News and Journalism on Industry and Contemporary Worship

“Our Worship Is Turning Praise into Secular Profit,” in Christianity Today, by Kelsey Kramer McGinnis, April 19, 2023.

We’ve No Less Days to Sing God’s Praise, But New Worship Songs Only Last a Few Years“, in Christianity Today, by Daniel Silliman, 2021.

“When Do the Latest Hillsong and Bethel Hits Belong in Your Sunday Lineups?” in Christianity Today, Kelsey Kramer McGinnis, Spring 2021.

“Study: Female Songwriters Are Dropping Off the Worship Charts,” Christianity Today, Kelsey Kramer McGinnis June 2022.

“Jesus Climbs the Charts: The business of Contemporary Christian Music” in Religion Online, Mark Allan Powell

Scholarly Sources on Contemporary Worship Music (and Industry)

Marc Jolicoeur, Mike Tapper, Lisa Corbin, Charldon Dennis, Andrea Hunter, “Worship at the Speed of Sound”, (April 20, 2022).

Shannan K. Baker, “A Typology of Ad-Libbing: Performing Authenticity in Contemporary Worship,” Religions 14, no. 3 (March 2023): 337,;

Shannan Katherine Baker, “The Mystery, Music, and Markets of Contemporary Worship Songs: An Interdisciplinary Comparison of the CCLI Top 25 and Number-One Songs from 2010–2020” (PhD Dissertation, Baylor University, 2022);

Adam Perez, “Beyond the Guitar: The Keyboard as a Lens into the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship,” The Hymn 69, no. 1 (Spring 2019): 18–26.

Adam Perez “Enthroned Upon Praise: The Early History and Theology of Integrity’s Hosanna! Music.” In Essays on the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship, edited by Lester Ruth (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2020).

Lester Ruth, ed., Essays on the History of Contemporary Praise and Worship (Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications, 2020).

Monique M. Ingalls, Singing the Congregation: How Contemporary Worship Music Forms Evangelical Community. (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Andrew Mall. God Rock, Inc.: The Business of Niche Music (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2021).

Adam Perez, “‘It’s Your Breath in Our Lungs’: Sean Feucht’s Praise and Worship Music Protests and the Theological Problem of Pandemic Response in the US” in Religions 13.1 (2022): 47ff.

Nathan Myrick, “Double Authenticity: Celebrity, Consumption, and the Christian Worship Music Industry,” The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song 69.2 (2018): 21–27.

Lester Ruth and Swee Hong Lim, A History of Contemporary Praise and Worship: Understanding the Ideas That Reshaped the Protestant Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2021).

Glenn Packiam, Worship and the World to Come: Exploring Christian Hope in Contemporary Worship (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2020).

Joshua Busman, “Worshipping ‘With Everything’: Musical Analysis and Congregational Worship.” In Studying Congregational Music: Key Issues, Methods, and Theoretical Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2021), 25–38.

Joshua Busman. “(Re)Sounding Passion: Listening to American Evangelical Worship Music, 1997-2015.” (Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2015).

Monique M. Ingalls, “Transnational Connections, Musical Meaning, and the 1990s ‘British Invasion’ of North American Evangelical Worship Music,” ed. Jonathan Dueck and Suzel Ana Reily, The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities, 2016,

Swee-Hong Lim and Lester Ruth, Lovin’ on Jesus : A Concise History of Contemporary Worship (Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press, 2017).

Michael A. Tapper, Canadian Pentecostals, the Trinity, and Contemporary Worship Music : The Things We Sing, Global Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies (Leiden: Brill, 2017).

Monique M. Ingalls, “Style Matters: Contemporary Worship Music and the Meaning of Popular Musical Borrowings,” Liturgy 32, no. 1 (January 2, 2017): 7–15, ;

Lester Ruth, “Some Similarities and Differences between Historic Evangelical Hymns and Contemporary Worship Songs,” The Artistic Theologian 3 (2015): 68–86;

Lester Ruth, “How ‘Pop’ Are the New Worship Songs? Investigating the Levels of Popular Cultural Influence on Contemporary Worship Music,” Global Forum on Arts and Christian Faith 3, no. 1 (November 9, 2015).

R Matthew Sigler, “Not Your Mother’s Contemporary Worship: Exploring CCLI’s ‘top 25’ Lists for Changes in Evangelical Contemporary Worship,” Worship 87, no. 5 (September 2013): 445–63;

Wen Reagan, “A Beautiful Noise: A History of Contemporary Worship Music in Modern America” (Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University, 2015)

Michael S. Hamilton, “A Generation Changes North American Hymnody,” The Hymn – A Journal of Congregational Song 52, no. 3 (July 2001): 11–21

Kate Bowler and Wen Reagan, “Bigger, Better, Louder: The Prosperity Gospel’s Impact on Contemporary Christian Worship,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 24, no. 2 (July 1, 2014): 186–230.

Robbie B. H. Goh, “Hillsong and ‘Megachurch’ Practice: Semiotics, Spatial Logic, and the Embodiment of Contemporary Evangelical Protestantism,” Material Religion 4, no. 3 (November 2008): 284–304.

Gerardo Marti, Worship across the Racial Divide: Religious Music and the Multiracial Congregation (Oxford University Press, 2012).

David Lemley, Becoming What We Sing: Formation through Contemporary Worship Music (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2021).

Podcasts and Blogs on Contemporary Worship

Conversations on Contemporary Worship (Adam Perez, host)

From Hymns to Hillsong and Back Again + Leah Payne & David Gungor (Religion News Service, Saved in the City Podcast, May 2022)

7 Trends That Are Changing Contemporary Worship (Dan Wilt)

Music’s Content More Important Than Source, Leaders Say (Scott Barkley)

Should Churches Still Use Music From Hillsong? (James Emery White)

Ed Stetzer: Churchleaders Must Face The Future of Music in the Church (Ed Stetzer)

Understanding the Broader Context of Popular Music Industry, Culture, and Songwriting

Academic Articles:

Interstellar Songwriting: What Propels a Song Beyond Escape Velocity (Clive Harrison)

Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market (Matthew J. Salganik, Pattern Sheridan Dodds, Duncan J. Watts)

Moshe Adler, Stardom and Talent,

Petitbob, Aimée M., and David B. Hitchcock. 2022. “What Kind of Music Do You Like? A Statistical Analysis of Music Genre Popularity Over Time.” Journal of Data Science 20 (2): 168–87.

Lafrance, Marc, Casey Scheibling, Lori Burns, and Jean Durr. 2018. “Race, Gender, and the Billboard Top 40 Charts between 1997 and 2007.” Popular Music & Society 41 (5): 522–38.

Arenal, Alberto; Armuña, Cristina; Ramos, Sergio; Feijoo, Claudio; Aguado, Juan-Miguel (2022). “Giants with feet of clay: the sustainability of the business models in music streaming services”. Profesional de la Información, v. 31, n. 5, e310509.

“The impact of COVID-19 on music consumption and music spending” (Janis Denk, Alexa Burmester,Michael Kandziora,Michel Clement)

Haynes, Jo, and Lee Marshall. 2018. “Reluctant Entrepreneurs: Musicians and Entrepreneurship in the ‘New’ Music Industry.” British Journal of Sociology 69 (2): 459–82.

Raustiala, K and Sprigman, C.J. (2019). “The Second Digital Disruption: Streaming and the Dawn of Data-Driven Creativity.” New York University Law Review, 94(6), 1555–1622.

David Easley and Jon Kleinberg, “Power Laws and Rich-Get-Richer Phenomena” in Networks, Crowds and Markets: Reasoning about a Highly Connected World (Cambridge University Press 2019), pp. 543–560.

Kiger, Patrick J. “How Spotify Broadens Your Musical Tastes.” Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1 May 2018.

Blogs and Internet Sources

Murray Stassen, “We Have a Deep Sense of Who the Artist is and How to Support Them” Music Business Worldwide (August 3, 2022).

Too Many Songs, Not Enough Hits: Pop Music Is Struggling to Create New Stars” (Elias Leight)

Glenn Peoples, “The Ledger: How Will 2022’s Music Consumption Trends Impact Catalog Valuations?” Billboard (Jan. 1, 2023).

Glenn Peoples, “The Ledger: Three Major Trends Revealed in Music Companies’ Q1 2022Billboard (May 20, 2022).

Marie Charlotte Götting, “U.S. Music Industry – Statistics & Facts”, (Mar. 21, 2023).

Anara Publishing, “What is Sync and Why is it Important”

Billboard Staff, “Deep Dive: The Distribution Revolution” (August 3, 2022)

Rachel Adams, “Long Tail Theory: How it Applies to Music Hits and Niches” (August 20, 2021)

Terry Matthew, “Purged: How a failed economic theory still rules the digital music marketplace” (Nov. 1, 2019)

Shikhar Goel, “How does Spotify work and make money- Business Model?” (July 15, 2022).

“Do Artists Get Paid Every Time Their Song Is Played on Spotify?”, 16 Nov. 2020, .

Glenn Peoples, “For Streamers, Does Catalog Size Matter?” (April 8, 2022).

Luminate U.S. Year-End Music Report for 2022

“6mo H2 2022 Music Industry Trends and Predictions”