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Posted by on Apr 10, 2014 in Christian Music | 1 comment

10 Contemporary Christian Songs That Are Secularly Popular

10 Contemporary Christian Songs That Are Secularly Popular

We thought Christian music is limited only within churches, and christian gatherings. Well, over the years, there’s a lot of christian songs that crossed over into the mainstream market and received wide acclaim from secular audiences.


Songs That SURPRISINGLY are of Christian Origin!

We might be even surprised that some of the songs that we’ve mistaken as secular are actually songs written by Christian artists or based on Christian themes.

I have a list of some of the most popular christian-themed songs that made a splash in the secular world (not in any particular order):


Only Hope by Switchfoot

Only Hope – Switchfoot

Only Hope is song of prayer of devotion to God. Long before it gain mainstream popularity, the song was one of Switchfoot’s discography until pulled out from obscurity by Mandy Moore’s rendition of the song in A Walk to Remember.


Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle

Bob Carlisle – Butterfly Kisses

This song bagged the Best Country Song award in the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998 not to mention that it topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart on the same year. It’s explicit mention of Jesus and its fatherly theme leave no doubt about its Christian origin. Butterfly Kisses is also a great song for fathers.


I Will Be Here For You by Michael W. Smith

▶ Michael W Smith I Will Be Here For You

Although this song can be classified as a love song, the chorus “I will be here for you somehere in the night” can be likened to God’s assurance that He will be with us even in our darkest night. This Michael W. Smith’s single was a hit on Billboards’ Adult Contemporary Chart and and reached no.7 on The Billboard Hot 100 in 1992.


Dare You to Move by Switchfoot

Switchfoot – Dare You To Move (Alt. Version)

This is another song from Switchfoot and just like “Only Hope”, it was also included as a soundtrack in A Walk to Remember and gained mainstream popularity from then on. It peaked at #17 on US Billboard HOT 100 and 35th on Australian Singles Chart.


I will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman

I Will Be Here, Steven Curtis Chapman *lyrics!*

Long before this song gained secular success, the album producer remarked, “Man, I bet this is going to be sung at weddings for a long time”. After more than 20 years afters its first release, I Will Be Here is still one of the most popular songs sung at wedding. Aside from being a staple wedding song, it’s also frequently aired on radios.


Jesus Take The Wheel by Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood – Jesus, Take The Wheel

It’s a ballad that tells the story of a woman who’s seeking Jesus in an emergency situation. The song instantly became a hit, topping the US Billboard Hot Country Songs for 6 consecutive weeks and gaining 20th position in the US Hot 100 in 2005-2006. The success of “Jesus Take The Wheel” helped solidify Underwood’s reputation as one of the most successful country music singers in this generation.


More to Life by Stacie Orrico

Stacie Orrico – (There's Gotta Be) More To Life

There’s is more to life than money, fame, beauty, a moment of euphoria…. name it. That’s what this song is all about. Released in 2003, the song peaked at number 2 and number 5 on the US Billboard POP Songs.


Flood by Jars of Clay

Jars Of Clay – Flood

Before “Flood” hit the airwaves, christian music was described as dull. “Flood” instantly became a hit not only Christian charts but on the mainstream charts as well. It was the song that opened up doors for combined contemporary christian music and alternative rock.


Hanging By A Moment by Lifehouse

Lifehouse – Hanging By A Moment (Walmart Soundcheck)

This song is “clearly a cry out to God” as described by John DiBiase of The lyrics says it all: “Desperate for changing, starving for truth, closer to where I started, I’m chasing after you”. It peaked the charts at number 2 and stayed on the charts for the next 55 consecutive weeks. It also peaked on charts in Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.


Fireflies by Owl City

Owl City – Fireflies

This hit single topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, the United Kingdom and in many more countries. In the United States, topped the charts for two non-consecutive weeks. It’s a little song about bugs and insomnia as Adam Young remarked.

So, that’s my list of Christian songs that became popular among secular audiences. Do you have songs that you can suggest for this topic?

Please comment on below!

  • liberal

    “Songs That SURPRISINGLY are of Christian Origin!”

    “Jesus Take The Wheel by Carrie Underwood”


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