One of the most frequent commands in scripture is to sing to the Lord, and when believers sing, their hearts, minds, and lives are changed. In his book, Sing!: How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family, and Church, Keith Getty reminds us that the Bible does not give preference to a particular style of song as a way to worship the Lord.

“The Lord is equally thrilled with the rhythm of African prayers as He is with the harmonies of an old Scottish Presbyterian Church as He is with the vibrancy and jazz of a church in the Bronx. The Bible says that the word of Christ should dwell in us richly, and so singing songs is very important.”

In fact, the church has sung throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament.

“Singing is the second most-common command. In fact, 20% of the Bible is song, so singing is a huge part of Christian life. Indeed, the last thing Jesus did with his disciples before going to be crucified was sing a hymn.”

Martin Luther was also deeply committed to showing the early church how to incorporate singing into their study and worship of God. Luther believed in using song to help people understand God’s deep love for them.

“Luther realized that it is the word of God that transforms lives and so he had to reform the church into what he called “the preaching and the singing of God’s word.” The people would be taught the word of God through preaching and then would carry it out on their lips and their memory banks, in their minds and in their motions, and in their prayers through the songs they sang. In other words, it was anathema to Luther that the preaching and singing wouldn’t go hand in hand.”

The story is told that even when Luther was still alive, his hymns became more popular than even his messages. Luther took time to take some Psalms and make them into hymns as a way of understanding God’s character, because he understood what we sing profoundly affects our faith.


Keith and Kristyn Getty occupy a unique space in the world of music as [pre-eminent] modern hymn writers and global ambassadors for the genre. Their Sing! campaign is part of a movement to encourage church congregations in their singing. Keith and Kristyn live between Northern Ireland and Nashville with their daughters, Eliza, Charlotte, and Grace.

Keep on singing

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