Perhaps it is because I’m allegedly a millennial, or perhaps it is because most places I go I have wifi, or because I already own most of what Coldplay and U2 have written, but I haven’t bought an album for a long time.
At the start of this year, I broke that streak and purchased TWELVE: ONE, a new album from Trent Vineyard Pastor and Worship Leader Dave Miller.
And I’m very glad I did.
TWELVE: ONE takes as inspiration Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship“. This, of course, alludes to the fact that Christian worship is more than (but not less than) the singing of songs. Worship is a lifestyle, the surrender of our entire lives to Jesus.
As I say, I loved this album. Here are a few thoughts on each of the tracks:
Endless Praises – I like this song, particularly the resonance of the death and resurrection of Jesus to our worshipping him.
King of Love – this is one of Dave’s best songs. I really like it. This is in an anthem-ish style, but it’s lyrics work for me when I’m feeling low and when I’m feeling good. The imagery of Jesus is beautiful – particularly in it’s thematic key verse; “You would leave the ninety-nine to find the one, Run towards the wayward son, this is who you are King of Love“. I think this would work well in congregational settings.
Sovereign God – this song is a powerful statement of faith in God’s sovereignty, and the hope and comfort that comes from recognising it. I find this song reassuring and inspiring – it works as a song to be sung both to and about God, and both to and with those around us.
I Give My All – this song is a clear statement of the movement from gratitude to service, explaining the purpose and priority of a life of praise. Hymn-fans will love the final verse, which can be found elsewhere…
God of Freedom – this song is a powerful song of freedom, singing about and of the freedom found in God, for all who would come to him.
Praise the Lord (Victory in his hands) – Dave says that this song is based on/inspired by Psalm 95, and this rings true to my eyes and ears. The song asks the rhetorical questions that some, including me, find helpful for focusing our minds and hearts; “Isn’t he beautiful, Isn’t he wonderful, Shouldn’t we stand in awe, Or fall to our knees before him“.
Great Are You Lord (Lifting You Higher) – this is a simple song of praise, echoing some of the themes of other songs on the album.
All for You – this is one of my favourite songs from TWELVE: ONE, and it clearly is inspired by Romans 12:1. This is a song of commitment, of purpose, and would be a great one for inclusion in worship settings where there is a commissioning or setting aside of someone/something.
For Your Cause – this is a song of commitment to Christ, and a powerful statement of the the fact that such a commitment is also a commitment to Christ’s cause and his church. This is a song that I’ve found helpful in articulating what it might mean to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit: “I don’t want to be standing still, when you are moving forward, I don’t want to be holding back, you can have it all, Everything to you surrendered, Use me Lord, for your cause“.
Fill Us Again – this is a beautiful song about being filled with the Holy Spirit – drawing on some of the many biblical images of the Holy Spirit, and the idea that the Spirit exists at least in part to empower Christians for ministry and mission.
Be Exalted – this song appears to have four writers, and sadly it does show. It slightly feels like the three verses could be from three different songs, but they do work together ultimately. I think particularly the third verse could find use as a bridge or link between songs – again the themes of sacrifice and worship-as-whole-life are here.
Falling at Your Feet – this is a beautiful song, of commitment to Jesus. The language is quite intimate, and resonates with the emotional range of the Psalms, and this is a song unashamedly addressed to God.
I Am Yours – the final song from this album is probably my favourite. Dave has been singing this one for a few years, and it is a powerful song of commitment to Jesus, and a promise of willingness. I think perhaps this song serves as the driver for the album – and is a beautiful, contemporary lyrical imaging of Romans 12:1 for today.
Whilst ostensibly being Dave’s project, this album also features a range of other worship leaders, musicians, and writers, including younger and emerging voices. This makes this an album of worship for the church, by the church, and I hope some of it’s songs will be widely adopted. You can listen to TWELVE: ONE in all the usual places, and the Vineyard Worship website has track listings/chords/music videos etc to help you think about whether or not these songs might be right for your context.