NCC Worship - You Alone [Review]
National Community Church is a multi-site church located in Washington, D.C. that meets in various theaters around the D.C. Metro area. In addition to it’s multi-site locations, NCC also owns and operates a coffee shop called Ebenezers, which the church transformed from its prior existence as a crack house.
A large part of National Community Church’s mission is to exist in the marketplace, and to make the name of Jesus famous in our generation. For much of the church’s existence, Ebenezer’s coffeehouse has served a crucial role in this mission.
Now, NCC is venturing into answering a new calling to further that mission through the construction and operation of what they are calling the “D.C. Dream Center.” The Dream Center will be dedicated to serving the needs of the underprivileged, the poor and disenfranchised in the southeast Washington, D.C. area. It is the goal of the church for the Dream Center to be a place of “peace, reconciliation, and refuge,” for all that enter through its doors.
To help achieve that goal, National Community Church and its worship ministry is releasing their first label-distributed recording You Alone. In partnership with Integrity Music, they will be donating proceeds from the sale of You Alone to help fund the Dream Center project.
Produced by NCC Worship Director Kurtis Parks, and Kyle Lee (All Sons & Daughters, Pocket Full of Rocks),You Alone will be released on March 31, 2015 as a digital-only worship resource pack, which will include five studio produced tracks, and live versions (with companion videos) of the studio tracks, recorded at Ebenezers Coffehouse. The resource pack will also include song lyrics and mini teaching messages from NCC lead pastor Mark Batterson.
You Alone is a solid record. The tracks feature common modern worship instrumental arrangements, utilizing drums, electric, bass and acoustic guitars, as well as keys. Serving as lead vocalists on this project are Kurtis Parks, Joel Buckner, Carolina Soto, and Chris Douglas.
The opening track “Majestic,” written by Kurtis Parks and Chris Douglas, is about the majesty and splendor of God. The first verse looks outward and draws upon our observance of the artistic beauty of creation, bringing us to a state of awe. Verse two takes a more introspective approach with lyrics like, “Who am I that You would mind, and yet You know every part of me.” The chorus and bridge serve as our response to the contemplations of the verses, declaring the majesty of God’s name.
“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today (He Is Not Dead)” is a remake of a hymn written by Charles Wesley and Samuel Arnold. While staying true the original melody of the hymn in the verses, Parks adds a simple chorus to the arrangement which makes the bold statement, “He is not dead, He is alive, we have this hope, in Jesus Christ.” If you are looking for a modern worship twist on an old hymn to use for your upcoming Easter services, this is one that you could easily slip into your set.
The title track, “You Alone,” is one of my favorites. While it has a simple lyrical arrangement with just one verse, a chorus, and a bridge, it more than does the job of making the statement that God deserves all of what we can offer in worship and so much more. The second half of the verse had a significant impact on me. It says, "Every ounce of worship, I will pour at Your feet.” This lyric evokes images from John 12:1-7 which tells the story of Mary, who anointed Jesus in an act of worship, by pouring a jar of expensive perfume over his feet and then wiping them with her hair. This imagery encourages us to bring our very best in humble worship and adoration. Simple song, yet profoundly impactful!
“Eternal One (Psalm 145)” is an upbeat tune based on Psalm 145 written by Joel Buckner, Carolina Soto, and Jack Halloran. The studio version features Carolina Soto on lead vocals, while the live version features a male lead vocalist, most likely NCC worship leader Joel Buckner. It captures themes from the Psalm like exaltation with lyrics such as, “I will exalt you Lord my King, I will lift You up above all things” (Ps. 145:1-3), and God’s everlasting kingdom with lyrical statements like, “Your Kingdom lasts forever, no boundaries to Your greatness” (Ps. 145:13).
One last standout track for me is “Where Would I Be.” Along with “You Alone,” it is one of my favorite tracks on the record. The theme of this song is the faithfulness of God, and it leads us into a state of reflection as we think on the fact that God has never, and will never fail us. I love how the chorus asks the open-ended questions, “Where would I be without Your grace? Where would I be without Your love?” It is a great lyrical device to get us to deeply contemplate all that God has done to bring us and keep us under the shelter of His unending love and grace.
You Alone is a solid record. While it is not a full length record in the traditional sense, being a part of a larger package of worship resources (i.e. videos, teachings, etc.), makes this just as, if not more, appealing than a traditional full length album. Plus, the fact that proceeds from the sale will go toward funding a project that will fulfill a desperate need for those in need in the southeast area of Washington D.C. makes this worship resource pack even more worth acquiring. Worshiping God and helping those in need. It doesn’t get any better than that! I recommend it!
Disclosure: A copy of this album was provided by the record label or artist for review purposes. The iTunes widget above is a part of an affiliate program. If you purchase the album through the widget, a small percentage of the sale will benefit All About Worship.Comment on Facebook Comment on Twitter
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