Song of the Week - How Great is Our God

As much as I wanted to make "Jesus is My Friend" the Song of the Week, I resisted the temptation...

I noticed this song quite a bit on the Sunday Setlist carnival last week. We sang it ourselves at our church picnic/outreach on Monday. It is currently #1 on CCLI's Top 25 Worship Songs list, as compiled by reporting churches. It's #1 on Christian Music Weekly's Top 20 List. It won the Dove "Worship Song of the Year" in 2006 and 2008. It was the Billboard Christian Singles #1 when it was released. In short, a lot of people like this song.

As they should. It debuted on Chris Tomlin's 2004 Arriving album, having been penned by Tomlin, Ed Cash and Jesse Reeves. It's been on fire ever since, being sung in more churches by more people than any other song for the last few years.

What I like about the song is it's simple theology - God is great. It sounds over-simple, really. Of course God is great. But when you think about it, what more can you say? How great is our God?

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God...

The song has a classic, hymn-like quality to it. There is nothing in it for us. It's not about what God does for us, how much we need Him, how He's come through, that we should turn to Him - none of that. We're not even in the song. It's all God, all the time.

My favorite part is the end of the first verse:

He wraps Himself in light
and darkness tries to hide.
And trembles at His voice,
Trembles at His voice...

I love the imagery of that. And the simple singability of the song. Fred McKinnon had this to say about it:

"Not a doctrinal thesis by any means, which may be why it’s so beloved. It’s a simple declaration of God’s greatness. And it’s written in such a way where we (the people) are singing it … both unto God, and to one another. (speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, right?) "

Right on.

CCLI lists the song as being in D flat, but Tomlin sings it in C. We play it in C as well. C -Am -F. It's a little high for congregational singing, but that encourages people to lift their heads and voices, I think. The chorus has a nice little beat in it - "How great is our God...SING with ME..."

So lift your hands and sing about God's greatness. Go ahead. Do it right now. Then tell me about it. Then for being good, you can watch this...


  1. C? :Really, the key of Tomlin?

    I'm lucky to pull this off in "A"!

  2. Heh... most of our singers are also altos and soprano's in the choir.


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