For more than 15 years, well-respected worship leader Kari Jobe has been using her gifts to lead people into the presence of God.
When she began leading worship at age 13, she never imagined she would be nominated for a GRAMMY®, win a Dove Award or be praised by the New York Times.
She only knew she had a heart for broken people and a deep desire to lead them to the cross.
Jobe's third album, Majestic (Capitol CMG), reveals her lifelong passion for the Church.
"Worship, for me, has always been such a rescue place in my life," she says.
"When you get down to the very bare bones of worship, it is about us being thankful for the cross and magnifying the name of Jesus above all names.
Anything past that is just feel-good music." Recorded at the historic Majestic Theatre in Jobe's hometown of Dallas, Texas, the album is a departure from her first two major label studio releases.
Majestic is entirely live and features all-new material (with the exception of Jobe's cover of "Holy Spirit"), every song a piece of her heart.
"It reminds me of what heaven might be like," she says, reflecting on the evening of recording at the iconic landmark.
"I want this album to give more of a revelation that God is in control.
If you will lift your voices and worship Him, there will be a shift and a change in the atmosphere of your life, and it will be heaven-centered and majestic." Jobe began writing for this record two years ago while simultaneously maintaining her position as an associate worship pastor at Dallas' Gateway Church and a tour schedule that included stints on the Winter Jam Tour Spectacular, Chris Tomlin's "Burning Lights" tour, Hillsong Conferences in Sydney and London, the Passion Conference and her own headlining tours.
"I started really plowing and digging in for this album," shares Jobe, who wrote nearly 50 songs total for the project.
"I was able to say, ‘This is a great song, but I don't feel it's saying exactly what I want to say.
I want to write something deeper.' I just kept writing." She reached out to like-minded worship leaders who share her passion for writing songs for the Church and who have become personal friends through their common vision.
The result is an album that boasts co-writes from some of the most admired songwriters around the globe, including Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Brian Johnson, Jason Ingram, Paul Baloche, Reuben Morgan, Marty Sampson, Mia Fieldes, Jenn Johnson and Christa Black Gifford, in addition to several co-writes with her band.
Many of the album's 13 tracks have as many as eight writers on one song, revealing Jobe's heartbeat for community.
"We all have such a heart to connect people to the heart of God through music, and it's powerful," she offers.
"To all write together, I think it's just a huge picture of how we're supposed to do Kingdom together.
If we, as worship leaders, are connecting and writing songs for the Church, then the Church needs to do Church together, too." Some of Jobe's most popular worship anthems, like "Revelation Song" and "Healer," have been written by others, so to release a collection of songs where she's personally been an intricate part of creating every track was a dream come true for the worship leader, who's grateful and eager to collaborate with others.
"When I die, if I was known for one thing, I would want to be known for [helping people\] fall more in love with Jesus," Jobe asserts.
"So I don't care what song I sing, if the heart of it is that people fall more in love with Jesus and they understand the heart of God for them." Majestic reveals a collection of simple, congregational-friendly tracks that Jobe hopes will become new anthems for a generation hungry for God to move in a fresh way.
"I believe this album has a new sound on it," she muses.
"It may not sound different to anybody, but I think there's a heart cry inside of it for more of the presence of God.
We're hungry just to see God move in a more powerful way in church—not just people coming to church for the sake of it, but coming hungry for more of His presence." From the regal title track, "How Majestic," that points to the grandeur of God, to the powerful, pleading cries of the closing song, "Let The Heavens Open," listeners will find God if they are willing to seek Him.
Every song is an invitation.
First single "Forever" celebrates the collision of heaven and earth.
"It's painting a picture here on earth as believers of our redemption story, but then it's also telling of what heaven's going to look like in our worship because it's going to be forever singing that He is glorified and He is lifted high.
So it's marrying the two worlds in a song," Jobe explains.
Exodus 14:14 inspired the honest ballad "I Am Not Alone," which speaks to God's constant presence in our lives no matter what we're walking through.
Jobe hopes it will remind listeners that our God is a God who fights for His children.
"Everybody has broken places in their lives that need the rescue of God and that need healing and need His perspective," she says.
"When we get His perspective, it just helps things get smaller compared to His greatness.
"I have such a desire to go to war for people's lives and to help them overcome the enemy through their worship and through their declarations of who He is," she adds.
"It's astounding how many people just don't live in the complete authority that we have over the enemy.
He doesn't have any power unless we give it to him." The album also ushers in a new season of ministry for Jobe who feels called to disciple people through her music.
"I think the Lord really wants more of people's hearts and more of their surrender," she says.
"If people will trust the Lord to go deeper in their walks with Him, it would be an amazing journey of watching Him fight for them; but it's going to take us completely surrendering our lives to Him.
There will be things that He asks us to do that are completely sacrificial, but that's what our lives are about.
It's about His kingdom anyway." Jobe longs to see denominational barriers broken down and believers united, and she believes worship in its purest form has the power to do that.
"There's honor in all of it.
There's beauty in all of it.
There's beauty in tradition, and there's beauty in reverence, but that's the key—reverence.
It's not about a title or what kind of church you go to; it's about reverencing who God is and allowing Him to be God in your congregation," she maintains.
"He comes to inhabit the praises of His people, and so He's going to come when we worship Him.
He always shows up, and He always changes an atmosphere because that's His character." She may now lead worship for thousands around the world, thanks to an expanding platform, but for Jobe, the songs birthed for Majestic have nothing to do with her.
"It's not about me," she emphasizes.
"If it became about me, that would be dangerous and wrong.
It's about Him.
It's a great honor and a great responsibility, but it's not any different than me just living my life every day needing Him in my circumstances." Her greatest accolade always has been and always will be the opportunity to reflect Christ.
"I don't see myself any differently than when I was 13, just a worship leader," she admits.
"It's just sometimes I open my eyes and there's a few more people worshipping God with me."