The Gettys have written some great music. I’m glad to see they are still at it, and have a real sense for what it takes to get a whole congregation to truly worship through music together.
Similar to hymns such as “Amazing Grace” or “Be Thou My Vision,” the song (“In Christ Alone”) makes people want to sing along.
That’s a lost art, said Mark Hosny, artistic director of the National Praise and Worship Institute at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.
Newer Christian music often makes the band or lead singer sound good but doesn’t engage the congregation. That’s missing the point, Hosny said.
“A lot of today’s melodies are not singable. That’s why they don’t stick,” he said.
Hosny recently attended a Getty concert at the famed Ryman Auditorium, which featured their hymns as well as gospel songs and traditional Irish music. Everyone was singing along, he said.
That’s what hymns are supposed to do, said Dave Clark, director of creative development, publishing and A&R for Nashville-based Lillenas Publishing. They make space for people to join in.
“There is a familiarity in hymns — that even if you are hearing it for the first time, you feel like you know it,” he said.