14. David Crowder Band: Illuminate OR A Collision – In addition to providing the occasional corporate worship gem, Crowder continually reminded us that worship music can be interesting.
13. Gungor: Beautiful Things – While this project doesn’t have the continuity of Ghosts Upon the Earth, it certainly set the stage for that stunning project. It has some great congregational songs that are in all honesty more accessible for most current worship bands than anything on Ghosts.
12. Chris Tomlin: Not To Us – His second album was a game changer in making modern worship corporate (communal), and a sign of things to come from Tomlin.
11. Caedmon’s Call: In the Company of Angels – Many of the songs on both this album and Angels II should be played in churches much more than they are, and this is a sound that more church bands would do well to emulate.
10. Third Day: Offerings – Perhaps the best of the “popular-artist-does-a-worship-record” trend album, unless of course you’re more inclined to Michael W. Smith’s style. Then get his Worship Again, which is more creative and original than Worship.
9. Aaron Neiquist: With Broken Fists – In a piano/key-driven indie-rock style unique to worship music, Neiquist gets his congregation singing and stomping for God’s renewal. One of the most original projects of the century so far, both musically and lyrically.
8. Enter the Worship Circle: First Circle – Raw, informal, and powerful. The Chaffer’s and the Pasley’s bring some great songs here.
7. Hillsong United: All Of The Above – Brought social justice into worship music and introduced us to Brooke Frasor. Look To You was also very good.
6. Something Like Silas: Live AND Divine Invitation – You’re more likely to find the latter, but Live, recorded at Hume Lake, was a trend-setter on the West Coast. Eric Owyoung, for all of his musical transitions, is still churning out great music as Future of Forestry.
5. Delirious: Glo – Epic. The band that kicked the modern worship movement into high gear is here at their finest. A journey with equal parts power and subtlety.
4. Paul Baloche: A Greater Song – Baloche makes strides in providing intergenerational material on this release. What a great example of a leader and band who know how to get out of the way and let the worship take center stage.
3. David Crowder Band: All I Can Say – I’m cheating a bit here, but although this album was first released in 1998, it didn’t really hit nationally until 2000. Crowder’s first, independent album – it may be his best.
2. Chris Tomlin: Arriving – The first four tracks happen to be four of the biggest worship hits of the past decade, and for good reason. See the Morning and Hello Love could just as easily have made this list, but we need to leave some room for other artists. No other artist is as intentional or consistent at churning out worship songs for the masses.
What are your favorites?