2013 was a powerful year on the Christian music scene. It’s hard to choose the top ten songs with so many strong contenders, but these songs can all rightfully claim a spot on the list.
Here’s a look at the top 10 that can still bless you well into the New Year as we leave 2013 in the rearview mirror:
1. “Love Take Me Over” – Steven Curtis Chapman
Steve Curtis Chapman is an artist with a powerful faith, even in the face of adversities like losing a young child in a tragic accident. He continues to praise the Lord through his music, and his latest album, The Glorious Unfolding, hit No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Album chart and number 27 on the overall Billboard Top 200 in October, 2013. “Love Take Me Over” comes from that album. It’s a jaunty, uplifting song about the importance of being filled with love rather than unhealthy things.
2. “Hello, My Name Is” – Matthew West
Matthew West is known for writing songs based on personal testimonies from his fans, like the heartfelt “Forgiveness.” “Hello, My Name Is” is another such song, inspired by a fan who lost everything when he spiraled into addiction before being redeemed by God’s grace.
This song speaks to anyone who’s ever felt doubt or fought inner demons. Thankfully, we’re all children of the King, who doesn’t judge us by our failures and who’s always ready to stand by us when we’re ready for redemption. This song touched so many hearts that it shattered the record for most weeks at No. 1 on the National Christian Audience chart, staying in the top spot for 16 weeks.
3. “Live with Abandon” – Newsboys
The pumping rock beats of the Newsboys punctuate the high-energy “Live With Abandon,” which comes from their Restart album. The venerable band, which has been around since 1985, soared to No. 1 on the Top Christian Album chart, owing in large part to the popularity of this song, which reminds people to let go and let God into the driver’s seat.
4. “Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)” – Chris Tomlin
Chris Tomlin is well known for powerful worship songs, and “Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)” fits nicely into this realm. It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart in February of 2013. It’s very reassuring with its chorus that serves as a reminder of God’s steady presence.
5. “Overcomer” – Mandisa
The powerful title track from Mandissa’s latest album is very personal, since it tells us the story of her life in a powerful way that empowers listeners to face their own challenges. Its namesake album shot to No. 1 on the Top Christian Album chart, buoyed by the inspiring message. Mandisa herself has overcome many adversities, including snark from Simon Cowell on American Idol, where she ultimately lasted until the top nine.
6. “You Are I Am” – MercyMe
“You Are I Am” hails from the MercyMe album The Hurt & The Healer, which came out in 2012. Its strength continued into 2013, as the song maintained its popularity on the airwaves. It’s easy to relate to the words that reminder us we can never fall so far that Jesus can’t lift us up.
7. “We Won’t Be Shaken” – Building 429
This is another powerful song from the venerable Building 429. The title sums it up nicely, reminding us that we won’t be shaken when we have faith in God, no matter what life throws our way. Its namesake album hit No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart.
8. “I Need A Miracle” – Third Day
Third Day’s gritty sound works perfectly with this ballad about how God is always there for us, even in our most trying times. He’s just waiting for us to turn to Him so He can heal us. This song hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs and Hot Christian Adult Contemporary charts. It was released in late 2012, but enjoyed extensive air play well into 2013.
9. “Steal My Show” – tobyMac
TobyMac is one of the most popular Christian performers, and “Steal My Show” is another big winner. It’s powerful, catchy, and has a great message. Just as tobyMac offers God the chance to “steal his show” at every performance and speak through him, so should we all give God that power to take over our lives. It came out in late 2012, but it still dominates the airwaves.
10. “Kings & Queens” – Audio Adrenaline
This song highlights a cause that’s very close to Audio Adrenaline: the orphans of Haiti, whom they work with through the Hands and Feet project. It reminds us that even the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40) are royalty in the eyes of God. Someday they’ll receive their fitting reward. The album for which this song is named was the number 70 most sold album on the Billboard Top 200 and number four on the Christian albums chart as of March, 2013.