It is interesting; I can write about mission, theology, Bible translation and all sorts of other stuff and generally people just nod politely and (perhaps) click “like” on FaceBook. However, if I write about worship music in Church, the likelihood is that I will get a number of comments, many disagreeing quite strenuously with what I’ve written. I was once berated over dinner for something I had written years earlier about worship songs, except that I hadn’t actually written the bit that was being complained about.
However, today, I’m going to be entirely positive!
Keith and Kristyn Getty, along with OMF International have launched a campaign to get churches around the world to sing an updated version of the great missionary hymn “Facing a Task Unfinished” on Feb 21 this year.
The song was originally written by OMF director Frank Houghton in response to desperate turmoil in China. Keith Getty has this to say about it:
“Songs have the ability to unite and move us as groups,” says Keith Getty. “Frank Houghton understood this and in response to great turmoil in China, turned to writing hymns to encourage those who were witnessing martyrdom around them. ‘Facing a Task Unfinished’ provided inspiration to a generation of missionaries when it was first written, and it urges us on still, even as we also live amid persecution and martyrdom, both at home and around the world today. Into these situations the call of Christ and His Kingdom is our only hope. His gospel is the window of light pouring into the darkened corners of this world. He is the good news we must sing and bring.”
I think the idea of a global hymn sing is a great idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly, this is a superb song, but it does sound rather dated. The updated version that the Gettys have produced recaptures a great resource for the church. Secondly, and more importantly, we learn a great deal from our singing and this song is important. There are still billions of people who have not heard about Jesus and the number is growing. Despite the amazing efforts put into world mission, the population of the globe is growing faster than our evangelistic efforts; we are running hard, but we are going backwards. We need to be driven to our knees again for the needs of the nations. This song, might help to do that.
You can listen to the live recording by the Getty’s band and encourage you church to register their involvement at www.gettymusic.com/facingatask or www.omf.org/thetaskunfinished. Participating churches will receive access free musical resources to aid in their congregation in singing the song such as fully orchestrated sheet music, choir parts, hymn charts and audio resources.