The idea behind this blog is not to discourage listening to secular music. I love all kinds of music, but find it is often the coolest tunes on radio which have the most dodgy lyrics and those are the ones that get stuck in my head. It’s a problem when a mother of two can’t stop singing “We stay up all night to get lucky!” – Thanks to Pentatonix for that catchy rendition.

I mentioned in a previous blog, How to sing better with the church, that people remember the words of the songs they sing [in church] long after the words of the sermon – melody and rhythm make lyrics more memorable.

If this is the case, having music on-hand, to play in the car or at home that not only sounds great but is also edifying, is a worthwhile pursuit.

1. Start with songs that are sung in church

If you and your family know the songs sung in your church well, you’ll be able to enjoy the times of sung worship that much more.
Also, if your church chooses songs carefully (and there are so many helpful websites for choosing great songs now), the songs you’ll be listening to in the car and at home will be rich in theology.

2. Search helpful websites

Praise Charts is a great web resource for church musicians looking for new songs to introduce to the congregations they serve. The list of artists it houses is extensive and each artist’s name is accompanied by some of the albums they have released. See this link as an example:

Apple Music will open up a world of new artists and songs to you but this can be both exciting and intimidating – knowing how to filter.

3. Choose artists who have stood the test of time

Some artists are promoted under the “Gospel” or “Christian” label but it can be difficult to find the gospel message amongst their lines. Opt for some of the stalwarts of Christian music, who are usually tried and tested and found to have lives that are consistent with their lyrics.

4. Start young

If you have young children, try some of the Hillsong Kids albums, Colin Buchanan and Johnny Burns (all Australian). The Kids Praise albums are older but are also super fun and can all be purchased online. Getting into a family culture of listening to good music that your children appreciate may present opportunities for discussions about their music choices in teenage years.

While listening to children’s music is to be encouraged, there is also a great deal to be said for exposing children to grown-up church songs. Some of the children in our church can sing loads of lyrics from songs that are not particularly child-focused. Children have an amazing ability to absorb lyrics. Helping them understand what they are singing about is a wonderful opportunity for gospel conversations.

5. Here is a far-from-comprehensive list of some Contemporary Christian artists and songs to get you started:


Brooke Fraser
Not only a prolific writer for Hillsong but a solo artist with deep, thought-provoking lyrics.


Francesca Battistelli
I love the words of this song

Brandon Heath

Nicole Nordeman

Christian Rock:

Casting Crowns
Led by Mark Hall, they write singable songs but also teach on contemporary issues through their songs.



Gospel/Christian Contemporary

Israel Houghton (and New Breed)
Their “Live in Asia” album in great but he is prolific and there is lots more where that came from.


For South African Gospel, some of the Joyous Celebration albums have great songs. Also try Benjamin Dube.

For some more options, try: Matt Redman, Kari Jobe, Lauren Daigle, Matthew West, Lou Fellingham, Lincoln Brewster, Chris Tomlin, Laura Storey, Christy Nockels, All Sons and Daughters, Kim Walker-Smith, Toby Mac, Paul Baloche, Hillsong and Hillsong United and South African Blaque Nubon and Lilly Million.

Happy Listening!


Written by Bronwen Anderson. Original article can be found here.