Kari Jobe took to the stage at McLean Bible Church on Friday to excited, pleasant applause, along with her band, including her husband of two years, Cody Carnes. When she would speak, the crowd was in absolute silence, with the exception of some softly spoken agreements and other words of praise.
This was not a typical concert.
It is very true that this was not a simply concert for those gathered; it was worship. Kari encouraged people to enjoy and worship with all of their senses. She spoke of the presence of God in the building, which could be felt throughout the night. She was visiting as the local stop on The Garden Tour, which was sold out, and the joy in the crowd could be felt as soon as we entered McLean Bible Church.
In the lobby, there was more than just merchandise being sold. There were organizations promoting various causes, and there was a bookstore set up with Bibles and other faith-based literature. After entering the Sanctuary and looking around, there were hardly any open seats. There was a quiet chatter of anticipation throughout the audience. If you go to church or have ever been, I can assure you McLean Bible Church is not like the churches you would picture in your mind.
In the middle of her performance, Kari paused to explain what drove her to write her most recent album, The Garden, published on Feb. 3 via Capitol CMG. She and her sister Kris had become pregnant at the same time — a dream come true. A little over seven months into Kris’ pregnancy, however, she gave birth to a stillborn baby, which Kari emotionally referred to as a “sleeping angel.”
In addition to the heartache she felt for her sister, this also caused her great concern for her own child. Kari gave birth to a baby boy in early 2016. Still, she experienced grief over her family’s loss, and she had questions for God. How could this happen? These events inspired her fourth album, The Garden.
Kari joked about some members of the audience being tricked into coming to the concert by a friend saying they were going to a club. There were so many different emotions in that building on Friday night. There was laughter, there was joy, there was crying, there was hope. Kari’s powerful voice resonated through the Sanctuary.
This show, produced by Jammin’ Java, was more than I had anticipated, and I will remember it for as long as I live. I hope that everyone will have a chance to experience an event like this at least once in their life.