Written and Media by Stephen Hillrich.
During my preview visits to Greenville College before attending, one of my favorite things about the college was Chapel, and specifically the time of worship through music. I noticed a high standard of musicianship, and also a passion and energy in the congregation of students. Greenville College requires students to attend a certain number of chapel services, which exposes students to a large amount of worship time. Chapel also provides students studying music, audio engineering, or digital media with an opportunity to put their skills to use outside of the classroom. The musicians and vocalists involved in leading worship are responsible for leading their peers spiritually as well as musically. During my first year of attending GC, I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience that chapel provides. As the second semester is starting to wrap up, let’s take a look at a few of the best and most popular worship songs of the school year. Please also read on to see a special interview with two of Greenville College’s own student worship leaders.
1) “All the Poor and Powerless” – All Sons & Daughters
“All the Poor and Powerless” was made popular by The Digital Age in addition to the group All Sons & Daughters, although their versions are slightly different. However, the power of this song is not merely in the musical arrangement, but also in the lyrical content. Although there are really only three main sections that get repeated several times as the song goes on, the words they say are strong. The lyrics call for a time when all would “know that [God] is holy” and “All will sing out Hallelujah.” As these lyrics are repeated and the musical dynamics of the song change, the worshipper is called to declare who God is, while at the same time recognize His holiness.
2) “Holy” – Matt Redman
Although not as popular as the title track for his album “10,000 Reasons,” Matt Redman‘s “Holy” is also an excellent song for corporate worship. In a recent interview, GC’s own Nate Bjorge referenced “Holy” as one of his favorite songs to lead in chapel based on its lyrical content and musical depth. This song provides the worshipper with a time to be filled with adoration for who Jesus is. Although the chorus praises Him as “Holy, Holy, Holy,” the name of God is emphasized fully in the bridge:
“Who shall we say You are
You’re the living God
Who shall we say You are
You’re the Great I AM
The highest name of all
You’re all You say You are”
3) “Build Your Kingdom Here” – Rend Collective Experiment
“Build Your Kingdom Here” was especially popular during the first semester of this year, as Rend Collective Experiment released their album “Campfire” earlier in 2013. This song specifically features catchy rhythm and lyrics as it calls for God’s presence in the place of worship. It is exciting to hear hundreds of students declaring “Holy Sprit, come invade us now / We are your church / We need your power in us” and “Set Your church on fire / Win this nation back / Change the atmosphere / Build Your kingdom here / We pray!” As one of the more popular songs at the beginning of the year, “Build Your Kingdom Here” got students excited about the presence of God in their lives.
4) “Holy Spirit” – Jesus Culture
Jesus Culture has long been one of the leading producers of worship music for the modern church. The group is well known for dozens of titles such as “Come Away,” “Your Love Never Fails,” “Fire Fall Down,” and “One Thing Remains.” Their song “Holy Spirit” has been a popular one on Greenville College’s campus this year, as its lyrics are personal and intimate. The chorus welcomes the Holy Spirit into the place of worship and begs for an encounter with God.
“Holy Spirit You are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by Your presence Lord.”
5) “Give Me Faith” – Elevation Worship
Elevation Worship‘s “Give Me Faith” is a song of calling out to God, desperate to give Him control of your life. These prayerful lyrics are rich in confession and yet still delight in who God is. This song somehow manages to accept our failures, while at the same time encourage by rejoicing in the glory of God. As the chorus begs for faith in the greatness of God, the bridge contrasts our imperfections with the steadfastness of the Lord.
“Give me faith to trust what You say
That You’re good, and Your love is great.
I’m broken inside, I give You my life.
I may be weak, but
Your Spirit’s strong in me.
My flesh may fail, but
My God You never will.”
6) “Always” – Kristian Stanfill
7) “Forever” – Bethel Music
8) “Great I Am” – New Life Worship
9) “Called Me Higher” – All Sons & Daughters
10) “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” – Hillsong UNITED
In an effort to better understand where the music is coming from that we see weekly on campus, I recently interviewed Nate Bjorge and KJ Roelke, two student worship leaders at Greenville College. Both are extremely passionate about leading worship and playing music with their peers. The video below covers both of their interviews.