A round table discussion with Keith and Kristyn Getty

I was invited a few weeks back by Mark Powers with the South Carolina Baptist Convention to come to a round table discussion with contemporary worship leaders from around the state. They were looking particularly for involvement from worship leaders who are in churches that don't have a traditional or blended worship service. I didn't really finalize our decision to go until early in the afternoon yesterday - then, we got tied up with a few things here at the office, so we left for Columbia 30 minutes later than we should have. Fortunately, we arrived 35 minutes late, and walked in the doors with a nice young couple we found out to be Keith and Kristyn Getty. If youaren't familiar with them, they write some really cool modern hymns, like "How Deep the Father's Love," "In Christ Alone," and "Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer."

Here are a few points I took away from a really cool and intimate (there were 8 of us) evening.

1. Our contemporary worship songs are only dealing with 20% of the character of God.
2. The purpose of singing is to express the community we have as the body of Christ.
3. A song that tells a story will be remembered the longest.
4. A worship leader should stay as close to the basic melody as possible. A congreagation appreciates this simplicity, and will sing out more.
5. A worship leader should do their best to keep eye contact with the congregation, rather than losing themselves in worship and thus excluding the people from the experience.
6. Theology taught through music will be remembered long after a pastor's sermon on the same subject is forgotton.
7. Stravinski, Gershwin, and the Beatles all looked for a folk music melody in its simplest form. Simplicity in music makes it accessible and memorable.
8. A seeker sensitive church can be guilty of having people uninvolved, bored, and shuffling their feet... as much or more than an old, lifeless, ultra traditional church - if they do not plan music that a congregation to sing easily.
9. In any style of worship, it is the relationship between the pastor and the worship leader that will decide whether or not the people are involved in the worship experience. People pay very close attention to how those two interact with one another.
10. Worship music should help reinforce teach the faith taught from the pulpit.

What an incredible opportunity! Thank you Mark for the invite!


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