The Story of Grace Worship
By Kevin King
The artists at Grace Worship are privileged to belong to a church that is now over 150 years old. This means that what once began as a small body of believers meeting in a railcar in 1862 has now continued and grown into a church that has a global reach each week with its message of grace. It is this idea of being rooted in foundations and reaching in culture that births the heart of Grace Worship.
We are a family of worshipers, serving to unite the church to treasure Jesus through theologically rich and creatively beautiful art. Before Jesus went to the cross, he prayed that His church would be one (John 17) and that He will work in us for His good pleasure to accomplish His will (Phil 2:13). It is our hope and mission to create original content that would enrich the church to worship Jesus as one.
As you experience the Christ Be All project, we hope you hear this unifying story coming through. In “Unlimited Grace” we have crafted a new hymn with modern sounds that allows the theology we sing to be expressed in doxology as the worshiper gets to an anthemic chorus. In “Psalm of Thanksgiving” we pull from a Top 40 sound with scriptural lyrics. The chorus comes straight out of Psalm 73 with the rest of the song being scripturally saturated in its references. For “Christ Be All,” we are connecting with the historic and renowned words of Andrew Murray in his book Humility, as we seek to have the worshiper understand through song that it is to our joy to “become nothing” (Phil 2:7) as Jesus did, to lose our lives so we can find them in Him. In the “Love of God,” we have taken a well-beloved hymn and, with classical and pop influences, adapted it into a story-style hearing. For “Calvary’s Anthem,” we wanted to incorporate a traditional Appalachian melody with new and old hymnody (as the verses lyrics are new and the chorus lyrics are from “Nothing But the Blood”), along with a hand off of a band-driven and orchestra-driven arrangement.
We desire to make much of Jesus’ unifying mission through music that equips the church for worship across generations. Whether a church accents a past generation or a current one — whether the label is formal or informal — Jesus has not forsaken any in his church. These songs aim to celebrate that gospel message. Every story and generation matters, because each represents unique ways in which God is displaying his glory through his Body and Spirit. We hope these songs point you to Jesus, help you understand and commune with Him often, and offer opportunities for you to stand beside your brothers and sisters of all ages and backgrounds in joyful, united praise.
Historical Roots / Today’s Music:
Throughout history, we learn about people groups and their values through their art. In the Renaissance and Baroque era, we see the ornate, high-class art that spoke of the peoples’ value of excellence and cherishing of what is transcendent and holy (ex. “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”). The subsequent classical and romantic eras moved into creating art that valued one’s personal journey with the Lord and appreciating God’s immanence and nearness (ex. “Amazing Grace” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”). Art speaks of our hearts and our values. We want to be a people that honors and incorporates the great heart cries from previous cultures, while also uniquely reflecting the heart that God has shaped his church to have today.