New Data Reveals Top Worship Songs, Sermon Topics from 2021

Written by on March 31, 2022

A new report from Faithlife, the church technology company and creators of Logos Bible Software, reveals the top worship songs of 2021 and the top sermon trends of the year.

According to the 2021Year-End Song & Sermon Report, the company analyzed worship music trends by reviewing some 2.7 million songs churches sang using Faithlife Proclaim Church Presentation Software.

The most popular worship song in 2021 was “Build My Life” by Pat Barrett. This was the second time the Barrett song earned the top spot, also coming in as number one in 2019. In 2020, “Build My Life” was the second most popular.

“Way Maker” by Sinach, the top song in 2020, fell to the No. 2 spot in 2021, followed by “Great Are You Lord” by All Sons & Daughters.

On average, the age of the top 20 songs is about 11.2 years, including the 1949 song “How Great Thou Art.” Meanwhile, the top 10 songs have an average “age” of about 8.6 years. The “youngest” song, “Graves into Gardens” by Elevation Worship/Brandon Lake, is the only new addition to the list of the top songs since 2020.

As in years past, hymns are a popular trend for worship services. Four hymns or returned hymns are in the top 20 songs – “How Great Thou Art” at No. 13, “Lord I Need You” at No. 14, “Amazing Grace [My Chains Are Gone]” at No. 16, and “Cornerstone” at No. 17.

Faithlife also looked at sermon data from some 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,” said Vik Rajagopal, CEO of Faithlife. “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.”

Faithlife found that while the most common topics in 2021 were similar to those in 2020, including God, Jesus, love, power, faith, and glory, several other topics grew in popularity. Among the topics becoming more popular are eschatology/resurrection, which was six times more popular, and grace, which was four times more popular, as well as family and children, creation/renewal, philosophy, revival, cults, compromise, persecution and hospitality.

Also of note, of the 31,102 verses in the Bible, Faithlife found that 29,321 or about 94 percent of all Bible verses were referred to in at least one sermon in 2021.

Faithlife’s report also includes the top trending Bible passages, which are: 

  • Appreciation of the Mystery: Ephesians 3:14-21
  • Christ Prays for His Disciples: John 17:6-19 
  • Christ Answers Philip: John 14:8-21 
  • Peter’s Sermon + A Vital Church Grows: Acts 2:14-39, Acts 2:40-47 
  • Be Strong in Grace: 2 Timothy 2:1-13 

Read the full report here.

Related:

Bible Podcasts Are Numbers 1 and 2 on Apple’s Chart: ‘Interest in the Bible Is Expanding’

‘People Are Turning to God’: Bible Reading on YouVersion Is Up 24 Percent Compared to Pre-Pandemic

Photo courtesy: Kalisa Veer/Unsplash


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

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