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Cover the Earth: 25 Powerful Songs from Churches Around the World

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Dec
Cover the Earth: 25 Powerful Songs from Churches Around the World
Sounds like … contemporary worship from around the globe, including songs from Lakewood Church, Hillsong, Bethany World Prayer Center, and many others.At a glance … if you want a sample of what corporate worship sounds like in different congregations around the world, then Cover the Earth is for you.Track Listing

Disc One:

Love the Lord
Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King
Let the Church Rise
I Am Free
Count It All Joy
Beautiful Mystery
Revelation Song
The Greatness of You
You've Won My Affection
Not Unto Us

Disc Two:

Cover the Earth
We Have Come to Praise
Jesus Is
Chasing After You
I Will Sing
God Is Our Refuge
Let Your Kingdom Come
How Can I Not Sing
Jesus Thank You
The Song That I Sing
May the Words of My Mouth

Being a mega-church has its perks. Not only do they have the megabucks to build their own state-of-the-art facilities, acquire prominent network placement, and produce a top-notch worship extravaganza. They also have enough human and monetary resources to boast a beefed-up worship music department—one that writes its own Sunday-morning staples, takes pride in its string and brass sections, and possesses a choir with more members than your average-sized congregation.

Many of the churches featured on Cover the Earth: 25 Powerful Songs from Churches Around the World fall into mega-church category—Lakewood Church, Bethany World Prayer Center, New Life Church—and they're all part of Integrity Music's ambitious Global Worship Now initiative. The online hub exists so that participating churches can pool their resources and local worship leaders may learn about the latest in cross-country and international praise music.

Inclusion on this album doesn't necessarily mean that all these homegrown tunes are congregational winners, though some of them certainly are. Gateway Church's "Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King" and "Revelation Song" are both terrific, while "Jesus Thank You" and "Love the Lord" (penned by Lincoln Brewster) from Bayside Community Church are both buoyant pieces of scripture set to music. And then there's New Life Church's "I Am Free," already a massive hit thanks to the newsboys and others.

The rest, however, is a hodgepodge of passable choruses that range from good to mediocre. Some are very catchy ("We Have Come to Praise"), but others simply fail to engage ("You've Won My Affection"). A few suffer from over-repetition ("Chasing After You," "The Greatness of You"), pageantry ("Not Unto Us"), or strange metrics ("How Can I Not Sing"). Still, it all makes for an uneven yet interesting sampler, one as varied as the different flavors and traditions that distinguish the body of Christ.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.