Be encouraged by listening to this excellent interview between Mark Dever (Capitol Hill Baptist; Nine Marks) and Keith Getty (Getty Music) on topics like congregational singing, hymn-writing, and church music.
(Bonus: Mark Dever, known for his powerful speaking voice, breaks into vibrato at random moments).
Eight Highlights (with minute markers):
- (28:00) When it comes to singing in congregational worship, pastors must keep these three things in mind. (1) Curate the songs (“what are the 20, 50, 80 hymns we want our congregation to grow old with.”) (2) Be active in choosing the songs each week. (3) Sing great songs (“life’s too short to sing stupid ones”). (Getty)
- (33:00) “Something that wrecked music for congregational singing in churches was when the rock concert of the 1960’s became the youth group of the 1970’s which became the church of the 1980’s.” (Dever)
- (36:00) What are four songs you’ve written that are great for congregational singing? (1) Speak O Lord (2) Power of the cross (3) O Church Arise (4) For the Cause (Getty)
- (39:00) “In the controversy regarding ‘In Christ Alone’, we refused to change the wording of God’s wrath being satisfied.”
- (42:00) In the past, when life got tough, rebellious people went back to church. Now, when life gets tough, people leave church because the songs are so utterly vacuous. (Getty)
- (44:00) John MacArthur’s parenting tip to Getty: ‘We filled every car and every room of the house with songs of the Lord. Our family sang!”
- (47:00) How can pastors improve congregational singing? (1) The pastor is in charge of singing. (2) Invest in your musicians. (3) Encourage the flock’s family to sing. (Getty)
- (59:00) Dever closes by reading a lengthy but incredibly moving email from an African-American young man who loves singing the reverent hymns of the faith.