This past weekend I had the opportunity to see my musical heroes, Keith & Kristyn Getty on their “Hymns for the Christian Life Fall 2013” tour. It was a wildly encouraging evening as we sang through the Gospel and were fed with the lyrics that edified the church and challenged the believer. I’m incredibly grateful for Keith & Kristyn’s ministry, and for so many other faithful musicians who seek to build up the body of Christ through God-honouring music.
Someone recently ask me where I found the music that I use to lead a congregation in corporate worship, and I’ll admit, it has sometimes proved difficult to find great resources. My fellow blogger Eric, produced a Top Ten Books that Every Believer Should Read last week, and therefore I thought I would follow in that same vein. So I’ve compiled a list of artists and composers that I regularly listen to, along with internet resources that I find helpful and encouraging. It’s certainly not exhaustive, and I’d encourage you to share in the comments section any additional resources you may know. So pull up a chair, pop in your headphones, cue the following videos up on YouTube and have a listen while you work.
Keith & Kristyn Getty – www.gettymusic.com
Like I said, Keith & Kristyn are heroes of mine. Some might even call me a groupie. I really appreciate their strong, singable melodies that are full of rich theological truth, and you can’t help but love the Irish influence. Their website is full of lyrics, a great online store, and touring information. I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter. They won’t flood your inbox, but will keep you informed on their latest offerings, and sometimes provide special gifts (like free sheet music) to subscribers.
Enfield – www.enfieldband.com
This band, under the leadership of John Martin, is based out of the College Ministry of my home church, Grace Community Church. Their albums are a collection of creative hymn arrangements and original compositions. On the website you can find free downloads of all their charts and lyrics. Enfield has built a strong bridge between the hymnody of past generations to the present day, and have served to encourage many through their ministry, particularly to college students.
Bob Kauflin – www.worshipmatters.com
If you’re a church musician (and even if you’re not), you need to follow this blog. period.
Sovereign Grace – www.sovereigngracemusic.org
A tremendous resource for church musicians with a constantly growing library of new music. Doctrinally sound, Sovereign Grace has been providing songs for the church for more than 25 years. You can find free chart downloads and a great online store. Their newest album “Grace has Come” is based on the book of Romans and highly recommended.
Indelible Grace – www.indeliblegracehymnbook.com
I can’t verify this, but I believe Indelible Grace was among the pioneers in the modern hymn movement. Their website is extensive and well-worth your time, with lots of great resources available.
Philip Music – www.philipmusic.com
A hidden gem that more people need to be aware of. Bob Kauflin describes them on his blog (which I also recommend) like this: “Abe & LIza Philip are writing congregational worship songs and hymns that are biblically thoughtful, gospel-rich, and accessible – a rare combination in any era! I’d love to see more churches benefit from their songs and their passion for God’s glory in Jesus Christ.”
Joshua Spacht – www.joshuaspacht.com
Exciting and modern, Joshua Spacht writes music that captures a unique place in the life of the church. His music is more orchestral and choral based, geared towards performance and less congregational usage. It’s thoughtful and full of Biblical truth.
Thomas Hochstetter – www.neueslied.net
Thank you Lord for Google Translate (which will automatically translate the entire page for you if you’re using Google Chrome as your internet browser), because I would not want anyone to miss out on the ministry of my dear friend from Germany, Thomas Hochstetter. Neues Lied (“New Song” for us English speakers) is a marketplace for Christian songwriters, who give themselves to the task of writing new songs for the church, which Thomas does wonderfully. Specifically Neues Lied focuses on songs for congregational singing in the worship of God.
Michelle Rose – www.scoreexchange.com/profiles/Michelle-Rose
Another shameless friend promotion! Michelle Rose is a phenomenal pianist and arranger. Her compositions are available through score exchange and are great for congregational and personal edification. Michelle understands how to take the timeless melody of a well-known hymn and make it sound like the first time you’ve heard it. Check out when she recently joined with another friend, Jacey Dean, to record a spanish version of Laura Story’s “Blessings”
Matt Papa – www.mattpapa.com/look-and-live/
Recently learned about Matt Papa, and I’ve been really encouraged by the work this guy is doing. Evangelistic focus and theological understanding makes Matt Papa worth taking a look at.
Pat Sczebel – www.patsczebel.com
Associated with Sovereign Grace Music, but deserving of his own distinction because of songs like “Jesus, Thank You” and “His Forever.” Pat has written some greatly encouraging songs for the church. His website also contains free chord charts which you will find valuable. And I have to add…He’s Canadian.
Fernando Ortega – www.fernandoortega.com
MASTER ARRANGER of classic songs, paired with great respect towards history and the Word of God. His original songs are classics, including “Lord of Eternity,” “Our Great God,” and “Sing to Jesus.” I love to sing his songs, and constantly have Fernando playing on my iPhone while studying, driving, working around the house, you name it… Fernando is often there with me. Many of his works can be used for corporate worship, or presented for special music.
Stuart Townend – www.stuarttownend.co.uk
UK-based writer of Modern and Timeless Hymns, including “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” and “Beautiful Saviour”. Stuart has joined with Keith Getty on a number of occasions to pen some of the most loved songs in the church today, including “In Christ Alone” and “The Power of the Cross.” His website features a free song of the month download with charts and piano score.
Cyber Hymnal – www.hymntime.com/tch/
Finally, I would be gravely mistaken if I didn’t include Cyber Hymnal. This should be bookmarked on every believers internet browser. A great database for hymn lyrics, accompanied by their tunes, and often paired with the history of the song and/or composer. You can search by title, scripture reference, composer, tunes by meter, topic, etc. Browsing through cyber hymnal is greatly encouraging, and will increase your love for the history of music in the church.