The Top 40 Christian Songs of 2012

The year 2012 gave us a lot of great music to listen to. Popular hits came from Christian rock, contemporary pop and traditional urban gospel (to name a few). We heard from several of our old favorites and met some talented new faces while glorifying God through amazing music.

Kicking off at #40, the third single to chart from Switchfoot's Vice Verses is filled with impassioned guitar runs, roaring drums and fervent lyrics about living today fully while keeping your eyes on the afterlife. Popular in Australia, "Afterlife" made it to #41 on TRAA's Year End Chart.

With 20,503 spins in 2012 and a spot at #36 on Billboard, "Remind Me Who I Am" was the first single from A Way To See In The Dark. While Jason doesn't dress up his songs with a bunch of bells and whistles, his lyrics, while seemingly simple, pack a big wallop.

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"You Lead" - Jamie Grace

Jamie Grace - One Song At A Time
Jamie Grace - One Song At A Time. Gotee Records

Newcomer Jamie Grace's "You Lead" was the second radio single from One Song At A Time and it ended 2012 sitting at #24 on Billboard. This one will get you on your feet while reminding you that you need to follow God's lead in all things.

"True Intimacy" came to us last January on Homemade Worship By Handmade People. With Ali Gilkeson singing, pop-lite meets semi-folk and worship is born.

"Waiting For Tomorrow" is the single from powerhouse Mandisa that we first heard last September. The song asks the question, why wait for tomorrow since tomorrow can become yesterday in a blink and if we don't pick a starting point, we will spend a lifetime waiting to make a change or take a step. With 17,497 spins this year, this tune comes in at #35 here and at #31 on Billboard

With 38,453 spins, "Let the Church Say Amen," which features the incomparable Pastor Marvin Winans, spends close to five minutes bringing you some serious church. This magnificent song was named Billboard's #1 song on the Year End Gospel Chart.

Coming to us from Beneath the Scars, "Worlds Collide," first charted in April. Originally scheduled to hit stores last September, the band wanted more time to mix the best possible project. After hearing this single, I would say that they got it!

The single "Need You Now (How Many Times)" is off of Plumb's upcoming release Faster Than A Bullet, which will hit stores later this month. Reminding us that when we can't mend what is broken in our lives and cry out to God, He is there, this song will minister to your spirit. This beautiful song made it to #46 on Billboard's Year End Chart.

"War of Change," which comes from The End Is Where We Begin, spent weeks making noise in the Christian music charts. Rock/rap with a Linkin Park like sound, this song prepares listeners for spiritual warfare in a big way.

."Strong Enough," from Matthew West's The Story of Your Life, hit the charts in 2011 and continued to do well through 2012, grabbing 23,024 spins on radio and ending at #30 on Billboard. The song gives us everything Matthew West has gotten us used to where his music is concerned ... great vocals, perfect timing and lyrics that resonate with our hearts.

Matt Maher - The Love In Between
Matt Maher - The Love In Between. Essential Records

"Turn Around" comes from Matt Maher's The Love In Between. The song reminds us that finding Jesus isn't a hard thing to do - it's not a journey filled with pitfalls and trapdoors. Finding Jesus is as simple as turning around.

More Matt Maher:

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With 30,746 spins in 2012 and a #13 slot on Billboard, "Learning To Be The Light" came from the wonderful album, Rebel Transmission. I don't think that Newworldson has ever made a song that didn't knock me out of my seat and this tune is no exception!

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The title track from Cheri Keaggy's February release spent weeks in the charts. Experiences are to be shared and "So I Can Tell" is Cheri sharing what she knows about Jesus -- not because she read about Him or heard about Him, but because she has lived in His grace and mercy firsthand.

Jesus Culture's "One Thing Remains" is as vibrant and alive on the Passion version as it ever was. Kristian Stanfill delivers pure worship here and that magical moment translated into a #37 spot on Billboard's 2012 chart.

With 25,569 spins, "Still Able" comes to us from 2011's Identity. This beautiful song made it all the way to #1 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart and ended the year at #8. One listen and you'll see why!

Casting Crowns - Come To The Well
Casting Crowns - Come To The Well. Provident

"Courageous," which we first saw in 2011, was the first single from Come To The Well. There was also a wonderful family movie by the same name (which hit theaters on September 30th). The song had only been playing on the radio for 10 days when it hit the charts. The music video released on Godtube.com and within 24 hours, had already had over 100,000 views. Coming in with 19,610 spins and at #32 on Billboard and #36 on TRAA, this song was popular all the way around.

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With 20,790 spins on Gospel radio and an ending spot at #19 on Billboard, "Life & Favor" features the stories (and voices) of James Fortune, Isaac Carree & Lejuene Thompson. Classic Kee, the song is off of Life and Favor, the first release from Pastor Kee's new label, Kee Music Group. Personal testimony is the key here - we've all got one and, as the song reminds us, deliverance is our testimony and our story.

2012 saw this song go all the way to the #1 spot and on Billboard, it ended the year at #34 while making it to #14 on TRAA. "I Need A Miracle" came to us from Third Day's November release, Miracle. Getting lost in a world of that is full of sorrow and pain is a path that we've all walked down. Going to God and crying out to Him is the only answer because He is the only one who can right the ship in the storm.

"We Won't Give Up" was the third radio single from Light Up The Sky. A flashback to the band's earlier alt-rock sound, this tune reminds us that giving up is not an option. It ended 2012 at #12 on TRAA

Getting a total of 18,127 spins on Christian radio in 2012 and a Billboard spot at #19, "Good To Be Alive" was the second radio single off of A Way To See In The Dark. This sparkling and shiny tune fit just as easily on ​the Top 40/AC radio as it did on Christian radio.

Tenth Avenue North - The Light Meets The Dark
Tenth Avenue North - The Light Meets The Dark. Reunion Records

Tenth Avenue North's "Strong Enough To Save," the second single to chart from The Light Meets The Dark, hit the Top 10 on December 5, 2011 at #2. It started out 2012 on top and grabbed an impressive 21,758 on radio last year, ending the year at #16 on Billboard. A great song, it reminds us that only God is strong enough to save us from ourselves, our pain and the tragedy that the world throws at us. More »

We first heard "Ships In The Night," the second radio single from Young Love, last spring. Reminding us that arguments can make us feel like random ships that pass in the night, it also shares how we can overcome those moments of heated words with love. Hugely popular in Australia, this song was named #5 on the TRAA Year End Chart.

"The Proof of Your Love," the second radio single from for KING & COUNTRY's debut album, Crave, spent several weeks in 2012 proving itself (to the tune of 20,697 radio spins being #17 on Billboard's Year End Chart and #22 on TRAA's 2012 Countdown). The song got almost as much traction as "Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)" did. This incredibly powerful song is a prayer, an anthem and a testimony that was written based on 1 Corinthians 13.

Joel and Luke Smallbone (Rebecca St. James' brothers), spent much of 2012 showing the world that talent runs through the entire family! Their song, "Busted Heart (Hold On To Me)," serves as a wonderful reminder that no matter how busted up our hearts and lives may be, Jesus never lets us go. The duo's first outing at radio garnered them 20,897 spins and a spot at #26 on Billboard's Year End Chart.

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"Jesus Friend of Sinners" - Casting Crowns

Casting Crowns - Come To The Well
Casting Crowns - Come To The Well. Provident

A song that debuted back in March, the second single from Come to the Well spent months on the charts, earning a total of 26,250 spins on radio and a spot at #11 on Billboard's 2012 chart. The song reminds us that Jesus did not come for the well; he came for the sick. If we don't stop pointing our fingers at them and start loving them, we become stumbling blocks in their paths to Him.

The song that Billboard named #6 for 2012, the title track from Live Like That was heard 35,051 times on radio last year. This great tune puts Jesus in the spotlight and tells listeners that He is who we should try to emulate - not the world.

Billboard's #10 song, "When The Stars Burn Down" came from March's Breathe In, Phillips, Craig & Dean's 12th studio album. Majestic is a great word to describe this song, but whatever you decide to call it, you'll probably fall in love once you hear it. This beautiful tune was heard 31,361 times in 2012 on U.S. radio.

"On My Own" came from What I've Become and made us all fans. Imagine Skillet with strings (not hard to do since they use them frequently) telling a story about how alone and without God you are when you are on your own.

With over 30 weeks in the charts between 2011 and 2012, "My Hope Is In You" came in at #8 on Billboard's end of the year countdown. The song, which grabbed 33,565 spins, came to us from This Is What We Believe. The piano-driven tune was written while Aaron and his wife were holding onto the only hope that they could - the hope that comes from Christ - as their son battled a severe medical condition.

Britt Nicole - Gold
Britt Nicole - Gold. Sparrow Records

The 11th most popular song of 2012 here (and at Billboard's #12 and The Rock Across Australia (TRAA)'s #2), "All This Time" was from Britt Nicole's release, Gold. She says that the song is the story of how she met Jesus, a story we can all relate to. More »

We first heard this exquisite ballad in July and months later, it is still as glorious and sincere as it was then - just more popular and holding a #15 spot on Billboard. The second radio single from Love Come To Life, the acoustic background gives a solid sound to absolute truth that we all need to hear - we are redeemed by the blood of the lamb.

The song that made Billboard's #2 slot for all of 2012, "Overcome" also made WOW Hits 2013. The acoustic treatment that Jeremy Camp, a beautiful choir and guest vocalist, wife Adie, gave the Desperation Band's song snagged him 39,448 spins.

With 34,240 spins, this is one song that is just like its name says - awesome! The first single from The Best of Both Worlds is a crowd pleaser from the opening strains to a chorus that will get you on your feet. It ended 2012 at #2 on Billboard's Gospel charts.

With 38,494 spins at radio, the song that Billboard named the #3 Christian song of the year is "God's Not Dead (Like A Lion)." Featuring guest vocals from Kevin Max, the title track from Newsboys 2011 release hits all of the right notes. Strong music, strong lyrics and an overall feel that will have you on your feet, this song is a winner!

Tenth Avenue North - The Struggle
Tenth Avenue North - The Struggle. Provident

Billboard's #9 song, "Losing" is from The Struggle. With 73 radio adds the first week the song was in rotation and a total of 26,641 spins, this song is pure Tenth Avenue North, doing what they do best. More »

After weeks ​on the charts, an end of the year Billboard spot at #14, a TRAA spot at #3 and 24,140 on radio, the gorgeous and profound "Forgiveness" comes in at #5 here on About. Matthew West did it again by delivering musical excellence on Into The Light.

Building 429 - Listen to the Sound
Building 429 - Listen to the Sound. Provident

The song that Billboard named #1 for 2012 had 47,659 spins. The second radio single off of Listen to the Sound strikes hard with lyrics that reach out and grab you around the throat.

"All i know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong."

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Last year, this song debuted at #6 and shot to the top. From tobyMac's August release, Eye On It, it ended the year with 28,957 spins, hitting #7 on Billboard and being named the #1 song on The Rock Across Australia (Australia’s official national Christian music chart). This is no surprise because when "Me Without You" hit the radio here in the US in late May, it was the most-added single on Christian AC and CHR radio for the week.

Finishing the year with 33,577 spins and sitting at #5 on Billboard on #4 on TRAA, the title track from MercyMe's May release spent six weeks at #1 here on About. This is a powerful song that reminds us that no matter how deep our wounds are and no matter how horrible the pain is, God can heal it all.

Our #1 comes in with 37,754 radio spins in 2012. "10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)" comes to us from last summer's 10,000 Reasons and it closed out the Billboard year at #4. With roots in Psalm 103, the impressive song has an unpolished feel that brings a raw passion to the table.