Prime Cuts: Revelation Song, We Cry Out, O The Blood
Twenty years or so ago, female contemporary Christian artists were aplenty. But women worship leaders, on the other hand, were an extinct breed. Now, thanks to Darlene Zschech, Cindy Cruse-Ratcliff, Julie Elias, Taya Smith, Jenn Johnson, Beth Croft and Kari Jobe, they have been revolutionizing the worship of God in fresh and dynamic ways. These ladies are in a class of their own. Not only do they have the uncanny ability of drawing us into our Father's presence, God has also bless them in the way they could script great worship tunes. These qualities are best exemplified in Kari Jobe.
"Gateway Worship Voices: Kari Jobe" is part of an ongoing series for Gateway Worship, the team led by Executive Senior Pastor Thomas Miller and Executive Pastor of Campus Worship Mark Harris. For this collection, Integrity Music gathered 10 of Jobe's songs from five of Gateway's live albums as well as one song, "My Beloved," from her best-selling, self-titled studio project. The recording includes global church favorites such as "O The Blood," cowritten by Gateway's Thomas Miller, "Revelation Song," written by Dove Award winner Jennie Lee Riddle, and "You Are For Me," written by Jobe.
So, what's the appeal of these songs that have generated thousands of clicks on YouTube and copious downloads on iTunes? First, Gateway Worship (Jobe included) never elongated the chasm between contemporary worship and traditional hymns. Rather than delegating hymns as old-fashioned and dated, the team have incorporated hymn structures and theological profundity into their songs. "Revelation Song," one of CCLI's most popular entries, has all the hymnic elements Charles Wesley would be proud of, yet there is a contemporary exigency that makes the words of Revelation so impacting today.
Second, Gateway Worship and Jobe know how turn songs into worship. Not all songs written with God in mind are automatically worship songs. It's more than just the song's words or atmosphere. Rather, it's also the attitude of the leader that transforms a God-centered song into a worship moment. You can't help but be lost in worship when Jobe leads us in "O The Blood," "Pure," and the irresistibly gorgeous "We Cry Out."
One set back though of the collection is that these songs only represent Jobe's earlier efforts when Gateway Worship was still under the imprint of Integrity Music. Thus, none of Jobe's latter efforts (such as "Hands to the Heavens" and "Forever") are included here. Other than the limited coverage, there's not much to bicker about here.