|A Powerful Look Back | Posted March 26, 2013
Chances are, when you think of congregations who've made an impact on the rise of the current modern worship movement, the team over at Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas, is one that comes to mind. Boasting singer/songwriters such as Thomas Miller, Walker Beach and David Moore, the most recognizable voice on the Gateway team would easily be GRAMMY-nominated female vocalist Kari Jobe, whose rendition of "Revelation Song" with the Gateway team went viral back in 2003 and catapulted the song to global fame.
Kari's shining moment nearly a decade ago wouldn't be the last memorable performance given by the worship team. More than a dozen albums and several Billboard charting hits later, Gateway has fast become one of the most acclaimed praise bands of our time. It's for this reason, that the team has gathered their first ever compilation record, The First 10 Years, highlighting some of the most memorable songs the church has developed in their first decade together.
"The Lord Reigns" is a shining example of the group's ability to rally a congregation to rise up and vibrantly worship, while "Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King"--their take on the beloved hymn--slows the pace and showcases flawless vocals combined with Spirit-filled praise.
"O The Blood" from 2010's God Be Praised, is a stirringly passionate song about the blood of Christ covering our sins and claiming our victory. The beautiful "Alabaster Jar" recalls the story in Matthew 26 of the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with fragrant oil, comparing her sacrifice at His feet to the praise that flows from our lips.
"Stay Amazed" and "Glorify You Alone" magnify the greatness of our God in moving fashion. Another classic hit the global church has adopted, "You, You Are God," makes a welcomed appearance and lifts the joyous spirit of the album once again.
Gateway staple "No Sweeter Name" ushers the way to more recent tracks "New Doxology" and "God Be Praised." "New Doxology" is the team's revamped version of the classic, and it livens up with a lively arrangement, making it fresh, unique and completely their own.
"We Cry Out" is a full bodied song of praise that cries out the precious and holy name of Jesus, making our praise a sweet song of surrender: "We will cry out Your name / El Shaddai, God of grace, Lord most high, Jesus Christ."
It would be impossible for the previously mentioned "Revelation Song" to not make an appearance on this "best of" assortment, pulling the 2008 version off their smash Wake Up The World album. I personally would have liked to have seen the original 2003 version on this collection, seeing as it was that song that launched Gateway to the forefront of the worship genre. Nevertheless, it's a worthy addition.
"The More I Seek You" from their live effort of the same name is a sweet love song to our Savior, while "When I Speak Your Name" saves the best for last, finishing this moving compilation of worship hits on a deeply intimate note. You can feel the presence of God wrap around you as the stunning stanza is sung: "When I speak Your name mountains move, chains are loosed / When I speak Your name, darkness flees, it has no hold on me."
One thing I love about The First 10 Years compilation, is that the team's evident growth, both sonically and lyrically, is noticeable by the listener. The melodies have become deeply richer and more lingering over the years, a far cry from their bubbly beginnings, and the worshipful lyrics have matured as each member on the team has personally grown in their relationship with Christ.
While I would have enjoyed seeing more classic songs make the cut, this effort does a great job of showcasing how far the Gateway worship team has come in their first ten years together, and just how big of an impact they've made in worship music. If you're new to Gateway and don't know where to begin listening in their ever growing catalog, this is the perfect place to start.
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