Gateway worship is the worship collective from Gateway church, which is one of the largest churches in America, located in Southlake, Texas. The collective includes such well know worship leaders as Mark Harris, Matt Birkenfeld, Anna Byrd, Austin Benjamin, Lauren Dunn, Maddison Harris, Cole Novak, Levi Smith, and others. The new 12-track LP, Monuments, finds symmetry in the monuments observed throughout scripture and the moments in our own life, pointing to the belief that we are monuments of His faithfulness here on earth.
For the most part this album is fairly predictable with regards to style, instrumentation, and arrangements, akin to similar “super” worship groups like Jesus Culture, Hillsong, and Bethel.
Some of the more noticeable cuts include, “Precious Blood,” which is a pensive ballad that carefully ruminates on the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross before giving in to the well-loved hymn, “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” “Wilderness” will identify with every person who has gone through tough times and is seeking God’s will in the midst of the struggle. The song is founded on the idea that God’s will is often delivered to us amidst the storms of life, and sometimes He allows us to endure those storms so that we learn to trust in Him.
“It is Finished” is a crescendo-building power ballad that reminds us of the power of the resurrection of Christ in our lives. “Open Up the Heavens” is a strong album opener with youthful electronic beats, albeit with a lyrical bend toward overused Christian clichés. The title cut, “Monuments,” challenges us to be grateful to God for the signposts of grace in our lives, and is a worthy reminder.
With a little more forethought and study, this could have been a great album, but alas it again sits in the realm of “not bad.” Most of the songs are somewhat forgettable, as they tend to run together both thematically and instrumentally, but there are a few offerings that could definitely be used for both personal and corporate worship.