Mike Tapper, a Southern Wesleyan University professor, and his colleagues conducted the new study, discovering the pace of new music, which allows new songs to be distributed far and wide quickly, has played a role in the declining lifespan of songs.
He also noted that the high quality of songs being produced gives church leaders an overwhelming number of options.
“It is hard to say no to great songs.”
Using CCLI data he found that in the mid-1990s, a popular song like “Refiner’s Fire,” or “In Secret” had a lifespan of about a dozen years, rising for 4-5 years before hitting a slow decline.
However two decades later, that lifespan has dropped down to 3-4 years, with songs like “Even So Come” or “Here as in Heaven” rising rapidly, then disappearing.
Some songs like “In Christ Alone,” which turns 20 this year, or “10,000 by Matt Redman is still going strong after a decade, after many songs disappear.
One of the most popular worship song in churches currently is “Build My Life,” from Bethel Music, the megachurch-based worship church based in Northern California.
It currently sits at number one on the top 100 worship song chart from Christian Copyright Licensing International.