Popular modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty will visit Australia for the first time next month – and they’re bringing their Sing! concert and conference with them.
“We have an annual Sing! conference in Nashville each September, and our theme for 2023 is The Great Commission.” Keith Getty says. “We have been inspired to step out and connect with our friends around the world and work alongside them as they reach their communities for Christ, and we are thankful to have the opportunity to participate in ministry around the world.”
This will kick off in Belfast on June 16-17, followed a week later by Singapore, and then Sing! Australia at the Sydney Opera House on June 27. He adds: “Our hope and prayer is to continue this world tour into next year to new continents”.
While not all those taking part have been confirmed at this stage, the Gettys will be bringing their full band of 12, plus a choir. Mr Getty says their four daughters will also join them onstage for a few songs.
CityAlight, the songwriting ministry of St Paul’s, Castle Hill, will be part of the concert, and Castle Hill will also host a conference for music teams, worship leaders and pastors the night before. CityAlight’s chief operating officer, Rich Vassallo, is co-ordinating the conference and says their mission is very similar to the Gettys.
“We want people to sing biblically rich lyrics – and to come alongside another organisation that wants to do similar things is immensely important,” he says. “We don’t just promote CityAlight songs... because there’s a part to play for everyone, and people are writing great songs for churches to sing.
“Our hope is that partnering in the conference here continues to promote good songs for churches to access, not only for their members to sing but to think through. We want people thinking throughout the week about songs sung on a Sunday, ruminating on the truths of the Bible... Putting it in a song makes it more memorable and accessible during the week in a way a sermon may not do.”
We want people thinking throughout the week about songs sung on a Sunday, ruminating on the truths of the Bible
To get an idea of what a Sing! concert is like, Southern Cross spoke to Colin Buchanan, who has taken part in a number of Sing! concerts and conferences in the US. He says there is encouragement to think about the intent behind our singing, and what part it should play in a gathering of God’s people, large or small.
“If you think modern hymns you think, ‘In Christ Alone’ – and really, there’s been an entire movement that has grown out of what this song represents in terms of biblical content, beauty of melody and singability,” he says.
“It’s the sort of song that gives a voice, not just to the heart of each individual, but to the corporate voice of a congregation. The whole modern hymn movement has been something Keith and Kristyn have championed and promoted, and the Sing! conference is a manifestation of that.
“I think the Gettys have a great sense of, ‘This isn’t going to happen every day, so let’s sing some bangers together!’ They have an awesome band – they’re incredible players and singers – but there’s also a wonderful, pastoral sense of wanting to nurture and encourage the vision for music wherever it manifests itself.
“Some will go and just love the experience because they love singing. Others will go because they want to refresh the vision for how they might minister in their local church. I think they’ll find encouragement in that.”
Mr Vassallo says CityAlight members are excited the Gettys are coming to Australia, and “look forward to partnering with them as we promote the gospel, the Bible and the truths and promises that God has revealed to us”.
He describes Keith Getty as “an amazingly gifted music arranger and hymn writer, who sees it as his responsibility to give that back to the church. These concerts are a way he can go, ‘Here’s what we can offer; here’s what’s happening in the world’. He wants to bring as much of those resources to the people as he can.”
Learn more about the Sing! Australia concert and conference now.