As has been my habit for the past few years, I write a retrospective every time I cross a milestone in my hymn recording project. It is marvelous to see the breadth and (usually) unity of our faith. I have recorded complete hymnals from Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, United Church of Christ, Lutheran, and Catholic traditions. Lately, I have also started a number of historic serial hymnals such as Christ in Song (Seventh Day Adventist) and Hymns Ancient & Modern.

Recently, I recorded a long forgotten hymn by James Montgomery: “How Beautiful the Sight of Brothers.”

                  1. Of brethren who agreeIn friendship to unite,

                    And bonds of charity;

                    ’Tis like the precious ointment, shed

                    O’er all his robes, from Aaron’s head.

                    1. ’Tis like the dews that fill

                    The cups of Hermon’s flowers;

                    Or Zion’s fruitful hill,

                    Bright with the drops of showers,

                    When mingling odors breathe around,

                    And glory rests on all the ground

                    1. For there the Lord commands

                    Blessings, a boundless store,

                    From his unsparing hands,

                    Yea, life forevermore;

                    Thrice happy they who meet above

                    To spend eternity in love!

So much of today’s “news” is focused upon how we are all different; different races, tribes, cultures, nationalities, genders, faiths, etc. Each of these differences is used to drive distance between us and to define who we are and what we should think.

I have recently completed my 4000th hymn recording and at the same time my YouTube channel is reaching a major milestone in its global reach; the 10,000 subscriber. While in the world of YouTube, this is a minor accomplishment, there are about 900,000 channels with more subscribers; considering the content of this channel, this is a great accomplishment.

Despite the greater cultural drive towards disunity, I see within my work evidence of the global unifying work of the Holy Spirit. And we should take great encouragement from this.

The primary focus of my YouTube channel is on historic traditional Christian hymnody. Most of my work is with pre-20th century hymns, though I have recorded hundreds of hymns by living writers. (I never turn anybody down so if you have a hymn you would love to get recorded, let me know.) The statistics from my channel paint an amazingly hopeful picture. While the typical demographic on YT leans male, under 34, one could reasonably expect my channel to certainly not fit that group. But it does! This is by far my largest demographic group. Music directors pay attention! … young men are very interested in older traditional hymns!

One of the most exciting things to watch over this past couple of years has been the rapid growth in two countries in particular, India and Nigeria. Both have seen a massive growth in traffic. The Church is growing in India in ways we may never hear about. And despite the tragic turmoil in Nigeria, our brothers and sisters cherish and seek out our hymns to this day.

Matthew 28: 19

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

I can tell you with complete confidence the Great Commission is being fulfilled today!