If you don’t know those names, you should. They are the co-writers of In Christ Alone, and as far as I can tell, are among the most gifted songwriters for congregational worship alive today.
Stuart has been a friend for a number of years and I met Keith and his wife Kristyn this past year. My church had the joy of hosting all three of them for an event last September. I was challenged and inspired by Keith’s passion to equip the church through theologically rich songs. What makes his focus so impressive is that he doesn’t write the lyrics for the songs he composes with Stuart – he writes the melodies. While he often has an idea of a lyrical theme for the melodies he writes, he allows others (Stuart primarily, but also his wife) to write the lyrics. But because his primary commitment is to biblical truth, he then works with the lyricist to refine what they’ve done.
Keith has a degree of commitment to his craft that I’ve seen in very few people. I certainly don’t have it! He told me that at one time he wrote 200 melodies in two months. Even as we talked in my office he took a moment to jot down an idea for a melody. Here’s a man who rightly understands how God’s gifts and our responsibility work together.
“Keith Getty and Stuart Townend are modern day hymn writers…Their hymns aim to teach the truths of the bible through music that is singable by people of every generation. Their intention is to help church congregations consider in deeper and broader ways the vastness of the God we worship.”
Guest vocalists include Christine Dente, Susan Ashton, Brenton Brown, Kristyn Getty, and Tim Hughes, among others. The production, by John Hartley, is along the pop-rock lines, which you may or may not prefer. I thought some of the songs had better treatments on previous recordings (in particular, My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness and Oh to See the Dawn).
But it’s the strength of the songs that carry this project. Topics include Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and ascension, forgiveness, the Holy Spirit, and the church. It’s a feast of biblical truth. There are only a few absolutely new songs here, but that’s okay, because the songs Keith and Stuart write bear singing again and again. Besides, you probably haven’t heard a number of them. If you’re looking for one CD with many doctrinally rich songs, or are planning on teaching on the Apostles’ Creed, or use it regularly in your meetings, I’d highly recommend this CD.
For anyone coming or thinking about coming to the WorshipGod06 conference (now only 5 weeks away), I’m delighted to let you know that we’ve added a concert by Keith and Kristyn Getty on Friday night, after the main session. You can find out more info or register for the conference at the WorshipGod06 website.