The CCLI Top 100 As A Benchmark For Quality

Just the other day I read a post by Bob Kauflin, What Goes On at a Sovereign Grace Songwriting Retreat?  As I was skimming through the commets I came across the […]

Just the other day I read a post by Bob Kauflin, What Goes On at a Sovereign Grace Songwriting Retreat?  As I was skimming through the commets I came across the following comment…

“I’d be interested to hear about your success rate. How many of the songs produced by this process are breaking into the CCLI top charts?”

I found Bob’s response to be refreshing…

“I don’t think we’ve ever broken into the CCLI top charts! But that doesn’t keep us from writing. The CCLI charts reflect not only how good a song might be but also how long it’s been around, whose album it’s been on, how it might have been promoted, and a host of other factors, including God wanting a lot of people to sing it! Of course, we wouldn’t complain if more churches were singing our songs, but our aim is to strive to write better songs.

So if the CCLI Top 100 list dosen’t provide the best bench mark for judging quality songs then what does?  As I was thinking through this I came up with three questions we can ask ourselves when evaluating a new song for worship.

  1. Is the lyric of this song well written?  Songs with simple or trite lyrics and little substance will often fall short of edifying your congregation. The best songs are those with lyrics of high literary value that creatively convey Biblical truth with the appropriate emotional posture.
  2. Is the music of this song well written?  Music should be melodically dynamic, interesting, and catchy.  The music should also serve the lyrics as an emotional extension of sorts…  I.e. If the lyrics are joyous and happy then it stands to reason that the music should also be joyous and happy.
  3. Is this a song my church will want to sing?  Worship songs should be for the benefit of the congregation (Eph 5:19) so select songs that are singable and obtainable for them.  Furthermore, each congregation has it’s own personality…  A song that works in one church might not work in another.  Before I introduce a new song I try to imagine my congregation singing it…  If I can’t imagen them singing a particularly song then I probably won’t introduce that song.

Of course this list is not all inclusive so…

What questions would you ask when selecting new songs for worship?

Be Sociable, Share!

Related posts:

daniellyle

About daniellyle

Daniel Lyle is a pastor and worship leader living and ministering in New Hampshire.