The Top 5 Most Influential Worship Albums of All Time

We recently did an office poll about the most influential worship albums of all time. Of course, our lists differed quite a bit. Since it’s all subjective, I asked everyone to make a case for their own top five. Tell us in the comments whose taste you share, and whose is out of touch.

Joel Muddamalle

Drop by the Proclaim booth at your next ministry conference, you’ll probably meet Joel who only has four favorite albums, not five.

  • Passion: Hymns Ancient and Modern (2004)
    As a young worship leader, the Passion movement (Crowder, Tomlin, and Redmond) played a crucial role in my development. During the rise of modern worship songs, this album was significant in reinforcing the importance of hymns. For me, it was reminder of where we came from in worship, which grew a deep appreciation for the hymns of the past. It also encouraged creativity in how worship leaders and bands arrange an ancient hymn with a modern music style.
  • Blessed Be Your Name, Matt Redman (2005)
    This album contained songs that become anthems sung in churches around the world. While leading worship in India in 2007, I started to play the song “Blessed Be Your Name,” and the entire Indian church began to sing along without any words or projection. Needless to say, this album transcended cultural, denominational, and even age barriers for the church at large.
  • Passion: Awakening (2010)
    This album—as the many Passion albums before it—introduced some important worship songs to the church. Songs such as “Like a Lion,” “How He Saves,” and “Our God” became instant favorites for many worship leaders. Passion has introduced songs to the larger worship stream that are easily playable in a local-church context.
  • God of Victory, The Village Church (2011)
    A newer album from the worship band at Matt Chandler’s church, the Village, God of Victory is packed with songs that gracefully combine musical creativity and theological depth. Possibly even more important, these songs can be easily played, sung, and rearranged. Many of the songs on this album can be played with either a full band or just an acoustic guitar.

Derek Fekkes

Derek, the newest member of the team, curates the Proclaim newsletter.

  • Cutting Edge, Delirious? (1994–1995)
    I was a little late getting on the Delirious? bandwagon. But once I was let on to them, I got my hands on all their music I could. “I Could Sing of Your Love Forever,” “Shout to the North and the South,” and “Lord, You Have My Heart” were regulars in my high school youth group, and are still some of my favorites.
  • Sonicflood, Sonicflood (1999)
    I vividly remember seeing Sonicflood at Creation West in the early 2000s. Everybody was talking about their “new” kind of worship music. Rock + worship = phenomenon that is still riding a wave (see “Newsboys”).
  • No Name Face, Lifehouse (2000)
    O.K., so maybe going outside of the traditional “worship” genre here, but if measured by raw, heartfelt cries to God, this album is near the top. Everybody knows about the passionate “Everything,” but if you take a closer listen, the album is filled with gut-wrenching appeals to, and worship of, God.
  • Holding Nothing Back, Tim Hughes (2007)
    In a time when worship music (and perhaps Christian music in general) was lacking in creativity and quality production, Hughes came out with this album filled with top-quality songwriting, musicianship, and production. In my opinion, this album stands far above anything else of the time period in almost every respect.
  • Citizens, Citizens (2013)
    A recent album from one of Mars Hill’s many bands, this record is packed with creative, thoughtful, and quality lyrics and music from beginning to end. I can listen to this record over and over again.

Jayson Bradley

I’ll let you deduce his age from the albums he chose.

  • Hungry, Vineyard (1999)
    There was a time when you couldn’t touch the intimate and powerful music coming out of the Vineyard movement. But that time seemed to be waning when this Vineyard UK album (of new music—not repacked favorites) released and went platinum—nearly every song was amazing.
  • Not to Us, Chris Tomlin (2002)
    For a while, Chris Tomlin was becoming a huge name on the worship circuit. I think this album took him from the great-new-talent category and propelled him into the it’s-going-to-be-impossible-to-get-away-from-this-guy’s-music category.
  • Cutting Edge, Delirious? (1994–1995)
    No worship group had more influence than Delirious? in getting youth excited about worship again. This collection helped pave the way for Christendom’s Redmans, Tomlins, and Crowders.
  • Intimacy, Matt Redman (1998)
    Maybe Redman didn’t create the momentum that ushered in a new wave of worship music, but he did ride it. Either way, this was a landmark album in the genre.
  • Enter the Worship Circle, Waterdeep and 100 Portraits (1999)
    Rough, raw, unrehearsed, and exuberant: this album revealed the bands’ organic but intimate worship experience which translated well for the listener.

Ray Deck III

Yours truly.

  • United We Stand, Hillsong United (2010)
    Through these songs a generation says, “we don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re doing it together.” Tracks like “From the Inside Out” forged the anthemic worship sound that we all now equate with Hillsong.
  • A Collision Or, David Crowder Band (2005)
    It’s been said that musicianship is found in the rests as much as the notes. Nowhere is this more clear than in Crowder’s A Collision Or, which includes almost five full minutes of silence. This is less an album, more an experience.
  • Beautiful Things, Gungor (2009)
    Gungor is a lot more than the flavor of the month. They’re simultaneously breaking new instrumental ground, and reviving the theological richness that had fallen out of vogue.
  • Cutting Edge, Delirious? (1994–1995)
    I second what everybody else said. I’ll also add that the independent nature of the Delirious? rise contributed to its fame. They are to worship music what Nirvana is to rock.
  • The Joshua Tree, U2 (1987)
    I know it’s not a worship album. It’s not even a “Christian” album. But the sonic texture of this record influenced every worship album made in the 20 years that followed it. If you meet four worship leaders, three of them will name U2 as their favorite band.

Tell us in the comments whose list you like best, and which albums make your top five.

Written by
Ray Deck III

Born in WV, Ray escaped to North Carolina at a young age. He came to Logos after an 8 year stint at a faith-based nonprofit in New York. When he is not assembling sequences of words, he’s probably running, surfing or shooting skeet, but you should probably go look for him. He has a terrible sense of direction and is probably lost.

View all articles

Your email address has been added

Written by Ray Deck III
Unlock curated libraries and Bible study tools for up to 30% off with your first Logos 10 package.
Unlock curated libraries and Bible study tools for up to 30% off with your first Logos 10 package.