Unless you attend Gateway Church in Southlake, Tex., Kari Jobe‘s rise to success as a Dove-Award-winning, Grammy-nominated worship artist might seem lightning-fast. In reality, she’s been writing, worshipping and leading music for most of her life. Her 2009 self-titled debut was just the first time the rest of us finally got a glimpse of what she can do.
That debut established her as not just a fresh, new voice in worship, but someone with something to say about the importance of actively pursuing an intimate connection with our creator. Singles like “We Are” and “Steady My Heart” had people singing along as they urged listeners to truly experience God’s presence. Her debut shot to No. 67 on the Billboard 200 and landed at No. 3 onBillboard‘s Christian music chart. A Spanish-language version followed. She was already a success, but it was her 2012 sophomore project, Where I Find You, that earned her that first Grammy nod, in the Best Contemporary Christian Music Album category.
For her third album, the March 2014 release Majestic, Jobe recorded live over two nights at Dallas’ Majestic Theater. Tracks include like the declarative worship anthem “Hands to the Heavens” and the beautiful, soulful “Breathe on Us.” She’s also part of Gateway Worship, the worship band associated with Gateway Church, which has released several live albums including 2008’s Wake Up the World. At this stage of her career, she has already worked with a who’s who of top worship artists and writers including Matt Redman, Jason Ingram, Chris Tomlin, Reuben Morgan, Ed Cashand Matt Maher.
Whether it’s her solo releases, group recordings or compilations, Jobe’s music has one unifying theme: declaring who God is and reminding others of his love for us. Not that she views life — or faith — through a rose-colored Bible. She knows we all experience disappointment and pain. That’s where songs like “Love Came Down” or “Run to You” come in. Her tight-knit Texas family helps, too, as do her strong ties to her home church. She’s been at Gateway for a dozen years now, where she works alongside her pastor father. When not leading worship in churches, arenas, theaters, festivals or at conferences around the world, Jobe can be found fighting issues like human trafficking. “It’s all about making a difference,” she says. “To see God’s name lifted high, to encourage the hurt and the broken, and to remind everyone to draw close to Him because He really, truly does care about each and every one of His children.”
See what all the buzz is about by tuning in to our Kari Jobe playlist now. — Wendy Lee Nentwig