Music Review: The Outcome (Live) by The Church Vessel

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Updated April 02, 2019
The Outcome Cover
The Church Vessel - Home (feat. Levi Stermer)

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Louisiana worship team The Church Vessel is pleased to announce their sophomore album on DREAM Worship titled The Outcome.

The 9 song live album showcases the church’s organic approach to worship with songs like “You are (feat. Levi Stermer)”, “Not Leaving (feat. Sarah Brock)” and “My Yes (feat. Kara Behrnes).” The Church Vessel is part of The Church International of 10 church plants and 3 schools in the state of LA and 2 international campuses.

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The Outcome (Live) by The Church Vessel
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This is the second worship album from The Church International’s worship band, The Church Vessel. This album is a live worship recording with just 10 tracks and none of those run to quite the lengths of recent live recordings from Jesus Culture and other big worship names.

The album opens up with the big infectious anthemic praise song “You Are” which has the catchy reminder that God is exactly who He says He is, and He does exactly what He says He will do. He is a sure and certain promise in the midst of a world that is not everything that it appears to be. The second song on the album is called “It Is Finished” and it is no surprise that it relates to Jesus death and resurrection with that title. However this track is not really about the death itself, but more about the great grace, peace and even healing that Christ’s death bought us. Combined with other songs on this album I believe that the writers of this track we not just talking about our Spiritual healing and rebirth, but also physical healing. Some people may not like some of the things that are implied theologically in this track and some that follow. Reflecting on pain we know we must walk through some things, but God has given Jesus, and through Him, us, the ultimate victory. There is a catchy and calming bridge which reminds us that no matter what rages around us we can have peace like a river in all life’s circumstances.

The title track “The Outcome” is bound to raise a few eyebrows in some church circles because of the position and power that it attributes to praise and worship in the life of the believer. There is a move in the Pentecostal churches that attributes Praise to God as a way that brings breakthroughs. Merlin Carothers shared his teaching prolifically through a number of books, most famously “Prison To Praise”. This song explains the reasoning that when we call on God in our distress He hears us and He moves on our behalf, and He fights for us. This is referring to the Old Testament when God tells the Israelites that they don’t need to fight in Exodus 14:14. There is also a similar situation in 2 Chronicles 20 when instructions were given to King Jehoshaphat not to fight and see the Lord bring victory. In this case they sent people out to praise God in worship and the Lord ambushed the opposing armies. So when we worship we see walls crumble, Joshua certainly believed it for Jericho! While I agree with the sentiment of this song and the practical outworking, I am not sure that the reprise was needed of the bridge, repeating the same line multiple times!

If you are looking for a place to belong then you will be encouraged by the next song delivered by Levi Stermer called “Home”. It reminds us that God remembers us, we are never lost under His care, even when we have no other home, God is our home.

“Highest Praise” and “Not Leaving” share a similar space. They are again about breakthrough in worship with “Highest Praise” having the bridge that “Freedom is falling where praise is rising”. “not Leaving” is about pressing into the victory that Jesus has promised, this track draws on biblical stories such as the woman who had the issue of blood and just wanted to touch the hem of Jesus clothes. It talks about Jesus power being activated by our faith so we can command the mountains to move. The song continues with it’s main theme that we won’t leave until we see our blessing, our healing and our victory. Much like Jacob’s demand of God when he wrestled with Him, ‘I won’t let you go until you bless me’. 

After these tracks we have “My Yes” which is a song of submission, which is faith and worship in a slightly different capacity. “Traded” brings us back to the cross again, as in our captivity we look to Jesus and He takes our punishment. This is a brilliant and captivating song which doesn’t really need the building formula of modern worship, but it has it anyway! The last track on the album sees us desperately reaching out for Jesus to feel that touch of Him in our lives. With little backing this song feels close and intimate, just the way we want to bring our hearts before Jesus.

There are some great songs in this collection and I have to admit that they have spoken to me in a circumstance that I find myself in at the moment. When we walk through the unpleasant we need to choose to praise and worship the King of all Kings, whether this releases any power is a matter of perspective. To those who doubt I would say that you cannot praise God in those dark moments without faith, because you cannot praise someone you don’t believe or trust. Therefore praising God activates our faith that He is the one who wants to give us good gifts and has a perfect plan for our lives. If the way the mountain moves is our acceptance then perhaps that is our breakthrough that is needed, but alternatively if the walls do crumble and we get our miracle then that is going to build our faith further and stronger.

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