- It's that time of year when we all look back and assess how the previous year went and then plan for the future. We must keep moving forward!
Martin Luther King Jr. said,
“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
It’s that time of year when we all look back and assess how the previous year went, whether personally or professionally, and then plan for the future. We must keep moving forward!
The goals we invent usually revolve around how we feel we did at accomplishing the things we set out to accomplish in the previous year. Our editorial team is participating in this same process, but instead of using just feelings we have data to pull into to the conversation. We like to plan next years topics after digesting what performed well the previous year and incorporating that data-driven understanding into the editorial calendar that we create.
Now, before you comment below on how flawed website analytics are, I’m talking to all of the SEO experts reading this article right now, I want it stated for that record that I’m fully aware this simple data set of “most visited articles” is far from perfect. But it’s still a baseline of information that can help us better understand the topics our readers like you care most about. If you disagree with my conclusions, then I encourage you to comment below. We’re always interested in what our readers think and what topics they are most interested in us covering.
Here are the top 5 most read articles of 2022.
#1 – Worship Leader: Really What Is Our Purpose?
Here’s the key thing: the reason why we step on the platform is not just to worship Jesus. We don’t have to be on stage to do that. If that’s all we want to do, then we have no business leading. Steven Soltow
Steven Soltow, a former worship leader at Life Community Church in Newark, DE, wrote this piece back in January of 2020 and, based on the data, it’s still resonating with our audience and it’s our most visited article of 2022. It points to the fact that we are always looking to align our worship leading with God’s purpose and plan. For those in ministry, to have that purpose align with a kingdom purpose, is always a relevant topic to explore.
#2 – Jenn Johnson: The Invitation From The Lord Is To Simplify
Obey when you hear him speak. Jenn Johnson
Our second most popular article from 2022 came from our podcast featuring our special guest, Jenn Johnson. Her challenge to all of us to continually cast our crowns at the feet of Jesus and simplify our lives by getting off of social media and spending more time with our Creator, is always an important call-to-action for believers in Jesus. The data showed that, even though this article was posted in August of 2022 and only had 5 months to collect views, it still came in second overall for the year. That could have something to do with Jenn’s popularity, but all things considered, that’s an impressive data point. I invite our readers to listen to Jenn’s episode of our devotionals podcast, The Walk, below.
#3 – 7 Ways To Teach Your Congregation To Worship
Looking out into the congregation, I wonder who really knows Christ? Who is singing the songs, perhaps with passion and joy, but doesn’t know Him yet? In regards to both the visible and the invisible church, how many times have we wrongly assumed that our congregation knows what it means to worship God through music?
Over the years, Worship Leader Magazine has had the privilege to have some outstanding editors and contributors. This piece came from our staff writers and we edited and conceived by our founder, Chuck Fromm.
Have you asked yourself this question before, “Does my congregation know HOW to worship?” If not, this article is a must read and the topic will always be relevant to those trying to lead church congregations in a music worship experience.
#4 – Which Comes First
It is helpful when leading others in praise and in worship to remember that “Praise and Worship” is not a genre of music but two different, but related concepts. Sheri (Tesar) Bradley
Sheri (Tesar) Bradley wrote a piece back in 2017 that continues to perform well with our readers. The topic covers how our culture has hijacked the words “praise” and “worship” and put them together to represent a genre of music. When, according to the scriptures, one comes before the other and the terms stand for very different things. This is a great piece for those interested in worship theology and the practices found in scripture that lead to the creation of the worship service.
#5 – 10 Roles Of Music In A Service Of Worship
One of the many misnomers in the realms of worship is the tendency for people to use the term “worship” as a synonym for the musical aspect of a worship service. When in fact, music actually has many roles in a service of worship outside that of sung prayer. Here are the 10 roles of music in services of worship.
Since so much of our audience is involved in the musical aspects of running a worship service, this article, even though it was published in 2019, continues to perform well with our audience and rounds out our top 5 most read articles of 2022.
This incredible group approached us last year, headed by by Dr. Mike Tapper, to publish a very important study, “Worship at the Speed of Sound.” The study focused on the accelerating pace of creation, distribution, ascent & decline in the life of congregational worship songs. It was our 6th most popular article by a hair, but worth an honorable mention as the data it uncovered is sure to intrigue worship songwriters and all of those focused on trends within the Church.
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Joshua Swanson is the Editor-in-Chief of Worship Leader. He's also the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Authentic Media, Worship Leader's parent company, and the former CEO and Co-founder of the creative agency GTMA. His proudest achievement is his marriage to Rachael Joy and partnering with her in founding New Hope Children. As a performer and speaker, he’s appeared on TV networks like ABC, NBC, Lifetime, and Hallmark. His companies have worked with major brands like Sprint, Pokemon Go (he was also in a Pokemon movie), Pepsi, The Latin Grammys, the Billboard Awards, Corona and over 75 national developers. He’s narrated over a hundred audiobooks and was awarded Best YA Voice twice. His companies have been Inc. 5000 three different times.