Do We Sing What We Believe?

Posted by Getty Music on 10 August 2016

Singing is an immensely powerful tool. The chances are that you can recall plenty of songs you learned before the age of ten. These songs did more than keep you amused or help you get to sleep; they informed how you think, how you live, how you pray and even your view of God. No matter how simple they are or how young the singer, songs have a unique ability to plant ideas and concepts deep within our hearts, stirring our affections and ultimately shaping our actions.

Throughout history, one of the primary ways in which God's people have learned their faith and expressed their worship has been through song. In the scriptures, God uses singing as a way to teach truths about who He is and what He has done, to comfort His children in times of distress, to warn His people of the dangers of idolatry, and to propel His people to be engaged in the brokenness of the world.

This is clearly seen in Deuteronomy 31, when the Lord prepares Moses for ones of his last acts as the leader of the Israelites; warning His people of the judgment that to come. He could have commanded Moses to do anything to remind people of all that the Lord had done for His people, yet He chose to have Moses teach the people of Israel a song.

If God chose to use singing as a vehicle to teach His people, we must ask the question; do the songs we sing in our churches today teach people the richness of God’s character and the beauty of His works, specifically as it relates to His redemptive acts through Christ?

With more songs available to the church today than at any other point in history, surely the church should be more engaged, more zealous, more theologically enriched and more radical about missions than ever before? Yet this is not always the case. While there are many contributing factors, one possible reason is that so much of what we sing points us towards individualism and self rather than the ‘one another’ sense that we are given in Ephesians 5:19. While worship does take on a vertical dimension, congregational signing should also be a unifying expression of our beliefs for the building up of the church.

How do we address that? As modern hymwriters, one of our biggest inspirations has always been the Apostle’s Creed. Having been a hallmark of Christian worship for millennia, the practice of reciting creeds in our worship has declined in the last generation. While we would never presume to suggest a specific practice for an individual church, there’s something powerful about an expression of doctrine and belief that is regularly shared among our people.

That’s what we hope to achieve with our new song, ‘We Believe’. It’s our attempt to introduce a new setting of the Apostles Creed in a fresh and meaningful way, while keeping its deep historical roots intact. It is fitted with a melody written many years ago for another project and our long-time colleague, Stewart Townend, was an integral part of crafting and co-writing this beautiful work. We were thrilled to finish the track with our friend, John Patitucci, in a fusion of music influenced both by Jazz and the folk music of Scandinavia and Ireland. The global influences of this piece really help to encapsulate this sense of unification as the global Church.

It is our hope that this song and the others on our new project - Facing A Task Unfinished - will serve churches across the world in singing their faith. We want to encourage churches to make songs of unification and statement of belief a regular part of their corporate worship expression.

We believe strongly in the power of a song to deeply penetrate hearts. In times like these, it is more vital than ever that we build solid foundations in the lives of our children all the way through to our adults. If we want to give people truths of God to carry for life, to stir people’s affections for Christ and stoke the fires of missional zeal in the hearts of those in our congregations, I would suggest as a good starting place a careful cultivation of the songs we sing.

Grace and Peace,
The Team at Getty Music

 Editors’ note: Facing a Task Unfinished is the latest album from modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty (best known for “In Christ Alone”). The album, which champions congregational singing and mission, follows the example of the missionary hymn, “Facing a Task Unfinished.” Rewritten from its original 1931 version, the song’s urgent call propelled individuals, families, and churches to global witness. This studio album features the Getty’s band, live congregational singing, and fresh global sounds as well as guest appearances by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Fernando Ortega, John Patitucci, Chris Tomlin, and artists from around the world. For more information, visit


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