In our special WE LOVE CHRISTIAN MUSIC AWARDS editorial series, members of the NRT staff have a back-and-forth discussion about this year's nominees.
For Part 10 of our series, NRT's Kevin Davis and Jay Wright discuss the contenders for Worship Song of the Year.
I thought this was once again a stellar year for new worship music, with the highest number of worship-focused releases in recent memory. For me personally, Bethel Music, Elevation Worship and Josh Baldwin of Bethel Music released three of my top 10 favorite albums to "sing a new song unto the Lord." They have provided many songs I'd love to sing with fellow believers. All five of these songs would be great additions to church worship set lists. What do you think, Jay?
Those are definitely excellent worship albums, with Josh Baldwin's The War is Over being my personal favorite on this list. To me it is a sign of what people are looking for in modern worship music. We've seen quite a rise in prophetic worship, capturing the spontaneous moments. Worship fans are hungry for more of this real, Spirit-infused music!
I love that song "Endlessly" by Josh Baldwin. Many other songs on his album could be in this category, including the title track. The live version of "The War is Over" on Starlight by Bethel Music is also stellar. For me personally, of these five songs, "Do It Again" by Elevation Worship has been my anthem for the year.
I had the privilege to meet Mack Brock and Chris Brown and conduct a behind the song devotional interview with them about that song and "There is a Cloud" before Outcry Tour last year. Having worshiped along with them personally with that song, it is very powerful. Why would you select "Endlessly" as your favorite on this list?
You mentioned seeing Elevation Worship in concert; I had the privilege of seeing Bethel Live at their Worship Nights Tour in October. Josh Baldwin was one of the main worship leaders, and he played "Endlessly" as one of his opening songs. What a privilege it was to worship along with Bethel! There was a high level of energy when Josh played this song, and to hear the whole audience participate in worship was a thrill! That is why I would say this is my personal favorite on the list.
Very cool, and thanks for sharing. I've also had the privilege to worship with Bethel artists including Josh at their Worship Nights Tour, and I agree that it is very powerful and personal, which is really what this category is all about. I also spoke with Iron Bell Music about "God That Saves" for a behind the song devotional, and wow, what a powerful testimony Stephen has about how God brought him out of addiction and into freedom and a personal saving faith in Jesus. "Extravagant" by Bethel and "Rock of Our Salvation" by Bright City also have that type of personal and prayerful testimony in the songs, and all of these are worthy offerings of heartfelt, expressive worship. I like to call it like eavesdropping on prayers. Who do you think will win?
I think Bethel Music has the best chance of winning this category. Besides the name recognition and millions of followers on their social media pages, their songs are widely covered by churches all over America (and the world). It would be nice to see Bright City or Iron Bell Music take this award home, though, as they are up-and-coming worship groups that definitely deserve the nomination!
I agree! Yes, one of my favorite aspects of the We Love Awards nominations and these discussions is bringing attention to songs and artists that might go under the radar of regular CCM radio listeners. This category can help expand the song selection for worship leaders in churches.
I tend to also think that Bethel could win for name recognition, but anyone who saw Elevation Worship at Outcry and who has become a fan this past year from their massive song for the church, "O Come to the Altar," may also be moved as I have been by this anointed song "Do it Again." The song also has an amazing story that involves Elevation Church pastor Steven Furtick's message at a Hillsong Conference and encouragement by Matt Redman which led to Mack and Chris writing a song that I hope to be singing with fellow believers. That's my choice. Any closing thoughts?
Again, I think all five songs are definitely deserving this nomination; each one has a story behind it, and a powerful message. They draw you into the presence of God and cause you to long for more of Him. It's going to be exciting to see what worship songs fans vote for!
Which was your favorite worship song of the year? Vote for this category and 23 other categories now through Jan. 26, 2018, at weloveawards.com! Your votes determine the winners, and you can vote as often and as much as you want!
NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters. Jay Wright, an upstate New Yorker in his twenties, loves Jesus, worship music, energy drinks, and getting to know people. He also shares his music thoughts at Jay’s Musik Blog.
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