When the armies gather for the so-called "worship wars," it's usually safe to assume what each side will look like. The wizened and gray-haired will form in defense of hymns; the shaggy-haired and blue-jeaned young folk will argue for praise and worship music. But a pair of young Irish song writers is changing the terms of the battle.
At just around 30 years old, Keith and Kristyn Getty are both fashionable and energetic. They look as if they could be the next big thing in pop music. But they are committed to a higher calling: writing modern hymns in a contemporary idiom that teach the faith and bring the generations together in worship.
Keith and Kristyn met in Northern Ireland (where both were born and raised), when Keith was just completing college and Kristyn was just beginning. After several years in a successful secular musical career, Keith collaborated with songwriter Stuart Townend ("How Deep the Father's Love for Us") and wrote "In Christ Alone." This experience confirmed Keith's calling to put his musical training to use writing modern hymns. Kristyn brings to the partnership her training in English literature, a gift for writing lyrics, and a beautiful soprano voice.
The Gettys worship at Parkside Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, where Alistair Begg is pastor. They spend most weekends traveling, sharing their music with churches around the United States and abroad. Leadership assistant editor Brandon O'Brien spoke with Keith and Kristyn about their work and ministry and how they understand the place of hymns in worship today.
(For best results, read everything that follows in a charming Irish brogue.)