Today, I’d like to introduce a new recurring feature on Church Music Today called: FAVE FIVE’S. Over the next few months, I will be looking at what I perceive as the top 5 songs from various worship leaders and song-writers. These are my personal picks, so feel free to comment below if you think I’ve omitted a song that is worthy of inclusion in the list.
We will begin our FAVE FIVE’S series by looking at the songs of Paul Baloche. In short, Paul Baloche is one of the most well-known Christian worship leaders / song-writers of our time. Over the past several decades, he has made tremendous contributions to the church through his songs. He currently has two songs on the CCLI Top 25, #8 – Open the Eyes of My Heart & #20 – Hosanna (Praise Is Rising). (For a full bio from a previous post by Dennis Cook, click here.)
Here are my top 5 Paul Baloche songs for use in corporate worship…
- Your Name – I first heard this song on Phillips Craig and Dean’s “Let the Worshipper’s Arise” album a few years back. It is a great song about the strong and powerful name of Jesus. I love the line “let the nations sing it louder.” The emphasis on spreading the name of Jesus to the nations makes this song very flexible for thematic worship. This is a regular in our worship rotation. We sort of do a hybrid of the two versions of the song. You can see the story behind the song here.
- Our God Saves – We use this song regularly in corporate worship as a call to worship. It is a driving anthem about our amazing, saving God. The song is Trinitarian in nature so it also very flexible in a variety of thematic services. You can see the story behind the song here.
- What Can I Do? – A similar theme song to How Can Keep from Singing. Probably my personal favorite Baloche song. You can see the story behind the song here.
- Offering (original and Christmas versions) – A simple song that of offering / surrender to Jesus. The Christmas version of the song allows great flexibility of use. We use the Casting Crowns version during the Christmas season. You can see the story behind the song here.
- Open the Eyes of My Heart – You can’t talk about Paul Baloche songs without talking about this simple, but effective song. It has stood the test of time (written in 1997) as it still remains in the #8 position on the CCLI Top 25 chart. A great song for preparing our hearts to encounter God. It commands a biblically accurate view of God as high and lifted up (Isaiah 6). You can see the story behind the song here.
Glorious – I will probably end up moving this song up the list, however at this point it is new to me. It has great Gospel – centered lyrics and it promotes the greatness of God (two non-negotiables in corporate worship). The more I listen to it, the more I like it.
Hosanna (Praise Is Rising) – A good song to bring out for Palm Sunday.
Others…I Will Boast, Above All, Because of Your Love, & Thank You, Lord
In conclusion, I believe Paul Baloche is a terrific song-writer and has made great contributions to the church. I also believe one of Baloche’s strongest attributes as a writer is his ability to craft an upbeat song that says something of value. Not too many folks can do this! You can check out more of Baloche’s songs here.