Christian musician Kari Jobe grew up knowing God was drawing her toward worship. “I remember hearing a worship song that applied perfectly to a family that I knew, and I knew that I wanted to write songs like that, for people who are hurting, songs that people make their own prayer to the Lord when they can’t find words of their own."
A featured worship leader on Gateway Worship projects, Living for You and Wake Up the World, Kari Jobe released her debut album, Kari Jobe, through Gateway Create Publishing and Integrity Music in 2009. The album contains a collection of worship pop/folk songs written by Kari Jobe as well as co-writes with worship leaders/songwriters Chris Tomlin, Paul Baloche, Mia Fieldes, Ed Cash and Klaus Kuehn.
Kari Jobe, features new versions of “Revelation Song,” “No Sweeter Name” and “My Beloved,” in addition to new songs of worship taken from Kari Jobe’s life and journals. She explains one of her favorites, the deeply personal “You Are for Me,” saying, “This song is gut-wrenching for me. There are times you are so broken that all you can do is sing over yourself with words like, ‘God is for me.’ But I believe it is one song that people can use to remember that God is for us, so who can be against us.”
Songs of intimate musings are balanced by songs of joy and praise. The buoyant “Everyone Needs a Little” emanates with expressions of love, joy and hope, while “I’m Singing” conveys a simple happiness of heart in vocal praise to God. “This album is about hope and life; it’s about lifting the broken off the floor and singing love over them,” says Kari. “The songs create intimate moments and outward shouting, and it’s my hope that these songs find the broken and lift them to a place of praise to God for what He’s done.”
After being established as one of the industry’s premier worship leaders with her Dove Award-winning, self-titled debut, Kari Jobe continues to serve as a worship pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, and released her highly anticipated follow-up album, Where I Find You (Sparrow) in January 2012. Where I Find You, which includes Kari Jobe’s hit radio single “We Are,” is an engaging departure from her previous effort—both sonically and thematically speaking.
Rather than simply emphasizing the beauty found in God’s presence, Where I Find You is a clarion call for listeners to experience His presence to the fullest. And not surprisingly, the accompanying soundtrack is just as bold with a buoyant mix of fresh musical textures and timbres. “After singing about the importance of making time for intimate worship on my first album, I wanted to take the next step on Where I Find You,” Kari shares. “These songs come from such a honest place of praising God for what He’s done—and what He’s continuing to do in our lives—because of His grace and goodness.
“Ultimately, it’s about declaring who He is and enjoying the simplicity of knowing the Lord is near,” Kari Jobe continues. “He’s for us, He loves us, and sometimes, we need to just stop, enjoy His presence and take that in.”
While recording the album, Kari Jobe says she was often reminded of that very truth—a theme that resonates through the lyrics of “Here,” a reminder to press pause, even when our culture insists we constantly keep moving. “There were many instances when we had to stop whatever we were working on because I needed to go outside, take a walk and have my own time with God for a few minutes,” Kari remembers. “Again and again, I was so overtaken by how present He was while we were recording, and it’s my hope and desire that people really feel the strength and intercession that was taking place while I worked on the album.”
Another decidedly counter-cultural idea that resonates in these new songs is how God never lets believers, including worship leaders, get too comfortable in their faith or permanently reside on the proverbial spiritual mountaintop. “2011 was the season of being completely uncomfortable and going through things I didn’t understand that were really hard,” Kari shares. “I was literally having to hold on in my heart and trust He had everything in control. You can even hear that a little in my vocals, especially on songs like ‘Love Came Down,’ ‘Run To You,’ and ‘What Love Is This.’ It was a season that stretched me.”
Even through all the growing pains, however, Kari Jobe says she was continually reminded of God’s faithfulness. “I think there are times as believers when we feel entitled and that life shouldn’t be hard. We live in this culture of convenience that says we can do everything ourselves and find all the answers on Google,” Kari says. “But if we can learn to fall more in love with the Lord and trust Him in the middle of every storm, we build our endurance to keep running the race.”
Also serving as a grounding force for Kari Jobe when life gets complicated is her tight-knit Texas family. Although she turned 30 this past year, she still considers being a daughter one of “life’s greatest blessings.”
What’s also been a blessing is a new dimension to her ministry. In addition to ministering in churches, arenas, theaters, festivals and conferences across the globe, Kari Jobe has also found another outlet for sharing God’s love in partnering with the A21 Campaign, an organization dedicated to abolishing human trafficking in the 21st century. Along with her sister, Kris, Kari Jobe has created an exclusive line of jewelry and t-shirts where all the proceeds go to the cause of bringing an end to human trafficking and injustice.
“I’ve become really invested in that ministry and strongly believe that we all have to play a role and do our part to fight against the modern form of slavery that affects 27 million people and growing,” Kari says. “It’s so incredibly dark, and I feel a responsibility to do what I can. Most of these victims are girls like me, and I can’t imagine what life would be like to be stuck in that place.”
“Whether I’m participating in an effort like this or leading worship, it’s all about making a difference,” Kari concludes. “That’s the reason I’m doing what I’m doing at this specific moment—to see God’s name lifted high, to encourage the hurt and the broken and to remind everyone to draw close to Him because He really, truly does care about each and every one of His children.”
Listen to Christian Musician Kari Jobe