Keith and Kristyn Getty, the preeminent writers and performers of modern hymns in the world whose mission it is to revive the essential act of congregational singing, are launching a major global initiative in 2017 named, Sing!
The Gettys announce Sing! to coincide with the 500th anniversary year of Martin Luther's Reformation. "Martin Luther is a hero to us in many ways," says Keith and Kristyn Getty. "His belief that reformation happened through not just the preaching, but especially the singing of the Word was revolutionary and helped to define the vision for our life's work."
The centerpieces of the Gettys' initiative include the inaugural Getty Music Worship Conference –Sing! and the publication of the Gettys' debut book, Sing! – How and Why We Worship (B&H Publishing Group).
To take place at Brentwood Baptist Church in Nashville TN on September 18-20, the Getty Music Worship Conference –Sing! will feature prominent speakers and music artists from around the world, including thus far: Alistair Begg, D.A. Carson, David Platt, Paul David Tripp, Laura Story, Joni Eareckson Tada, Bob Kauflin, and a number of others. Bringing together speakers and artists from many traditions and walks of life, the goal of the conference is to help pastors, leaders and musicians build a Biblical understanding and creative vision for the congregational singing in their churches.
The event will also feature a 5,000-person hymn-sing at Nashville's famed Grand Ole Opry House. Registration for the conference is now open (see below).
Many of the themes of the conference will also be reflected in the upcoming Sing! – How and Why We Worship book – a manifesto for church leaders on what, how and when the church sings. According to Keith Getty, there are a number of urgent imperatives such as:
-- Encouraging deep Christian thought among individuals by careful selection of the songs they sing
-- Strengthening families through singing together, in a time and culture where the family unit is crumbling
-- Developing community among the diverse Christian community
-- Presenting, by our singing together, the picture of Christianity that is celebratory, positive, inclusive and welcoming
Keith Getty says, "The importance of the community singing together is not a new idea, but today's church has fallen away from it. There are more Christians in the world today than at any prior time in history, but many are first and second generation Christians who lack a heritage of being taught their faith through hymns that had traditionally been passed down for centuries. In Western society, many Christians do casually sing hymns but they haven't been taught the importance of congregational singing or that it should be at the center of worship. The time is ripe for reinvigorating the call of Christians to express their faith in singing together, as this is supposed to be an essential part of the Christian life."