7 Songs to Encourage You as You Head Back to School

Posted on Monday, August 21, 2023 by Lindsay Williams

Back-to-School Playlist

Pencils are sharpened. Notebooks are purchased. Books are covered. All signs point to “Back to School.” As another school year begins, we know you’ll be packing your AirPods. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of new tunes to add to your playlist as you settle back into the routine of alarm clocks, extracurriculars and homework. Whether you’re a teacher planning lessons, a cafeteria worker serving lunches, a janitor mopping hallways, a parent navigating morning drop-off, or a student gearing up for a fresh semester, there’s a song for you playing on K-LOVE. If you’re anxious about what lies ahead, Cody Carnes’ “Firm Foundation (He Won’t)” will remind you of the truth, we, as believers, stand on. If you’re in need of a dance break between first and second period, Micah Tyler’s “Praise the Lord” will undoubtedly get your feet moving. And if you ever doubt how much you’re loved, look no further than Tasha Layton’s “Never.” Here are seven songs to encourage you as you head back to school.

“Never” by Tasha Layton

Tasha Layton is leaning on the truth of Deuteronomy 3:16 for her brand new single, “Never.” “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you,” the well-known verse reads. “Never” cements that promise. Reunited with the same team of co-writers who helped her craft her No. 1 smash, “How Far,” Layton penned the impactful pop selection with Matthew West, AJ Pruis and her husband, Keith Everette Smith, who also produced the uplifting track. “My prayer is that this song serves as a reminder that you are never forgotten, never forsaken and never abandoned,” Layton says. “God is close to you in this exact moment, [and] whatever you are going through will never be wasted.”

“Firm Foundation (He Won’t)” by Cody Carnes

Chances are good you’ve been singing Cody Carnes’ “Firm Foundation (He Won’t)” at your church for quite some time. Since the singer/songwriter released an initial version of the song at the end of 2021, congregations around the globe have made the anthem their own as it quickly caught fire and spread far and wide. Poised to be another signature addition to the Church’s catalog, “Firm Foundation (He Won’t)” serves as the title-cut of Carnes’ fifth album and second live project, due Aug. 25, 2023. The multi-GRAMMY® nominee says he’s known for quite some time that “Firm Foundation (He Won’t)” was always meant to provide his forthcoming collection’s namesake. “This is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever been a part of writing, and I really believe in it,” he remarks. “I’ve seen it spark a room while I’m leading like no other song I’ve been a part of.”

“Praise the Lord” by Micah Tyler

Singer/songwriter Micah Tyler brings new meaning to P-T-L as he draws on an often-overlooked biblical principle for his latest single, “Praise the Lord.” As Tyler notes, throughout the Old Testament, every time God sent Israel into battle, the Tribe of Judah would go first, leading the charge. The cool part? Judah literally means “praise.” “Praise should be our first response to what God has done, is doing, and will do,” the former youth pastor contends, adding, “When people tell me that this is their go-to, get-their-day-started-song, I love it! I hope it’s an encouragement to you and the people around you that, no matter what comes against us, there is a God worthy of our worship and praise.”

“My Light” by Colton Dixon

Colton Dixon shines bright at radio with “My Light,” his follow-up to “Build A Boat,” the biggest single of his career to date. Crafted by the same songwriting and production team that brought “Build A Boat” to life, the soulful “My Light” was inspired by Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” “Over the last couple of years, we’ve all been in a dark place… In my case, I didn’t know if I’d ever tour again. The twins were born in the same year I lost my main source of income, which is touring. It was scary,” the father of two admits of the uncertain season that led to “My Light.” “If I’ve ever been afraid, I know there’s someone who loves me and will guide me through. God is my light, but we all can relate to people in our lives who help strengthen us, as well, and keep us going. It’s such a fun song, but its message is what I love most about it.”

“Your Love” by Blessing Offor

Blessing Offor has quickly won the attention of listeners worldwide since competing on “The Voice.” Now, the soulful singer/songwriter continues his meteoric rise with “Your Love,” a groove-centric, mid-tempo pop jam from his 16-track debut collection, “My Tribe.” “Your Love” drops anchor in the divine and is the latest in a series of fresh original offerings from the new artist. “I’ve been running ‘round the edges, building my own happy endings, but they couldn’t take the testing, they just fell right down. I’ve been tryna push the limits, been asking why I should live in them. Couldn’t find no good there in it till You showed me how,” Offor sings on the piano-led track before launching into the hook-filled chorus: “Keep me right there in the middle of Your love.”

“Lead On Good Shepherd” by Patrick Mayberry (feat. Zahriya)

Patrick Mayberry is asking God to take the reigns on his new single, “Lead On Good Shepherd.” Featuring fresh female vocalist Zahriya Zachary, the song leans on the familiarity of Psalm 23 for inspiration. But don’t be fooled into thinking the Scripture passage’s peaceful imagery equates to a ballad. The song’s message carries comfort, yes, but its sonics are rife with unrivaled energy. After two decades of leading worship, the “Holy Spirit Come” singer reveals he’s discovered that God doesn’t only show up in life-altering instances of epic breakthrough. In fact, the father of four has come to find that, more times than not, the seemingly ordinary seasons are just as miraculous. “What if God’s faithfulness isn’t always a victory?” Mayberry offers. “What if God’s faithfulness is the simple promise that He will never leave us or forsake us…no matter what?”

“Hallelujah Feeling” by Caleb & John

Bringing a little Dan + Shay vibe to Christian music, fresh duo Caleb & John debut “Hallelujah Feeling.” The upbeat track is the first single to bow from the newly minted pop-worship outfit made up of Caleb Crino and John Secker. The hook-driven “Hallelujah Feeling” is based on Romans 15:13: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” “We love that hallelujah is more than a feeling. It’s the joy of the Lord, something anyone can have when they know Jesus,” Caleb says. “We are praying that this song encourages you so much!”

Back to schoolBack-to-School PlaylistBlessing OfforCaleb & JohnCody CarnesColton DixonMatthew WestMicah TylerMusicPatrick MayberryTasha LaytonZahriya ZacharyNew Music

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