For the first time, all the Christian artists in the Bethel Collective are gathered together in worship. Homecoming, Bethel Music’s latest album offers 16-tracks of heartfelt praise and worship.
By Mervyn Lim
Bethel Music, led by Brian and Jenn Johnson, recently received 16 GMA Dove Award nominations, which broke the record for the most number of nominations in a single year. The nominations spans across 13 different categories, included the highly coveted Song of the Year and New Artist of the Year. They followed this amazing feat with the worldwide release of their 12th album Homecoming on Sep 24, 2021.
With an ensemble line up like Brian and Jenn, Brandon Lake, Cory Asbury, Dante Bowe, and special guests like Chris Quilala and Matt Redman, it looks like “The Avengers” of the worship scene were gathered to record this album. But the latest album by Bethel Music doesn’t go for “big and spectacular”; instead it is a collection of congregational worship that touches the most intimate part of every listener’s heart.
Homecoming is Bethel’s highly anticipated compilation album that features all the artists under the Bethel Music Collective for the very first time. The 16-track album was recorded over three nights in July 2021.
In an article on thechristianbeat.org, Christian Ostrom, Creative Director of Bethel Music talked about the significance of the album title.
“This word ‘homecoming’ carries so much weight—and in a very real way, all of us are in a season of coming home,” he said. “These last few years we haven’t seen each other’s faces, we haven’t gathered in public, and we haven’t been with family. Home is such a necessary part of our lives, and we have all felt its absence. This album is the beginning of us going back to the ‘why’ of Bethel Music… the beginning of us walking step by step toward the One who awaits us with open arms.”
Brian Johnson, President of Bethel Music, told Vacancy-mag.com: “I feel like from the ground up, this project feels to me like we did our very best – no matter what happens with it, we did exactly what we were supposed to do every step of the way and that is so fulfilling…Everything from building relational equity within our team and artists to the organising of the co-writes and working in pre-production so the songs would come across as strong as possible. Even the features and duets – we painstakingly reflected on who the best pairings would be to carry the songs the way they needed to be carried. I would go so far as to say this project was the best experience for me of anything we’ve ever done because it felt like the team felt such unity from start to finish. I am so proud of the entire Bethel Music team and the album we created.”
The hard work that Brian and Jenn Johnson has put in over the last 20 years to bring together a community of worshippers is evident, as the album is filled with congregational worship anthems that will surely be sung in churches all over in the coming weeks, months and years. This captures the presence of God and it is a testament to the heart of worship that the Bethel Music Collective has.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM HOMECOMING
Here are some of the top picks from this album, which runs nearly two hours and serves as powerful quiet time accompaniment:
The album begins with the impactful title track led by Grammy-nominated and three-time Dove Award winner, Cory Asbury and Gable Price. The song speaks of God the Father welcoming home every prodigal son and daughter back into His House. In a spontaneous moment, Asbury sang out: “You and I and our families, Singing, dancing and laughing, There is truly no place like home,” perhaps giving listeners a vision of being back in church once again, back where we belong – in the House of God.
“Weathered” led by Dante Bowe and Hannah McClure speaks of the faithfulness and the love of Jesus. Despite seeing all our low points, our mistakes and sins, Jesus remains faithful. Jesus’ love for us never changes, but weathers all the storms that we go through. Indeed, as the song says: “A love that’s real, A love that’s weathered”, we can always find Jesus right there, waiting for us, no matter how far we have gone.
“Too Good To Not Believe”
The lead single from the album, “Too Good To Not Believe”, led by Brandon Lake and co-written by Lake and Cody Carnes, serves as a reminder for us that no matter what we have been through, God is still a miracle-working God. Amidst the pandemic, negativity and bad news, some of us may have lost sight of who God really is. The lyrics of the song remind us that God still heals, God still sets addicts free, God still restores mental health. God is the same miracle-working God. This song will cause belief and expectation to rise up once again in the listener. If you are waiting for that miracle, remember that God is “Too Good To Not Believe”.
Other noteworthy songs in this 16-track album include “Son Of Suffering” featuring Matt Redman, “Send Me” lead by Jenn Johnson featuring Chris Quilala of Jesus Culture and Brian Johnson leading a song he co-wrote with Phil Wickham, “Hymn Of Heaven”.
Indeed, Homecoming is an album that calls Christians back to our home, the House of the Lord.
Homecoming is available on all streaming platforms including Spotify. Tune in to CityRadio to catch the songs from the album from this month!