Arena-sized anthems from an Atlanta-based ministry

Live from Decatur City
North Point Worship
Publishers: North Point Music/Centricity Music
Length: 6 tracks/26 minutes

It’s no secret that in person worship is more dynamic than listening to a recording or viewing a broadcast. This is not to discourage those who participate through an online experience or by listening to a release such as this. As powerful as a recording may be, it’s better to be there.

One of the things that I appreciate about the ministry, which this group springs from, is there concern for the safety and well-being of their people. They seek to do what is best regardless of what others think.

Despite this being live there was no audience in order to avoid unnecessary risk. Being there was not an option, so Live from Decatur City by North Point Worship is the next best thing. There is no crowd noise but listeners will otherwise be unaware that there is no congregation. It sounds like a live recording.

Without this document I would not have been able to hear the soulful “Anchor of Peace,” my favorite song. Whereas the other tracks have the familiar pop/rock that you hear in some weekend services, Lauren Lee proclaims the good news through a gospel sound. It starts dramatically with a steady, powerful drumbeat before being joined by smooth R&B and a choir of voices.

I like how the transition from the previous track is seamless. There is no break between songs on this recording. Each flows effortlessly into the next.

“Goodness of God” is a beautiful duet featuring Heath Balltzglier and Emily Harrison. Throughout this release there is a balance of male and female leads.

Initially, the acoustic is prominent with some lovely keyboard sounds. Towards the end it breaks into a refrain: “Your goodness is running after, it’s running after me” which is most likely drawn from Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me …”. Goodness is personified as not just following but running after the object of its desire.

The lightning-fast, intricate opening guitar riffs on “Abundantly More” create excitement. This is a fitting lead single. As on other moments found on this EP, the sound is large enough to be comfortable in the biggest spaces. Yet, at the same time, there is an intimacy reflected in quieter moments. Listeners who appreciate anthem-like songs will be at home here.

The cover image of a stained-glass window is excellent. It’s highly appropriate for a worship recording, even one like this that is thoroughly part of the present.

North Point Worship is part of North Point Ministries, founded in 1995. Andy Stanley is the senior pastor. He is a well-known leader, and the son of Charles Stanley, a longtime and well-respected pastor and Bible teacher.

Michael Dalton