Prime Cuts: Fully Devoted, Made New, We Lift You High
Discipleship and worship are intrinsically intertwined together. Without discipleship, on one hand, worship becomes weighted utterances without a whiff of gravitas. Discipleship without worship, on the other hand, is nothing more than mere legalism of humans striving to serve God without being carried by the glory of God's Spirit. Life Church Worship brings together both elements judiciously on their brand new debut "Fully Devoted Live" for Dream Worship Records. The value of this record is that it gives the church fresh and engaging vocabulary of expressing how worship and discipleship inform each other. Life Church Worship is the creative arts ministry of Life Church, a church pastored by #1 best-selling author Craig Groeschel.
Started in 1996 in a two-car garage, Life.Church now meets in 24 locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, New York, Kansas, and New Mexico, and globally at Life.Church Online. Started by Pastor Craig Groeschel, Life.Church is passionate about leading people to become fully devoted followers of Christ through worship. Life.Church is also known for their innovative use of technology to spread the Gospel. With a passion for serving the Church and partnering to reach people for Christ, Life.Church develops and shares resources and applications with churches worldwide including the popular YouVersion Bible App.
Though touted as an album, "Fully Devoted Live": is more like an EP as it contains only 7 new songs and 2 remixes. Capitalizing on a singalong melody, the sprightly opener "Walls Come Down" packs some tight verses about the power of God over a bouncy tune awash with some delightful sounding electronic drums. "Made New," lays the foundation of discipleship, without the transforming work of the Spirit, our striving for holiness are in vain. The set's true gem is the tile cut "Fully Devoted," a song that calls to mind label mate Hope Chapel's "Son of God." Gorgeous in its pop melodic structure and giving no concession to Christ's demand that he wants all and not a fraction of our heart, this song is set to become one of the best worship songs of 2016.
"Savior Forever," despite being heavy handed with the electric guitar riffs, finds the team in their softer moments. Never resorting to milquetoast sloganeering, the ballad "We Lift You High" speaks of worship that demands our entire being. While many "live" recordings are so overtly polished that they sound like studio overdubs with the audience applause added, "Irresistible" truly exemplifies a live-feel. With the instrumentations of the song being held at bay at certain spots, how the team grabs our attention with just their vocals is indeed irresistible, living up to the song's titular.
Nevertheless, being their debut worship album for Dream Worship, the band has yet to carve out an identity for themselves. If you were to place them side by side with the aforementioned Hope Chapel or Reslife Worship, you will have a hard time pulling them apart. However, as far as debut albums go, Life Church Worship is a name to watch.