What are your goals as an artist and hymn writer?

I’ve spent my life with twin goals. One is to try and let the word of Christ dwell richly when people meet together and sing. What we sing is as important, if not more important than, what we speak. And secondly, to try and craft a musical style that someone can carry for a lifetime. And the Lord is Lord of every form of art — pop art, high art, songs that last for a day, songs that you sing to your children, hymns sung around the world for 500 years. But I do believe the Bible places such a value on life and the extension of art that it’s important we strive to write and learn music that can be passed on for generations. Most people tend to have a passion for songs with rich theology or classical hymnody with high artistic contours.


What is the role of the artist in the church?

An artist and a pastor tend to think about things in slightly different ways that complement each other, and so I think that can help shake up a pastor and keep him energized, but it also breathes into and informs a church musician. On the flip side, they’re both control freaks. But a huge amount of honesty and strong communication can allow any two people to work together.


What is the most important aspect of a hymn?

Throughout Scripture when you see God’s people singing, they sing to God, and they sing together. At a pragmatic level, we need to write songs that are rich in vibrant truth, and write songs in which every musician accompanies the artist who called the congregation to worship. Every piece of artistry a worship leader has is given to lead the congregation in singing.

On a wider level, I think there’s a calling to a higher view of art in all things. If art is an extension of life, we need a generation of serious musicians with serious thoughts who commit their lives to artistry and take that as their service to God and his church.


Keith Getty is a hymn writer and singer along with his wife Kristyn. You can learn more about their music at www.gettymusic.com

See also:

Southern Seminary Department of Biblical Worship


*Photo credit – Emil Handke