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Reflections from the 2022 Sing! Getty Worship Conference

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Are you longing for refreshment in your individual and congregational worship?  This conference is for you.  7200 people singing together in four-part harmony…  A taste of heaven.
As I sit down to begin writing about my reflections from the 2022 Sing! Getty Worship Conference, it is just minutes after we have returned from our trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, an excellent place to hold a conference. My heart and mind are full from what I experienced at the conference.
Many people have asked me just what the Sing! conference is all about. It’s like no other conference that I’m aware of. I could say it is part theology conference and part concert, but that doesn’t really get to it. It is organized by modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty. The conference began in 2017 and this year’s conference was the sixth in a ten-year plan. Sing! is an initiative to help individuals, families and churches deepen their faith through singing. The annual conference combines rich times of congregational singing, teaching at main sessions and attendees pick four breakout sessions. Each year, the ever-growing Getty writing team introduces us to new hymns from writers such as the Gettys, Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Jordan Kauflin, Matt Merker, Skye Peterson, Laura Story and others.

At the conference, there are pre-conference events you can choose to attend. This year we attended two of them. On Sunday evening we attended “Hymn Writers in the Round: An Evening of Stories and Songs”. This session included hymn writers such as Matt Boswell, Matt Papa and others sharing the stories behind their songs. The session included CityAlight, who performed their song “There is One Gospel”.
On Monday morning, we attended “Seasons of Sorrow”, a book launch event for Tim Challies. His 21 year old son died and he shares his journey in a new book by the same name.
The event featured Challies reading a passage from the book, as well as a conversation with Challies, Alistair Begg and Bob LePine, who co-hosted the conference again this year with Trillia Newbell. In addition, CityAlight debuted “In the Valley”, a song they wrote after reading an advance copy of Challies’ book.
The conference features five plenary (or main) sessions held in a large ballroom, where all attendees gather. The main session speakers included John Piper, Paul Tripp, D.A. Carson, Mark Dever and Shai Linne. A concert was held Monday evening at the nearby Grand Ole Opry, featuring the Gettys, Shane and Shane, Blessing Offor, Ricky Skaggs, Joni Eareckson Tada and many others. This conference was the first trip Joni had made in some time, and tears came to our eyes as we realized we might never see her again, and she told us that she would see us “On the other side”.
Much later that night, I gathered with thousands of others for a late-night concert with Shane and Shane that went well past my normal bedtime.
Like many conferences, Sing! includes an exhibit hall with many booths, a book store and a concert stage which featured artists such as Sandra McCracken and CityAlight.
I attended the following four excellent one-hour breakout sessions:

  • A live recording of the Ask Pastor John podcast with Tony Reinke and John Piper.
  • Part-two of Christ-Centered Worship with Bryan Chapell. I’ll watch the first session later (more on that in a bit).
  • Behind the songs live with CityAlight
  • Don Whitney talking about the concepts in his book Praying the Bible.

It is really difficult to pick my favorite moments from this year’s conference. Not one specific moment, but perhaps my favorite thing about the conference is the congregational singing. Hearing 7,200 people sing favorite, new and old hymns raises my spiritual affections and brought me to tears several times.
It was wonderful to finally get to see CityAlight in person. They were unable to come from Australia the past two years due to COVID restrictions. The Ask Pastor John session and the late-night concert with Shane and Shane were also highlights. And getting to hear Joni Eareckson Tada speak and sing once again was very special. To give you a small taste of what the conference is like, here are highlight reels for the two full days of the conference:

Over the years we have gotten to spend special time with friends from our church and other churches at the conference. That was true again this year, adding to the experience.
I highly recommend that you and others from your churches consider attending Sing! 2023, which will be held September 3-6 in Nashville. Each year, the conference has an overall theme. This year it was Christ Our Hope in Life and Death: Prayers and Confessions. Next year it will be The Great Commission.
If you are not able to attend in person, I recommend that you purchase an online pass. Sing! Global allows you to watch the conference on your phone, iPad or computer for 365 days after the conference. The in-person ticket also gives you the Sing! Global benefit for 365 days, which means I can go back and watch those breakout sessions that I missed.
Each year, a live album of selected music highlights is released from the conference. The Getty’s YouTube site has many videos from Keith and Kristyn Getty and from the Sing! Conference.
Attending the Sing! Conference has been one of the highlights of my year since 2018. I commend the conference to you and would be glad to answer any questions that you might have about it.

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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