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What Does Worship Look Like on a School Night? With Special Guests Keith & Kristyn Getty

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
December 7, 2020 1:00 am

What Does Worship Look Like on a School Night? With Special Guests Keith & Kristyn Getty

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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December 7, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 591 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier, with special guests, Keith and Kristyn Getty, answer caller questions.

Show Notes

1. The two of you have been writing hymns and songs for worship for many years now. In fact, we sing many of those hymns in the congregation that I pastor each Sunday. n light of all of that, what inspired you to write an album of hymns and lullabies for children?

2. Are we supposed to lift our hands up as we sing praises or is that a preference? 

3. Is worship exclusively about music? I know that the bible says that we should glorify God with all of our lives. Is there a difference between worshipping on Sunday and worshipping God throughout the week in our daily lives?

4.  Many parents struggle with sharing resources with their kids that help build up their faith. Some resources, on the one hand, can feel cheesy, and on the other, might feel too uptight. I know you and Keith have children, how have you both cultivated an appreciation of worship in their lives?

5. Does worship music in church foster appreciation for diverse cultures, and should a church incorporate different worship music styles to attract diversity in members?

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Evensong: Hymns and Lullabies at the Close of Day(the new album by Keith & Kristyn Getty)

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The Scriptures say we're to glorify God with every part of our lives, but is there something distinct about how we worship at church? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. You can also post your question on our Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter accounts, and you can email us at Well, today we're excited to welcome two very special guests to the program, Christian musicians and worship leaders, Keith and Kristen Getty.

Keith and Kristen, welcome to CORE Christianity. Thanks, Greg. Thanks for having us. Many of our listeners may not realize how many of your songs they sing in church every Sunday, but we thought we'd play just a bit of one of them. Now that's the song that kind of puts you two on the map, and I know you're from Northern Ireland, you moved to Nashville, but right now you're back in Northern Ireland, correct?

That is exactly right. We came back here after Sing Global in mid-September. Quarantined for a couple of weeks, they're four girls, and we've been here now just over two months and loving it. It's great to be home for a stretch of time. Right up on the north coast by all the beaches, so it's just been a real special season.

And it's winter, and it's rainy and drizzly, but it's lovely. We wrote that song you just heard 20 years ago this month, and so it's been kind of nice. And we just finished having our four kids, or Kristen had the four kids. I had the babies.

I was a supporting actor. So it's been a real, just a beautiful season for us. I just have to say, on behalf of my congregation, thank you, because we sing so many of those songs in our own worship service.

It's been a huge blessing for us. And I know that you have recently done a new project. I wanted to ask you about this album of hymns and lullabies for children. What was the inspiration behind that? Well, actually, it was Keith last year came to me and said, Kristen, you're turning 40 next year. Is there something that you would like to do that might be a little different, but not too different from what we've been doing?

I was thinking of like a trip to Hawaii. But yeah, so we've been writing hymns for the last 20 years. And of course, in the last few years and being parents, it's really challenged us as we thought of what is singing for each of us. It also means something very significant for our children and passing on the faith. And as a family had been teaching them songs and singing with them, particularly in the evening time. And then I became more familiar with this idea of Evensong, which is a traditional, more Anglican practice, actually, as a short service at the end of the day, which finds us where we are and leads us to the Lord through song, through prayer, through liturgies, through scripture readings. And it's just a way to help sanctify the night. And I just love that idea and what it meant for Keith and I, but also for our children, that sense of God's comfort and of renewal and of calm at the end of the day.

And so this album is a collection of old hymns, new hymns, some of our hymns, lullabies freshly written in the last couple of years and some older, more traditional ones. And it was a challenge to try and record it during lockdown. And we obviously planned for it before we ever thought of COVID-19. But we were able to figure it out with a great producer recording it out of our home in Nashville.

And actually as a project for the home, it very much came out of the home. And it was a good thing to do during lockdown, I think. It's a beautiful album. We thought we would play a little sample from that album for you right now. Hush-a-bye baby, you're with us so dear. Hush-a-bye baby, I'll carry you near.

Hush-a-bye baby, God sees all our tears and keeps our bottles of tears. Wow, beautiful. Now you can't see the video for this song, but it was filmed in Franklin, Tennessee at Amy Grant's ranch. Can you kind of describe the setting? Because it's just so spectacular.

Yes, it's a beautiful old barn in the middle of the Tennessee countryside. And in the summertime we recorded it. And my brother actually helped him direct that. Well, he did direct that session where we recorded all the songs. And it was a very limited time window because we wanted to get that light just as the sun was setting.

And so it was a very crazy few hours, but he really did capture the softness of the transition of the lights. We had beautiful fairy lights around, we had a small band and we sang all the songs live. And so we brought the kids in for a couple of the songs as well.

It was a beautiful setting. We oftentimes get questions on the program about, Kristen, you mentioned handing the faith down and you think of song being one of the great tools to be able to do that. As you guys come together as a family at the end of the day, and you're seeking to draw near to the Lord together, what are some of the challenges you face? Because I know a lot of parents have a hard time with that. Just sitting down with three kids, four kids, and it can kind of get crazy.

How have you dealt with that? Well, it's definitely not a perfect thing and some nights are better than others. But the hope is that the general impression will be that we take as many opportunities as we can to teach the faith through the songs that they sing. Because when we sing something, we remember it in a much deeper and more significant way.

And so we want to harness the opportunity it is. What are the things that we want our kids to remember? Let's sing those things. A few years ago, we started doing a hymn a month. I know we're musicians, singers, and I don't want to put anybody off on that because I think we are all called to sing.

It's not just for those who are very good at it or indeed like it, but it's something that we all do as believers and we want to pass that on as well, just that whole idea of singing what it is to our kids. And so we just over the course of a month, we hum the melody with them, we sing it. We sometimes in just evenings, we would just play it over our phones just so they become familiar with it. And kids are so responsive even when we're not directly teaching them.

If it's just in the background as well, it's amazing how much they can pick up on. And so over the last few years, our kids have learned lots of different hymns and songs. The little ones are obviously just getting used to the melody and a few of the words. But that's the great thing about hymns and even Christmas carols this month, we're teaching them once in Royal David City. These are songs that we do tend to carry with us through life and carols are a wonderful example. Every year we come back to them. They're so much a part of our culture and part of the Christmas season. And so if they can get a little bit of a wonderful song and then next year get a little bit more of it and a little bit more and we just sort of add to their understanding, I think it is a real worthwhile investment. Wow. You mentioned that your girls actually sing on some of the songs on the album?

Yeah, they do. There's a song called Jesus Friend of Little Children, which is a song that Keith grew up singing with his mum, which we added Jesus Loves Me This I Know Too, which is of course one of the most well known children's hymns all over the world. And then also, they joined us on Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive's beautiful song Is He Worthy, the little echo part, which is a great song to teach your kids actually as an idea there. If you are a parent, we want to recommend this album to you.

It's called Even Song Hymns and Lullabies at the Close of Day. We actually have some copies of this CD. We'd love to give you one of those for a donation of any amount to Core Christianity. You can find out more about that by going to forward slash offers. Keith and Kristen, we have a few questions that have come in from some of our listeners and they're all dealing with worship.

Here's one that Barbara emailed us. She said, are we supposed to lift our hands up as we sing praises or is that a preference? I don't think you have to, but you can if you want. I think we're encouraged to.

Is it a command or not? I don't know. I've actually never thought about that. Is it actually wrong not to?

I suspect it's not. You lift your hands sometimes, but it's more to punch the air with enthusiasm, I often see. We used to say when we were growing up, because we had a mix of people and we used to say, could all the charismatics raise their hands and all the conservatives, you know, clench their fists? And I think we're essentially basically doing the same thing. So the Lord looks in our heart. We're commanded to sing more times if you include exclaim and extol and proclaim and praise and all the derivative words for singing. It's the most common command in scripture.

It's something which is emphatic. And yeah, I think we should lift our hands in whatever way we want. I think it's a good thing to do.

I think it's a natural thing to do, to be honest. But I think the primary focus is to be singing. And then, of course, I would also say that if your hand is about to hit somebody's face, that's probably detrimental to the congregational experience. So part of it is, I think sometimes we do feel a sense of being in our own little moments in church. But I think whenever we are gathered, one of the unique parts of it is that we are a congregation gathered together.

And so we're there to be the body. It is a different thing to just singing in our car. And so I think to be finding ways in which we can sing well together and connect well together, I think that should be the focus. I think we should be expressive.

I think there's definitely something. I mean, I love singing the Psalms, but there is definitely a disconnect when you're singing a psalm that is full of language of joy and delight and praise. And so people look like somebody has stolen their donut. So I think human expression is an important part of it. But I think singing is the core thing and singing with all our hearts. And it's so interesting throughout Scripture how you do have these sort of postures that are associated with worship, bowing and raising the hand. But I do appreciate what you said there about the heart and singing. Jesus said, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. And even in the prophets at times, God rebuked Israel for offering their hands, but not their hearts in worship. So I think it can be a both and. I think you're right on, Kristen. You don't want to accidentally poke someone in the eye as you're worshipping the Lord.

So you got to be careful. We had a question that came in from one of our listeners named Caleb regarding worship. We had a question wondering, is worship exclusively about music? My law says that we should glorify God with all of our lives. I have heard some people say that sort of means that every action and every thing we do with our lives is an act of worship. But is there a difference between how we worship on Sunday or at church and us worshipping God throughout the week in our daily lives?

Thanks. Well, worship is all of our lives. I mean, the simplest text that people use is Romans 12. The first 11 chapters of Romans are perhaps the finest description of the wonder of our salvation of redemption story. And then the book turns in the last few chapters and says, Therefore, in view of God's mercy, all for your bodies as living sacrifice is holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship.

So it is all of our lives. But we are commanded to sing as well. It's not without singing. Singing is part of that. And indeed, singing in turn itself does actually affect every part of our mind, our emotions, our thoughts, our feelings, our memory bank, our prayers, our words, our relationships, our family, our church, and even our community and witness as well. I love the way you put it there. I think about, you know, Paul's words where he talks about singing to each other, even could you talk a little bit about that, you know, how it's not just singing to the Lord, expressing ourselves to the Lord, but how even the content of our songs is as we're singing in the context of the congregation, encouraging for the body of Christ.

Absolutely. You know, we're, you know, we sing in a Sunday because of who God is, primarily, and we sing secondary because we are commanded because we are created, and indeed, because the gospel itself compels us to sing that that is God and that is us. But even beyond that, we sing for each other. In other words, on a Sunday morning, if I've just had the worst possible Sunday morning, and my children are scoring a D grade in their behavior that morning, and my mind is consumed with other things. I still am singing for the guy in front of me.

I'm still singing for the guy behind me. It's part of the more holistic picture of being church. Christianity is not simply getting the philosophy and theology right.

It's actually being part of the body. And how we do that is, historically, we fill our homes. Even if you go back to the origins of the Psalms and Ezra putting the Psalms together, it was very much believed that this would be for every family to use and for every church to use. So I think those of us who lead a family and those of us who lead a church have a responsibility to make sure our congregations know that. And then as congregational members, we, we owe it to each other, we sing for each other. I think it's a wonderful point just when it comes to educating our kids as to what singing is in a culture which idolizes the performance and idolizes the soloist to understand singing is for all of us and for kids at a young age to see that very much as part of what it means to be a believer. In the same way we teach our kids to pray and we teach our kids to read the scriptures, I think we have a responsibility to teach them to sing and to understand their voice in the context of the wider congregation. And so we are creating and growing an appetite for singing in our homes for the feast that it is when we gather on a Sunday and indeed we are encouraging the next generation to sing. We are growing the voice of the church and then what an incredible witness it is to our children to see other families sing and for those outside of the church to come in and see indeed families and all different types of people from different backgrounds gathered together singing the same melody, singing the same lyric.

What a profound picture that is of the unity of the body to see that. I love this vision that you guys are talking about singing in the home and I wonder what would your encouragement be to people who maybe they're just intimidated? I mean I think about it even in the context of the local church and really wanting to cultivate congregational singing, people lifting up their voices, but I think one of the fears that many people have and you mentioned it earlier, Kristen, is I just don't really know how to sing or I don't like the idea of hearing my voice and other people hearing my voice and so how do you encourage that person who feels like they're not that good at singing to sing in the home and then sing in the church as well? Well I would first of all find the very best songs that you can, the best arrangements of those songs that you can that are most attractive to your family and then fill the spaces where life happens with songs of the Lord. Whether that's in the kitchen or in the car or as they go to sleep at night or all the different spaces or as you're singing as you make food in the evenings, that will begin to bring it and make it part of the fabric of life and sort of normalize it.

And then I would also then find time to be intentional. For us it's the evening. We tend to do our family, well Keith does this, the family devotional thought in the morning when the kids are most alert. And we find when we started doing Bible readings in the evening we ended up shouting at the children.

We didn't want them to associate the scriptures with us being angry. So we decided that in the morning because singing is a little bit more attractive and it's sort of easier to hook on to and some nights I'll just play it in the background as they're going to sleep and other nights I'll say come on in 20 minutes earlier. I want you to listen to this and what do you think about it? Let's try singing it together. I print out the lyric or I get a little chalkboard and write the first verse and we just work through it and never in a sort of a pressurized way. You know if it takes a couple of months to learn a hymn or just a couple of weeks that's fine.

This is sort of a loose thing that we have done for the last few years. I think the important thing is curating some sort of a song list. We did these Getty Kids hymnals a few years ago just kids singing because I didn't want my kids just to hear or even for me to listen to my voice singing over and over again. So we thought having kids sing them would be a helpful thing.

But I think having a core list is really important. You know no songs are neutral. Our kids are listening to lots of different things all the time. My kids can sing so many songs from Disney and other shows that they watch. They are little sponges and it's amazing to me and those lyrics are going into their hearts and minds all the time. And not to be against that I mean we love some of the Disney songs but I think because there is such fertile ground for them learning these things.

Find the best hymns you can, hymns worth knowing and holding on to. If you're not curating songs for your kids somebody else is. Yeah Disney actually has taken the Psalms more seriously than most evangelicals in the Western world have today because they understand that if you've got a good song that's worth nine figures in dollars.

They understand that a song you can build a movie and a brand around it. Whereas most Christians are absolutely laissez faire as to what their kids are singing. But I think it's very important to shift the conversation from music and singing being just a specialist activity for those who have training in it or who are really good at it. It's not like learning the violin. Singing should be part of the disciplines and the joy of every believer and I think like in everything when you want to encourage your kids in something it needs to be important to you. And I think if you sing it doesn't matter how great your voice is singing along playing music it's important.

So I think part of the role of a parent is understanding what it is and making it part of your life. You're listening to CORE Christianity. Our special guests are Keith and Kristen Getty. Their new album is called Evensong Hymns and Lullabies at the Close of Day. Just a wonderful album for parents for families and again we're offering that for a gift of any amount to CORE Christianity. You can find out more by going to forward slash offers. Here's a question that came in from one of our listeners named Jordan. And Jordan says does worship music in church foster appreciation for diverse cultures and should a church incorporate different worship music styles to attract diversity and its members?

Well that's a wonderful question and you know I would struggle to give specific advice other than to know a congregation. We love the Lord of God with all our heart and mind our strength. We love our neighbor as ourselves.

That's our two commands in life. So worship is primarily about singing to God. But we then have to find how the family sing best.

So you know Kristen likes a lot of very sophisticated singer songwriters. I happen to like a lot of very sophisticated orchestral music. When we're together as a family, we don't listen to those stuff. We listen to stuff that our girls that we can all sing together. And so when you expand that to the church family, this is not actually about this is not necessarily about showcasing the greatest church music in history.

Nor is it about showcasing the most popular music on the most popular radio stations right now. It is about helping the whole family sing together. So whether you draw from Irish melodies, or spirituals, or the best of American hymnody, or you take some of the greatest hymns from Europe that were written in Spanish or French or German and translate them, or you take the best English hymns and translate them into Spanish is for your congregation to work out for yourselves. But I think firstly, we have to make sure we build a, you know, the Psalms make it very clear that what we sing ultimately, the doxology ultimately becomes our theology. So what you sing in your church is the responsibility of the leader. What we sing in our home and what music is in my home is a responsibility of me as the leader in my home. That's the first thing we need to make sure that we're building up rich believers.

We're letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly. The second thing is, candidly, good songs are good songs. The Bible is very clear that good art is very useful and bad art is very bad. It does not glorify God anyway whatsoever. So let's not beat about the bush.

Let's not be pathetic and unintelligent. Good songs, you know, Amazing Grace sings well anywhere it goes in the world. You know, and it's interesting, my African American friends and my Celtic friends, we all argue about whose melody it was.

We claim it was ours, they claim it was theirs. We've all got an internal fight in that. But the point is, it's a great melody. So you want great songs.

After the quality, let's say, okay, let's actually see what are the songs, whether it's generational, whether it's cultural, or ethnicity of songs, and also what we can do. I mean, at the end of the day, if your church has inherited a world class organ and they sing hymns well, you know, please don't insult the people by doing songs that don't work in the organ. Similarly, I thought that congregation hold dear in their worship, but we all have to listen.

So that's for everybody to work out themselves. But big picture of the God of the Bible, high quality songs, and then what really feeds our whole family. Obviously, there are some great songs that just feed everybody.

But after that, what else can we do to help build our family worship? On a side note, it has been really interesting to us over the years to see how folk music can be so easily translated into multiple styles. It's amazing how some of these very basic folk melodies can be arranged in so many different ways. And we have enjoyed saying, just for example, some of our hymns being used and arranged in loads of different ways.

And that's just been exciting to see. Without getting too nerdy, the pentatonic scale is an interesting case, because the pentatonic scale, Amazing Grace, Jesus Loves Me, in Christ alone, actually, and most of the great spirituals are all pentatonic. And so essentially, that's the harmonic system that is music at its most rootsy, ultimately at its most root form.

Those actually translate across cultures, across generations, across languages, across arrangement styles best. I just feel so fitting that we're talking about this, because what we try to do on this program, every day, Keith and Christian, is help people understand and grow in the core doctrines of the Christian faith. But I think that oftentimes as Christians, we forget that music is, songs, hymns, is one of the primary ways historically that the church has communicated the faith. It wasn't just through preaching and lectures. It was, as we've been saying, through the songs of the church. So I just think it's absolutely beautiful what it is that you guys are doing, because it's not just encouraging, it's not just done well, but it really is communicating the faith, the gospel to people so that it goes from their head to their heart and ultimately stays there.

Yeah, and it's, I mean, I know, I mean, I speak, I grew up Presbyterian, and it was a frustration to me, because many of my heroes, Martin Luther, all these kind of guys, they, although they had very different theologies of music, different theologies of worship, and many other issues of Christian life that indirectly affected it, you know, they both understood that to bring the Bible to Europe, to a modern culture, to a modern growing culture that was against biblical faith, which Europe at the time, was, and in a way that was probably still more aggressive than it is in America. You know, you had to build deep believers, and part of that was taking control of what you sing. Now, unlike much of the modern church, they understood that singing was core to everything. And so they took very seriously what was being sung in the home, what was being sung in the church, they were on it, both in the songs that were chosen, and also in teaching the congregations and exhorting them and even criticizing them to sing well, to sing well, to sing well.

To practice, to learn, and to do it wholeheartedly. Keith and Kristen, thank you so much for joining us here at Core Christianity. Again, the album is even song, hymns, and lullabies at the close of the day. We hope that you get a hold of that resource over at forward slash offers. And may the Lord continue to bless your ministry. Thanks, guys.

Thanks so much. We're privileged to be on the show. We love what you're doing. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this podcast. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's Word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-18 08:07:58 / 2024-01-18 08:18:35 / 11

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