NASHVILLE — Over 13,000 people descended on Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for a powerful evening of praise and worship featuring some of today’s best-known Christian leaders including John Piper, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Keith and Kristyn Getty.
The event, part of the Sing! 2019 Getty Music Worship Conference, kicked off with performances from hosts the Gettys, alongside a 1,000 voice choir and many world instrumentalists.
In her first public appearance since announcing she's cancer-free, Joni and Friends founder Joni Eareckson Tada shared her hope of Heaven before leading attendees in the acapella singing of the hymn “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.”
“In Heaven, I will be free,” Tada told attendees. “I will be free to jump up, dance, kick, do aerobics, and though I'm sure Jesus will be delighted to watch me rise up on tiptoe, there’s something I plan to do that might please Him more. If possible, at some point before the party gets going, at some point before the guests are invited to the wedding supper of the lamb, the first thing I plan to do on resurrected legs is to drop on grateful, glorified knees. I will quietly kneel before the Lord…and give a sacrifice."
“It will be my last opportunity to give heartfelt thanks to the Lord Jesus for the grace He gave year after year when my hands were limp and useless and my feet couldn’t walk,” she continued. “It will be a sacrifice of paralyzed praise. After a moment of kneeling before Jesus, I shall spring to my feet and stretch my arms wide...no more shriveled hands, no more atrophied muscles, no more toes that can’t wiggle.”
Tada declared that the resurrection will mean that “Jesus will have satisfied divine wrath, defeated death,” and “pried Satan’s fingers off planet Earth.”
“It will mean the power not to sin, and the power to have hope,” she said.
With a focus on congregational singing, the night also featured performances from worship duo Shane & Shane; Fernando Ortega, who performed “My Worth is Not in What I Own” alongside Kristyn Getty; hymn-writers Matt Papa and Matt Boswell; spoken word artist Jackie Hill Perry; violinist David Kim; and Andrew Peterson, who sang his hit song, "Is He Worthy?”
Celebrated flutist Pedro Eustache also performed his song from The Passion of the Christ soundtrack.
“This is the very flute I used for the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane — God used it for His glory,” Eustache said ahead of his performance, adding that his flute is “precious and unique” just like every individual created by God.
John Piper, the founder of DesiringGod.com, delivered the keynote address on the “explosive power of the resurrection.” He first highlighted the horrors of the crucifixion of Jesus, noting, “Jesus volunteered for this, He chose it.”
Christ “volunteered” to suffer for humanity, Piper said: “The greatest suffering in the service of the greatest love for the least deserving. How did He do it? How do you do that? Because you must do it.”
The answer, Piper said, is in Hebrews 12: “For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross.”
“The reason the resurrection has explosive power now is the same reason it did for Him then — because of the joy that He saw holding Him on the cross,” the pastor said. “The joy that is set before us in the resurrection, we will endure the cost of love for the least deserving. That is Christianity.”
Piper encouraged Christians to sing in suffering and love the underserving: “How will we sing when our suffering comes?” he asked. ‘What will it be that enables us to sing when our suffering comes? The answer is for the joy that is set before us. That is the power of the resurrection.”
The night concluded with a powerful rendition of “In Christ Alone” performed by Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend.
The theme of this year’s Sing! Conference was “The Life of Christ.” It was held Aug. 19-21 in Nashville, Tennessee. Featured speakers included Piper, John MacArthur, and Don Carson, among others, with musical performances from the Gettys, Ellie Holcomb, Trip Lee, and more.
Sing! 2019 kicked off in Belfast, Northern Ireland, this month and the tour dates include performances at over 30 arenas across the U.S. and Europe over the next three years.
The Sing! 2019 Getty Music Worship Conference is described as an event to "help pastors, leaders and musicians build a biblical understanding and creative vision for the congregational singing in their churches. Bringing together speakers and artists from many traditions and walks of life, our desire is to encourage churches toward a deeper, more dynamic view of theology, artistry and mission in congregational singing."