Vertical Church Band: The Rock Won’t Move

October 22, 2013

Vertical Church Band: The Rock Won’t Move

“VCB encourages us to have a faith that stands on the Rock that won’t move.”

 

vertical-church-rock-wont-moveI turned 57 this last week and it seems the older I get the more I’m turning into that guy. You know, the one who loves the old songs and wonders why we need a constant glut of new worship songs? I’m still trying to learn how to sing the ones from last year! And whatever happened to being able to hear individual instruments? Where did this wall of sound come from?  (I can hear my bones fossilizing as I write this…) As a worship leader, I honestly do value what new songs bring to the church and I’m always on the look out for great ones. More than once I have seen a new song breathe fresh winds into the sails of congregational worship. That being said, I’ve also seen a lot of really bad songs become popular due to catchy hooks but added nothing to edification of the church. (Col. 3:16) The great songs lift our hearts and feed our souls not not only with beauty but strong truth.

Enter Vertical Church Band and their new collection of worship songs entitled “The Rock Won’t Move.” VCB comes out Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, pastored by James MacDonald.  Harvest  has a strong emphasis on solid doctrine and biblical preaching that shows up clearly in the worship music that flows out of the church. Yes, there is the typical wall of sound going on here (Can’t wait for that pendulum to swing!) and some of the usual over worked exultations:

I am free, I am free indeed
I am free, I am free indeed
We are free, free indeed
We are free, free indeed
– “I’m Going Free (Jailbreak)

But there are some real gems here that are original, poetic, musically inspiring and theologically tasty. Two really stand out. First is “Worthy Worthy.” Somewhat akin to Revelation Song, “Worthy Worthy” has the kind of simple chorus that one can get lost in while worshipping, but the verses are what really stand out to me. It opens with:

No pen or quill, no scribe in perfect skill
With flawless words could capture all You are
No lofty thought, no scholar of this world
Could grasp an inch of such infinity

I appreciate songs that capture the notion of how transcendent God is and the smallness of our capacity to comprehend His greatness. The second verse with the pre-chorus:

With hearts amazed and songs that never frame
The fullness of your worth and majesty
We come again and fall on bended knee
And here adore the God that we don’t see
Though we cannot comprehend such a mystery
Just a glimpse of You revealed is compelling us to sing

Indeed! His self-revelation to our hearts is compelling! How can we not worship? The melody makes the song very congregationally friendly and I can see our church doing this.

“With hearts amazed and songs that never frame the fullness of your worth and majesty, We come again and fall on bended knee and here adore the God that we don’t see”

The PR folks are trumpeting  “The Rock Won’t Move,” “Strong God,” “Worthy Worthy,” “Call On The Name,” and the album opener “Found In You.” There really are some nice songs here but one not mentioned as a “key track” that I would consider THE track is “I Will Follow.”  Why? Because we have done such a poor job of  highlighting the reality of suffering and death in our worship. I’ve been saying for some time to young worship leaders that our job is not just to instruct people in living but preparing them to face suffering and the reality of death in a godly way. I can see some of this making an appearance in several of the songs in this collection but “I Will Follow” captures it beautifully:

When I see the wicked prospering
When I feel I have no voice to sing
Even in the want, I’ll follow You
Even in the want, I’ll follow You

When I find myself so far from home
And You lead me somewhere I don’t wanna go
Even in my death, I’ll follow You
Even in my death, I’ll follow You

These are profound statements with huge implications – ones that we need to train believers to deal with. The chorus is a simple affirmation:

I believe everything that You say You are
I believe that I have seen Your unchanging heart
In the good things and in the hardest part
I believe and I will follow You
I believe and I will follow You

In the “good things and in the hardest part.” One thing that 57 years have shown me is that the hard parts are relentless. VCB encourage us to have a faith that stands on the Rock that won’t move.
 
Check out the promotional video below and click here to get the song The Rock Won’t Move with leadsheet from Noisetrade!
\\

 

Jeff Ling is the Pastor of Clear River Community Church in Northern Virginia.

One response to Vertical Church Band: The Rock Won’t Move

  1. I don’t think it has as much to do with your age (although you are creeping up there!) as your heart for the truth. There are absolutely songs that I shut off on the radio to give the kids a little “sermon” as how the song is wrong. (the one that talks about Jesus’ second coming as a time of great rejoicing for ALL people comes to mind)

    I don’t pretend to understand the “wall of sound” comment. I love hearing instruments and voices in beautiful harmony.

    Thanks for the review and I look forward to hearing these songs!