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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : Keith Getty on the 'narcissism' of modern Christian music and the revival he longs to see

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Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37633
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Keith Getty on the 'narcissism' of modern Christian music and the revival he longs to see

Over the years, Keith Getty and his wife Kristyn - together with their writing partner Stuart Townend - have gifted the church with cherished songs that will be sung for generations to come. Songs like In Christ Alone, The Lord is My Salvation, and There is a Higher Throne.

Their mission, though, is not only to bless the church with rich Christian music, but to inspire and resource churches and families in singing together.

With this in mind, they launched Sing! three years ago initially as a conference bringing together worship leaders and anyone involved in church music ministry to explore together the connection between music, theology and artistry.

It's become a fully fledged movement, with plans afoot for a foundation to take its vision further.

While much of their ministry is State-side, this month the Gettys hosted sell-out Sing! conferences at the Belfast arena in their native Northern Ireland, and another at Edinburgh's Usher Hall, marking the launch of the first Sing! global arena tour.

We caught up with Keith to find out more about Sing! and the revival he longs to see in Christian music.

CT: Sing! has a particular message which is to bring together churches and congregations in worship, particularly through the singing of hymns together. What prompted this movement?

Keith: It was prompted by the 500th anniversary of the Reformation because Martin Luther wanted to sing the Gospel and sing the Scriptures. Not only that, but he wanted to get families and churches singing and he was quite a radical in how he did that. I wanted to look at the question: how are we doing 500 years on?

Although there's so much emphasis on church music, it's largely coming from the Christian music industry, which is largely owned by Wall Street, and there's no area in greater need of reformation than Christian worship.

CT: A lot of Christians regularly listen to contemporary Christian music and sing it in their churches each week. What do you think it is that modern church music lacks?

Keith: I think there are two or three things. We're supposed to allow the word of Christ to dwell in us richly when we sing. The Psalms and songs of the Scriptures are so rich in the truth of God, and our songs by comparison are somewhat narcissistic.

They don't focus on the breadth of the God of the Bible, certainly not in any depth, but are self-obsessed and actually starve us of all our human emotions - the more complex emotions especially. They aren't full of the Gospel and mostly they aren't full of eternity.

So the first thing we need to look at is what we are singing.

But the second thing is to look at what singing is and singing together, both in our families and in our churches. The sound of the church's music is the sound of the congregation singing together and that's what we want to get back to - to congregations that are passionate singers and that are singing the Gospel.

With that in mind, we want to combine vibrant theology with a higher view of artistry and we want to help churches and families sing together.

CT: Many of us will be familiar with singing together in church, but what does singing together as a family look like for you?

Keith: It can take all kinds of different shapes, just like churches can take different shapes. But as a parent, I think it's so important that we fill our homes with songs of the Lord.

Every child in the world has a song in their hearts; every child sings every day. So in the midst of taking my girls to horse riding and making their breakfast, going to their friends' houses and parties and visiting their grandparents or whatever it is; in the midst of all those things - none of which will affect them in 20 years' time - it's so important that we are filling them with the truths of the Gospel and Scriptures in a way that they can carry on and that will live with them.

I can't be sure what my kids will be doing in 20 years' time but we can, through songs, ensure that they know the Gospel and know the Bible in a very deep and creative and beautiful and emotional way.

CT: Do your children enjoy music and singing as much as you and Kristyn?

Keith: I think they do - although I've no intention of any of them going into the music industry! But they love singing. In our home we sing a hymn every night before they go to sleep and we do the same hymn every night for the month and then in the morning we do devotionals with Scripture songs and short songs and fun songs that they can dance to.

And some nights we sit down and teach them what the song's all about, how to sing it well and make a little study out of it. Or Kristyn just lies beside them and they ask questions about it, like a casual conversation. Honestly, some nights, we're so tired we just get them upstairs, brush their teeth, get them into bed, sing a song once and slam the lights off!

So it's a mixture of everything.

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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2019/6/24 7:36Profile

Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1450
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Keith Getty on the 'narcissism' of modern Christian music and the reviv

Indeed it is so.... it’s sad to see the state it’s in but, we have a hope that the Lord Himself will put song in the hearts of His children and teach them to worship God 🙏🏻


 2019/6/24 8:10Profile

Joined: 2012/9/25
Posts: 742

 Re: Keith Getty on the 'narcissism' of modern Christian music and the reviv

Brother Greg
This is beautiful music. I love Oh church arise..
I am in agreement with this.. I have been getting together more and more with other churches.. May we all have love for one another and move in UNITY.. that's revival..

Sing! has a particular message which is to bring together churches and congregations in worship, particularly through the singing of hymns together.
Bless u
Sister Frannie


 2019/6/25 18:49Profile

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