.
The song is sung in local churches all around the world, a reminder that God makes a way for us, even if we can’t always see it. It reminds us to keep the faith, and always trust He will do what He says He will. Many around the world love the song because of how direct the lyrics are to God. It is a song to be sung straight to Him, to worship Him and glorify His name.
Since worship artists Michael W Smith and Leeland recorded their own covers of the song in 2019, it has also gone on to be covered by very popular worship artists like Jeremy Riddle, Bethel, and Passion.
3. Living Hope
Released in March of 2018 by contemporary Christian artist Phil Wickham, Living Hope has gone on to become an incredibly successful and popular worship song. Brian Johnson co-wrote the song. Wickham also collaborated with Ed Cash and Jonathan Smith in regard to the song’s production.
Living Hope is about the glorious salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. It celebrates our justification through the sacrifice of our savior and glorifies His name. Its lyrics remind us to focus on the One who gave it all for us. As they themselves say: “Hallelujah, praise the one who set me free. Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me. You have broken every chain. There’s salvation in your name. Jesus Christ, my living hope.”
In 2019, Bethel Music released a cover of the song on their album Victory. Since then, many other popular worship artists and churches across the world have lifted up this song in praise of Jesus.
4. What a Beautiful Name
What a Beautiful Name was released in January 2017 by the widely popular Australian worship band Hillsong Worship. Brooke Ligertwood and Ben Fielding co-wrote the song. It was the lead single of their 25th live album Let There Be Light, and won the 2018 Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song”.
The song became very popular due to its catchy, repeatable chorus and the simplicity and effectiveness of its lyrics. The song delights in giving praise and worship to our God and honoring His “beautiful name”. It describes the incredible act of Jesus’ sacrifice and how there is nothing now to separate us from the love of God.
The scriptural foundation for the song has been cited as referencing Hebrews 1:1–1:4, Colossians 1:15–1:20, and Colossians 1:26–1:27.
5. Great Are You Lord
Great Are You Lord is an incredibly popular worship song released in 2013 by gospel band All Sons & Daughters. It was produced by Paul Mabury and written by Leslie Anne Jordan, David Leonard, and Jason Ingram.
The song’s lyrics focus on describing and glorifying the majesty and splendor of God and His character. It gives thanks for all that He’s done for us and all that He is doing. As the lyrics themselves say: “You give life, You are love. You bring light to the darkness. You give hope, You restore every heart that is broken. And great are You, Lord.”
6. Who You Say I Am
Released by Hillsong in 2018 as the first single from their album There is More, Who You Say I Am has gone on to become one of the most popular Christian songs of all time. The song is credited to Ben Fielding and Reuben Morgan. In 2019, it was nominated for Top Christian Song at the Billboard Music Awards.
Who You Say I Am is a song about finding our identity and Christ, which is one of the main reasons it has resonated with so many Christians around the world. It gives thanks to Him who set us free by His sacrifice and reminds us that because of that we are “chosen, not forsaken.”
7. Goodness of God
Goodness of God was released in 2019 by Bethel Music on their album Victory. It is credited to Ben Fielding, Brian Johnson, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, and Jenn Johnson. Since its release, the song has become a household name in Christian homes and churches across the world.
The song is all about the act of worship itself, and why we sing what we sing about the goodness of our Lord. Its lyrics glorify and lift up His name. They speak of all that He’s done and all that He is doing. It is a good reminder to us of the goodness and faithfulness of our Lord.
8. Raise a Hallelujah
Raise a Hallelujah was released in 2019 on the Victory album by Bethel Music. It was written and composed by collaborators Jonathan David Helser, Melissa Helser, Molly Skaggs, and Jake Stevens. Though it was only released a few years ago, it has become very popular among churches in the nation and throughout the world.
The song is about proclaiming the faithfulness of the Lord even in our toughest times. It’s simple but so powerful: God is faithful, so let’s raise our hallelujah and our praise to Him.
The song makes references to 2 Timothy 1:10, Psalms 100:1, Psalms 113:7, and Revelation 19:1.
9. This is Amazing Grace
This is Amazing Grace was released by Phil Wickham all the way back in 2013 on his album The Ascension. Though it’s been out for a decade now, it has not lost its popularity among Christians and churches. It was covered by Jeremy Riddle on the album For the Sake of the World with Bethel Music.
Like many others on this list, This is Amazing Grace speaks of the sacrifice of our lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Its lyrics help to remind us of the power of that act, of the “amazing grace” displayed by Jesus on that day.
10. 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)
10,000 Reasons was released by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin in 2012, making it the oldest song on this list. The fact that it has been out for over a decade and is still one of the most popular worship songs says a lot. In fact, the song is so good that it won two Grammy Awards for “Best Contemporary Christian Music Song” and “Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance”.
The song is all about blessing the Lord and thanking Him for all He has done. We have “10,000” and more reasons to lift up our praise to Him because of His goodness. The powerful lyrics that have resonated with audiences for over 10 years are based on Psalms 103.
Using These Songs in Your Church
The top 10 worship songs of 2022 are amazing! So how can you play them in your church? In case you’re unaware, churches are not allowed to play worship songs belonging to other artists for free during services. A church has to pay licensing fees in order to use worship songs published by other artists on CCLI.
Thankfully the process is cheap and easy, as long as you have a good system. Firstly, you need the copyright information on each printed or projected song copy. If you’re projecting multiple slides, you only need to post the information once, at the beginning.
As a part of the licensing agreement, your church will have to report its copy activity for a six-month period when it is your turn. Each church takes a turn every 2 and a half years, then you will receive a notice beforehand by email/mail. All you have to do is report on their reporting website, and it should only take a few minutes as long as you are updating it regularly.
While this may seem like a bit of a hassle, it is important that the original creators of worship songs get royalties for their creations. If you’re using someone else’s worship song, chances are you’re grateful they wrote such a powerful piece for you to use during service. The best way to pay them back for everything their work is doing in your church is to use the CCLI system so they can get paid for the hard work they put in.
If you have additional questions about the system, such as if you are allowed to change lyrics or use songs during church live streams, check out the CCLI Q&A.
Conclusion: Most Popular Worship Songs 2022
And there you have it! The most popular worship songs of 2022. We hope that this was able to give you a glimpse of the best worship songs out there right now, as well as the CCLI system. If you’re interested in more worship resources, check out our advice on creating a seamless worship experience online and off.
God bless you!