Faithlife, the makers of integrated church technology products such as Logos Bible Software, released their “Year-End Song & Sermon Report” which found that comfort and hope were the common themes of the year.
“Data was compiled from Faithlife Proclaim Church Presentation Software for worship songs and Faithlife Sermons for sermon topics, with comfort being a recurring them in songs selected,” Bob Pritchett, co-founder and CEO of Faithlife, told The Christian Post.
He listed “peace and hope” as the most “common sermon topics from pastors.”
The data compiled showed what North American churches hung on to during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It provided insight into the worship songs, sermon topics and scriptures used most in one of the hardest years of in modern history.
“The 2020 Faithlife data highlights the relevancy of church leaders in meeting the needs of their congregants and community during a difficult year,” Pritchett noted in a statement that was released with the report.
“Way Maker” by Nigerian gospel singer Sinach, took the spot for the most popular worship song in 2020.
The data was gathered by Faithlife Proclaim, Faithlife’s church presentation software which allows churches to provide song lyrics and Bible verses on their platforms. Churches sang over 7,000 songs together about 2.2 million times in more than 568,000 services, the data showed.
“Way Maker” reached its peak popularity on Proclaim the weekend of March 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 death toll in the United States began to rise. Coming in second in the most popular songs list was “Build My Life” by Pat Barrett (the top song in 2019), followed by “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” by Matt Redman.
“The words of the top worship songs and most used topics of the sermons were speaking to the issues of the day in order to offer comfort among the chaos,” Pritchett added.
Other songs that provided comfort to churchgoers before the U.S. went into lockdown due to the pandemic included the hymns “It is Well with My Soul” and “’Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus” as well as newer songs, “His Mercy Is More” by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa. “Goodness of God” by Bethel Music and Jenn Johnson, “King of Kings” by Hillsong Worship, and “See a Victory” by Elevation Worship were also among the top songs in the report.
The data also provided a report from Faithlife Sermons which listed "loneliness, friendship, fear, contentment and leadership” among the 200 different topics that were represented in at least 100 sermons last year. The most common words included were “God, Jesus, love, faith, power and glory.”
Leading up to Easter as COVID-19 lockdowns continued and infections increased in New York City and northern states, topics of "fear, prayer, faith, suffering, comfort, grief, stress, and church were all trending.”
Following the death of George Floyd in police custody and the social unrest and summer riots that followed in cities across the nation, the topics of “government, justice, freedom, anger, and judgment" peaked. By September, “church fellowship, service, church leadership, work, and election” were among the trending words, as well as “peace and hope.” Peace and hope had the highest sermon trend of the year with peak popularity in December.
The insight was gathered from 60,000 sermons posted to Faithlife Sermons.
The full report can be viewed on the website.