Keith and Kristyn Getty Say the Right Kind of Songs Can Help Churches Flourish in Secular Culture

Keith and Kristyn Getty discuss the importance of singing for the church in an interview with ERLC President Russell Moore (left) during Evangelicals for Life. Photo by Karen McCutcheon

VIENNA, Va. (BP) — Singing the right kind of songs can help churches and families flourish in a culture that clashes with the biblical view on such issues as the sanctity of human life, says modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty.

The Gettys — whose credits as writers or co-writers include “In Christ Alone” and “The Power of the Cross” — spoke Jan. 17 about congregational singing as well as the pro-life cause in their native Northern Ireland, during the fourth annual Evangelicals for Life conference. The event, sponsored by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), was held Jan. 16-17 at McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Va., a suburb of Washington, D.C.

Twenty percent of the Bible is “a songbook,” and “God’s people are a singing people,” Keith Getty said in explaining the significance of discussing music at a conference on human dignity. “What we sing is so vitally important to how we think, to how we feel, to our memories … to how we pray and ultimately to how we act.”

In an interview conducted by ERLC President Russell Moore, Keith Getty told the audience, “The song that God gave us in the Psalms is one of lament over this world, doesn’t hide from injustices…, opens our emotions in raw ways and has us ask hard questions of God and ourselves.”

Followers of Christ need to grow in depth, Getty said, “partly in what we say but partly in the songs that we sing.” There is a “huge need” for this generation “to see reformation and revival” and for song writers to “give us the heart songs” that are part of such a movement of God, he said.

Music, Kristyn Getty told attendees and those watching by live stream, “should give us a big vision of the Bible and of the Gospel story, of heaven, of where we are going, why we are here, who God is. These are the things that we should be singing about…. If we’re not singing about it, chances are we’re not thinking about it. If we’re not thinking about it, it’s not impacting our life” and the decisions Christians make day by day.

The Gettys have used songs with their daughters to “alert them to the differences between cultural voices around them and what God’s Word says,” Kristyn Getty said. Singing is “a wonderful way to teach them” and “shape their world view,” she said.

In recent years, they have sought to teach their girls a hymn each month, she said. In January, the hymn they are teaching is “This Is My Father’s World.”

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Source: Baptist Press