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Keith Getty on planning global conference to inspire Christians to go deeper in their faith amid pandemic

Keith Getty on planning global conference to inspire Christians to go deeper in their faith amid pandemic

Photo from Sing 2019 | Photo: Gareth Russell (Jersey Road PR)

World-renowned contemporary hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty are gearing up to host their first-ever digital worship conference that will reach over six continents at once.

The Sing! Global Conference follows on the heels of the success of their online Hymn Sing which has had over 1 million views from more than 100 countries. The annual four-day conference is being held online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Starting Aug. 30, the event will feature over 100 speakers and artists, including John Lennox, Joni Eareckson Tada, John Piper, Trip Lee, David Kim, Conrad Mbewe, Andrew Peterson and David Platt. There will also be singing led by people from each of the six continents and dozens of seminars to help people of God go deeper in their faith. 

The following is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Keith Getty (OBE recipient), where he speaks in detail about the Sing! Global Conference that will be held on Aug. 30 – Sept. 2.

CP: Congratulations on hosting the upcoming worldwide conference, Sing! Global. Can you share what that means to you personally in these times?

Getty: We have always had a burning desire to see churches and believers around the globe go deeper in their faith through the hymns they sing. However, we never could have anticipated that it would take a global pandemic to push us to develop a totally new digital event that could potentially reach more people around the world than our in-person conference ever has. 

We are incredibly humbled by the privilege of gathering pastors, musicians, and worship leaders from many nations to share their creativity and wisdom with the broader Church. Our prayer is that the glory of Christ would be sung around the world, and it's beyond exciting to see this event contribute to that vision.

CP: How did you go about planning this year's event? 

Getty: It took us a long time to wrap our minds around what an online event would involve. But as we reflected on the urgency of the current moment, we quickly discovered that a digital conference could be a way to connect believers around the world. While it was disappointing to realize we could not gather for an in-person event, we recognize that God often surprises us and He has now opened the door for a new concept that can bring a wonderfully diverse group of people together online. 

CP: With such an array of speakers and singers, which day or set are you looking forward to most?

Getty: We are excited for every day! And also excited that everyone who registers will get continued access to all the sessions for three months after the event. So a four-day conference is now a 90-day learning experience. 

The Sunday session will begin with a forum on children's ministry and singing in the home. We have never had such a unique opportunity like the present moment to develop new habits of family worship that could shape the next generation. 

On Monday, we will explore the wonder and power of the Word of God and we are thrilled to share the debut of Kristyn's latest recording project, Evensong: Hymns and Lullabies for the close of day. 

Tuesday is all about deepening worship in the local church, and will conclude with an intimate 20th anniversary performance of Andrew Peterson's amazing project, "Behold the Lamb of God."

Perhaps I am most excited about Wednesday, when we will talk about how Scripture gives us boundless courage in the midst of the suffering and despair of our world to declare boldly our hope in Christ. We will close the conference that day with a special service of prayer for the nations led by David Platt. 

CP:  What is one theme participants of the conference can hope to see?

Getty: The Word of God transforms individuals, families, and churches, so all our lives and songs should be filled with the beauty and truth of Scripture.

CP: With all of the changes brought on because of the COVID-19 pandemic, how have you adapted in making and sharing music and staying connected?

Getty: We decided to share our family's singing with the world on Tuesday nights, through our "Family Hymn Sing" on Facebook and YouTube. It's very true to real life, but we hope it has provided a spark of hope and has perhaps encouraged Christian families to build deeper habits of family worship in this unique time. 

And so much of what we do has changed: Kristyn has been recording the hymns and lullabies for her Evensong project at our home in a tiny new recording room, and we have started playing concerts online rather than in front of a crowd. But the vision of sparking deep theology, timeless artistry, and vibrant singing around the globe remains the same. 

CP: Outside of the global Sing! Conference what else are you looking forward to in 2020?

Getty: We are thrilled for the release of Kristyn's Evensong album, which was birthed out of the lullabies and hymns she sings to our girls each night. Our team of hymn writers is working on a wonderful new collection of songs to help believers sing the truths of God's Word as we build toward a new hymnal and psalter. We are looking forward to sharing many of those hymns soon. 

We also hope to start an International Hymn Writing Collective to help train the next generation of Christian songwriters, and to build a global community of learning and growth at Getty Music Plus, our online learning portal. Of course, we hope Sing! Global is the beginning of many new initiatives as we interact with brothers and sisters around the world. Please pray for all these exciting plans! 

The conference, brought in part by Christian Healthcare Ministries, will include four days of plenary sessions, over 40 breakout sessions, online concerts each evening, behind the scenes access, and artist interviews. The sessions will all be available for 90 days to allow attendees to absorb the content. More details about Sing! Global can be found here.

Follow Jeannie Law on Twitter: @jlawcpFollow Jeannie Law on Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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