Keith and Kristyn Getty occupy a unique space in the world of music today as preeminent modern hymn writers. In re-inventing the traditional hymn form, they have created a catalogue of songs teaching Christian doctrine and crossing the genres of traditional, classical, folk and contemporary composition which are sung the world over.
“In Christ Alone” (penned by Keith and long-time writing partner, Stuart Townend) holds the #1 position of most-frequently-sung in UK churches for the past 9 consecutive years. It was voted the #2 best-loved hymn of all time in the UK according to a BBC Songs of Praise national survey and among the top 5 hymns of all time by the UK Hymns Society. According to CCLI, it is estimated that 40 to 50 million people sing “In Christ Alone” in church services each year— which does not include the unique reach the catalogue has into traditional and classical contexts, as well as the popularity of the song throughout Asia.
The Gettys‘ hymns are used increasingly both in contemporary and traditional circles, being included in most modern hymnbooks (with a number of these now listing “Getty” as the most-featured composers), while in the more contemporary church, more than 60 of their songs are featured on top 2,000 CCLI charts between the UK and USA.
Lyrics – A Rich Young Man (Simple Living)
A rich young man came to ask of Christ:
“Good teacher, will you tell me,
What must I do for eternal life?
I’ve kept your laws completely.”
“Sell all you have, give to the poor,
Then heaven’s treasure shall be yours.”
How hard for those who are rich on earth
To gain the wealth of heaven.
Now Jesus sat by the off’ring gate
As people brought their money:
The rich they filled the collection plate;
The widow gave a penny.
“Now she’s outgiven all the rest –
Her gift was all that she possessed.”
Not what you give but what you keep
Is what the King is counting.
O teach me Lord to walk this road,
The road of simple living;
To be content with what I own
And generous in giving.
And when I cling to what I have
Please wrest it quickly from my grasp;
I’d rather lose all the things of earth
To gain the things of heaven.