While hymns were amazing for their time and still prove a valid part of some aspects of the service, many churches are embracing contemporary worship through the inclusion of various types of Christian pop during their song services. There are many beloved options from various artists like For King & Country, Elevation Worship, Hillsong United, Zach Williams, Cory Asbury and others to choose from. The following are some of the most noteworthy and present well known offerings from the popular contemporary Christian arena you should want to know:
God Only Knows by For King & Country
Grammy award-winning group For King and Country is made up of Australian natives Luke and Joel. Lead singer Joel shares some thoughts on the “why” behind the band’s hit God Only Knows. “There are some things that, man, God does only know. We’ve got our shame, we’ve got our troubles, we’ve got our prejudice, we’ve got our judgments. God knows your heart and in turn, the flip of that is, God also carries this love that is sort of the superman of all love.” Lyrics like the following further communicate the deep, rich message of this song, that we all are struggling and that we all feel alone in that struggle.
God only knows what you've been through
God only knows what they say about you
God only knows how it's killing you
But there’s a kind of love that God only knows
This simple message is rife with meaning in that we all struggle in this world, yet we all somehow assume we are the only ones struggling and that no one would understand if we ever let them see the “real us''. Thankfully, God does see the real us and there is a kind of love that only He can give, and He freely gives that to us!
Graves Into Gardens by Elevation Worship
Top Christian Artist of the year Elevation Worship’s Graves Into Gardens is nominated for Christian Song of the Year for good reason. This testimony song communicates the power and authority of an all-powerful God. It’s a song that faithfully proclaims not just how good God is in general but how good He is to each one of us personally. This doesn’t mean that life is easy. On the contrary. However, in the song from Graves into Gardens, we see how God is present in even the most hopeless of situations, and He can turn our graves into gardens through His mighty power and unmatched authority.
Another In The Fire by Hillsong United
Nominated for Christian Song of the Year, this Hillsong offering tells a powerful story through these meaningful and eloquent lyrics. The overarching message of Another in the Fire is one that exudes confidence that God never leaves us. It is based on the Old Testament account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that can be found in the Book of Daniel. To sum it up, these three men refuse to bend a knee and worship an idol but instead remain faithful to their God in the face of persecution. This lands them in some fire, quite literally as King Nebuchadnezzar orders them to face certain death by being thrown into a raging furnace since they would not yield and worship other gods.
However, after being thrown into the furnace, instead of burning up, they are saved and the king even sees a fourth man walking among them, presumably the pre-incarnate Christ protecting them from harm. Therefore, this song’s message is that we have God with us through the “fires” of life, so there is “another” with us each and every day just as there was with these three faithful followers.
There Was Jesus by Zach Williams & Dolly Parton
This is another potential Christian Song of the Year as this has been nominated for the distinction as well. There Was Jesus features well-known Christian artist Zach Williams along with the immensely precious Dolly Parton whom everyone loves. Zach Williams was asked about this song and said the following about the “why” behind the offering:
“So, ‘There Was Jesus’ is a song that’s really just about the reflection. I’m looking back 20 years ago where I had no idea that God was in the moment, that He was even with me through some of the things I had going on in my life. Looking back now, I can see that He had His hand in everything I was doing. He was creating a way and honestly allowing me to live through some of these experiences.”
The Father’s House by Cory Asbury
Finally, the last song on our list is also nominated for the Christian Song of the Year. Cory Asbury explains that The Father’s House actually came out of a place of exhaustion when he realized while on tour that he was broken, messed up, weary, and felt he couldn't go on. He began to pour his heart out before a caring and loving God and was immediately given a message “God didn’t want perfect. He just wanted my heart.” Therefore, this song is one of restoration, rejuvenation, and rest, getting back to the things that matter most. The following lyrics explain the message of the song beautifully:
Sometimes on this journey
I get lost in my mistakes
What looks to me like weakness
Is a canvas for your strength
And my story isn’t over
My story’s just begun
And failure won’t define me
‘Cause that’s what my Father does
What an amazingly powerful message of the immense depths of God’s love and His amazing grace for us.
Represent Your Faith Wherever You Go
Just as these songs can be on your heart and mind as you go about your daily life—as you work, drive, interact with others, etc.— so can other reminders of your faith like the Christian apparel in our Love in Faith line. Choose from a number of options to wear, some even featuring messages from the songs highlighted above.