EPISODE #85 – Leading Multigenerational Worship in a Replant – with special guest Nathan Drake
Nathan Drake, from Reawaken Hymns, joined the guys at the Bootcamp to talk about multigenerational worship in replants.
“The style of music isn’t the actual problem. The problem is that the style of music matters. That is the problem. It is a heart issue.”
Check out Nathan’s resources at https://www.reawakenhymns.com
You can find Nathan’s youtube channel here – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEWesHlu5Dbktb26g3yG3Hg
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/reawakenhymns/
Patreon – https://www.patreon.com/reawakenhymns
Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2ACLpipV38d5nY1LUkKJ7y
Apple Music – https://music.apple.com/us/artist/nathan-drake/393563079
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Show notes powered by Descript are an approximation of the verbal content, consult podcast audio for accuracy
[00:00:00] JimBo Stewart: All right, Bob, here we are back at the bootcamp and we continue to change locations this time. I’m at the JBA office and you are, live to us from I’m looking at the posters behind you, trying to figure out what those are.
Bob Bickford: well, these are stuffed animals, actually. I’m in Louisville, Kentucky. And I’m not here on a food tour. I’m not here because they’ve asked me to do Yelp reviews here. I’m here because I was meeting with Brian Croft to talk about our pastor’s cohorts and also to see my youngest child who is a sophomore slash junior ish.
A student here at the UFL. So I’m actually doing this podcast from her collegiate bedroom in her townhome can I just tell you college kids don’t live. Like we used to when we were with the school jumbo, this dorm room is like, so imagine a slate of new townhomes in a Primo development with a swimming pool, a full workout facility.
And dog [00:01:00] walking park. It’s that was not my collegiate experience.
JimBo Stewart: No, that was definitely not mine. my collegiate dorm was a 12 by 14 cinder blocks square with a. light hardwired into like this desk area and true story, Bob, my, my first time in the dorm room, I noticed that the, the metal rectangle that’s like supposed to be like a desk light that is attached to the wall was cattywampus.
And I thought, let me straighten that. And it, it, it electrically shocked me so hard. It sent me across the room. and we had communal showers and I decided they had these communal showers is like three showers on one side, three showers on the other side, and a big water hose going down the middle just to clean them. And so I thought I would prank a guy that I knew and turn on the cold water on the hose and throw it in the shower.
And I did until the next week he throwed on just the [00:02:00] hot water and threw it in my shower. And I had third degree burns on half of my scalp.
Bob Bickford: Did you lose hair? Did you go
JimBo Stewart: Uh, I had, I had to cut a lot of my hair off yet. I had long hair at that point too. I was a hippie man. I had, it was, it was ugly.
Bob Bickford: I need a picture of that for the podcast. Like, are we talking Trevor Lawrence hair? That’s
JimBo Stewart: Not that long.
Bob Bickford: the QB of, uh, the Jacksonville Jaguars.
JimBo Stewart: Yeah. Not, not sunshine long,
Bob Bickford: Hey man. Speaking of sunshine, that reminds me of the great movie. Remember the Titans, which reminds me of music and we had some great music and remember the Titans and we have a,
we have an awesome.
Nathan Drake: So, did you practice that transition beforehand or was that just off the top of your head? Cause it was seamless. Okay. All right. It was amazing.
JimBo Stewart: I think [00:03:00] we’ve found a, I think we found a kindred brother in our special guest today. Nathan Drake, before we were getting on, he changed headphones seven times
Nathan Drake: I checked his headphones twice. Don’t be lying to everybody now.
JimBo Stewart: And he threw four different chairs out the window. Cause they just,
Nathan Drake: So this is the exaggeration podcast. Is that what we’re doing?
Bob Bickford: Jimbo’s a pastor. So he speaks ministerially
Nathan Drake: Okay. That was like a sermon illustration.
Bob Bickford: you go.
Nathan Drake: It gotcha.
JimBo Stewart: Well, okay. So now we’re super excited to have, Nathan Drake on with us today. if you’ve never heard of him, you need to look him up and, check out his ministry. I don’t just think he’s a kindred heart because he’s funny. I think he’s a kindred heart because he loves churches and he loves serving churches and helping churches and, Especially whatever way he can, even if they can’t financially support his ability to do that.
And so if anybody would like to [00:04:00] donate a really nice office chair, like a good one then contact the repo bootcamp and we would love to gift him a really good, uh, office chair.
Nathan Drake: There we go.
JimBo Stewart: the way that you came on our radar, we came across to the videos you started creating in the pandemic for churches that were trying to do online worship and had no idea how to do that.
And so just fill us in a little bit on how that all came to be.
Nathan Drake: sure. So we were actually in Florida when everything went to a double hockey sticks and. We were there with our, our church friends. We were having a nice Florida vacation, you know, and then all of a sudden, you know, you can, can we even fly home and everything as closing the beaches started closing, closing, and all the people I’m there with are like pastors and such.
So they’re getting all these notifications from the church. You know, we can’t do this, we got closed. You gotta do this. Everybody’s scrambling. And I wasn’t [00:05:00] full time in a church at the time. So I was like watching this craziness happen with everybody around me and I. I don’t, I’m not like a, Oh, I heard God say something kind of guy very often.
Like this might’ve been the once or twice. I’ll say that, but I, I was like, I could hear God now I leave it. I could hear God, like say, okay, you see all these people around you having to close their churches, you know how to do this worship thing online with the video and the audio you’ve been doing it.
These people need help. Just go home and make things for them. Like that’s. So I went home that night. We like stayed up late and painted the wall that I had to film on. Cause it was like disgusting peach, rotten gross gut. And so we painted the wall next day, I set up everything and started filming these worship sets.
and then put them online securities could download them and use them for free cause those first month or so, I mean, all the small churches are like. We, we don’t even own a video camera. Like what are we supposed to do? You know? So I just, I made these short worship sets 12, 15 minutes. It was like three hymns public [00:06:00] domain.
So there’s no rights issues and like some liturgy and in between. So basically just like a full worship set that would go before sermon and then people could come and download them for free, stick them before their sermon, their pastor could preach on his webcam and they could still have service during that crazy time.
JimBo Stewart: Man. I really wish I had known about that. when we were trying to figure out how to do that early on, that would’ve been really awesome to be in this.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, we were just trying to figure out which way to aim the iPhone. Is it landscaper’s portrait? some people still have not figured that out on,
Nathan Drake: Nope.
Bob Bickford: man. They didn’t. So your, your gift to the church, in that time and took the church, plural kind of, you know, the big, the big C that the. Churches as they were meaning, really helped us and helped so many people fill a great need that existed during COVID.
But when we, when we think about churches, As a whole, one of the biggest questions that re planters and revitalizes, even established churches ask [00:07:00] is what do we do for worship, right? How do we, how do we handle worship? And particularly for those of us that are working in replants or revitalizations, we’re stepping into a situation where it’s a predominantly senior adult congregation.
They don’t sing some of the modern worship songs. They can’t physically seeing some of the modern worship songs. And here you are a young guy that has connected with hymns and have, has really, has really done a fantastic job of capturing stylistically, but also lyrically in, in with just a lot of integrity him.
So can you explain to us what drew you to the hymns and why they’re important to you?
Nathan Drake: Yeah. So I did technically grow up in a church like physically. I went to church on Sundays, but I was not into it. And I stopped going. As soon as my mom would, let me stop going when I was a kid. So I was not really into church. And even that church was mostly contemporary music at the time, which is old music now.
But so hymns, honestly, weren’t a thing [00:08:00] to me. As a Christian ever, like when I was small. so when I became a Christian later in life and then became a worship leader, hymns were not something that, uh, that were nostalgic to, or even that I wanted to do. I didn’t even know that existed half the time, except for amazing grace, maybe.
So to me, they were kind of new songs in a way, which I think helps what I’m doing, because that’s what I’m trying to do with them is making new songs basically. When it comes to worship leading I’m very into theological integrity. And, I don’t know what the word is. Just substance, you know, in songs.
And then also just intentionality and worship, like make sure the songs you’re saying other songs you actually want to be singing. So hymns obviously are very good in that regard. Some hymns, I should say are very good in that regard and just have kind of these either have very deep theology or have parts of theology that modern songs don’t touch a lot.
so that’s, I started using these because I needed to, because I needed to go certain places with the music that didn’t really exist in modern worship music. And [00:09:00] also in the church where I started this, we kind of had what you talked about it. We had these older people who wanted to sing these hymns.
But they needed to sync them like they were, and not like some other guy recreated them as like, I don’t have a problem with adding courses or changing melodies to hymns, but sometimes that’s not what you need and that’s not what you want. And I couldn’t find what I needed in that regard to just straight up.
So I started making them and I was like, Hey, but other people can use these up in my mind. And then that’s how it happened.
JimBo Stewart: What advice would you have for. Worship leaders in these smaller churches that are multi or really any church that’s multi-generational and is trying to figure out how to find that balance because. told you before we started recording that one of the struggles I had with our worship leader at one point was I would say, Hey, we need to be doing some hymns in the set list.
and I would say, as we’re doing those hems, man, find a way to sing it in the way that our senior adults remember how to sing it. so it hits that heart cord for them and helps bring them to the [00:10:00] throne. And. He would always play some very new arrangement of it in, and I, I felt like in my conversations are seeing that actually hurt us more than it helped us, because it was like, it was like just enough of a reminder of we don’t like your music. It came across. Like we don’t like your music so much. We’re not even willing to sing it the way you saying it. We’re going to have to update it. But at the same time, I do get it as a younger guy who I didn’t really grow up singing a lot of hymns either. And so I’ll go to a church sometimes where they’re singing it in the way that it was song in 1950 or 1970.
And for whatever reason, that kind of arrangement doesn’t resonate And I don’t know enough about music to understand the reasons why. and so maybe you could speak to that. Why is it that those styles are, are hard to come up hard to bring those generations together? And what advice would you have for worship [00:11:00] leaders in multi-generational churches?
Nathan Drake: You asked me a more complicated question if you can. yeah. It’s, there’s no easy answer. I started doing the hems acoustic one, because that’s just an easier way to translate it from a musical or art standpoint, because you kind of strip everything away except for the melody and that sort of thing.
And then you can look at it as a song instead of a style, if that makes sense. So that health was going, going low key with it going just acoustic. my current project I’m working on is the opposite. Trying to bring them into like, like legit and modern, like. Hillsong elevation that style of music kind of stuff.
And I will tell you it’s very difficult to keep them the same and do that, but I’ve been, I’ve been able to hear, I think it’s, it’s really good. I’m excited about it, but. I will say that I think when I was doing there was these huge, like temptations to change or the him was because that would make it sound more modern.
And again, I [00:12:00] don’t have a problem with that, but I think the first thing you need to do when you’re using these hymns is ask yourself why you’re using these hymns, because if you’re using them so that the older people can sing along then changing the melody completely is doing the opposite of what you’re intending to do.
So again, with the intentionality. Before you play the song, figure out why you’re playing the song and what you actually want to play. So again, if you’re bringing them in, so the older people can sing. That’s awesome. Find a way to keep that melody and keep that rhythm so that they can still sing, but then you can update them like musically.
The musical context for a younger audience. I would also say that that will not solve your problems. HIMS won’t solve your problems because the style of music, isn’t the actual problem, the style of music or the problem is that. The style of music matters. That’s the problem. It doesn’t matter what the style of music is, it’s that it matters at all.
And it’s just a hard issue. And I know it’s impossible to go back to, but really you kind of just got to sit down with everybody and say, [00:13:00] Hey, just curious, why are you here in church worshiping? Like, what’s the point? And then you can also, and hopefully you can all get to the same point of where you to worship God.
Then it gets really complicated on how you do that. But you got to get back to that basic point and then you all can sit down and figure out together how you can all do that. Together. I will say one of my, we search terms in the world is blended service because it was like, all right, you hate this music.
You hate this music and we just play the music. Everybody hates, then no one will be happy.
Bob Bickford: Absolutely. Absolutely. I remember somebody describing blended music was like taking your absolute favorite meal, throwing it in a blender and then putting it in a glass and sticking a straw in it and say, now enjoy it. Right? It’s the thought you’ve got all the elements that you liked there, but they’re not in the constitution that you want them of saying, Hey, one of the things you mentioned is something that I’ve really been trying to pay attention to lately.
In our worship gathering or corporate gathering is it’s easy just to [00:14:00] show up in worship and kind of check the boxes. All right. Announcements, it’s greeting, you know, singing sermon response, and really not engage your head and your heart. And I know in our conversations, when we met a couple of weeks ago, liturgy is a big deal for you.
And it’s important to you. Can you describe. Just briefly, what’s a good definition of liturgy. And then what is a real simplistic liturgy that we can engage that gets people from the beginning of worship to the end of worship, gathered worship in a position where they’re thinking and they’re reacting in ways that are drawn them to God and respond to them.
Nathan Drake: So, I mean, in the very simplest form liturgy is just the practical way in which you do a worship service. Like that’s all it is. It isn’t called the worships. It isn’t, this, it isn’t that it’s just liturgy is the outline of how you’re going to worship God, basically in a real life worship service.
And it can often include things like [00:15:00] call the worship songs and scripture and sermons and all those are part of the liturgy. And so I think it’s important to like step back and say, okay, we have this worship service. we want to bring people into the presence of God. We want to illustrate God as you know, The Redeemer, the creator.
We want to talk about salvation. We want it, like, you got to think of what the worship services for, what the people need to get out of it. And then put that together and put that together as a liturgy. So for instance, like a very common liturgy that happens in a lot of churches is like call the worship song, prayer of confession, assurance, song, song, sermon song.
benediction. That’s like 80% of churches in the world, which is fine. Cause it works. but I would say take those things if that’s okay. Kind of order you like and look at them, not as the specific things that are like, don’t think, okay. I call the worship is a reading. A song is a song, a career of confessions or reading a song is a song like maybe your prayer of confession is a song.
Maybe [00:16:00] this song is read. Maybe this scripture is this part. Like you don’t have to have this like solid. Thing that everything is, this is a responsive reading. This is a song. This is the scripture. This is the sit down, stand up. That sort of thing. You just need to look at the liturgy as this is where the service is going.
This is how we get the service to where it’s going. and we want to be intentional about what’s in the service so that we end up with an impactful, important service that keeps our eyes on God is what I would say about leg. Does that make sense?
JimBo Stewart: Yeah, I think there’s something to be said about. Having liturgical elements that don’t conform and feel like the rest of the world. I think sometimes we try so hard to make elements in our work order of worship or liturgy, feel so modern. And again, I’m, like I said, I’m not against that, but I think there’s, I think there’s a powerfulness to a transcendence.
To certain liturgical elements in that, like, man, this doesn’t feel like [00:17:00] anything else that I do in my life. Right. When we do this responsive reading, I can’t think of anywhere else in my life that we do this. or, you know, when we have this, these certain elements and I think there can be a really powerful.
Transcendence to that. That just reminds us that we, this isn’t like everything else in your life. This is a, a moment where we, as a corporate body are engaging, engaging God in worship, on purpose as we gather. And so what are, what are elements that would be easy to implement into smaller churches, with limited resources that could help them do that?
Nathan Drake: for sure. Yeah. I mean, there are liturgical resources everywhere. There are good ones. There’s bad ones, but there’s a surgical, there’s one called the worship source book, which is pretty decent. It’s might be a little liberal for some of the conservative churches, but it’s got some good stuff in it. I use it a lot and.
I will say [00:18:00] that again, yeah, you don’t have to make up your liturgy. Like there is no need to write everything that you say in service. In fact, there’s probably benefits to not write everything you say and service, and you can go to these places. You can go to super old, like Matthew, Henry commentaries, and look at things he said, and you can go to these words, source books, and you can go to Spurgeon and all these old school people and find these great things that I think a lot of people think if they take.
This called the worship from 15 hundreds, that if they put it in the service, it’s going to look old. It’s going to sound old. And what I’ve noticed is that nobody cares how old the thing is. All they care about is whether you care about doing it or not. Like it becomes an issue and it feels old. Only when you do it because you have to do it every week and you do it every week and you have no idea what it means anymore.
And everybody’s saying it with no emotion and that sort of thing that feels old. But if you’re reading something from, you know, eight, 15 hundreds with passion and everybody knows what it means, and you explained it well, then it doesn’t [00:19:00] feel old at all. It feels modern. It feels fresh because it’s not old.
You’re engaging with God in that moment. Just you’re using that old. You know, thing, it’s like when you go to an art museum, like I don’t go up to a van Gogh and they, it looks old. I can’t relate to that anymore. Like, no, that’s awesome. It’s great. Somebody made a great piece of art, so use it, just make sure you’re paying attention and you’re using it.
And you’re not just reciting it over and over and over again. So that’s what I would say is you don’t need to write everything in your service and you don’t, everything doesn’t need to be fresh in the regard of it needs to be a brand new item. It needs to be fresh in the sense that everybody there is hearing it.
Like they’ve never heard it before.
If that makes sense.
Bob Bickford: Yeah, I mean, that’s solid. I think that, growing up, every church has a liturgy and having been to. Two different kinds of churches. And then I think one of the, the second church that I served in was a very formal. You know, hand bells and choir robes and responsive readings and [00:20:00] confessions and those sorts of things.
But there seem to be just an absence of passion and an investment in intentionality in the whole service, right. It’s just like we kind of shuffled in, sat down and we knew that we were going to do these things, but there really was no explanation and no passion. And I think that’s sort of what you’re getting at is, is taking a modern element, a new element, whatever element it is.
And making sure that you’ve explained it well, and it’s leading the people somewhere into an experience with God and his word and the truth and that, that it’s, it’s unified and, and, um, and expresses the gospel and the goodness and the faithfulness and the sovereignty and the righteousness of God and the glory of Christ.
I think those are all important things. I mean, one of the questions, uh, that kind of relates to that is sometimes it’s easy. For the congregation and then also for worship leaders, just to be so kind of, accustomed to a Sunday that we just lose heart in it. Like we’re just doing it right. And showing [00:21:00] up.
And so I want to give everybody credit for participation in worship and especially during COVID where our numbers are declining. So I don’t want to take away from people who are going to church. The man speak to the worship leaders out there, particularly because one of the things we hear a lot about is pastor burnout.
And so we can talk about how re planters and revitalizes needs to stay fresh. Well, men worship leaders go through the same thing. And how does a worship leader who’s responsible for the, for the very, you know, one of the very important parts of the service at the beginning, part of the service, and then the close part of the shifts to really bring people in and bring passion to it.
How does a worship leader stay fresh and connected to the Lord? And also, how do they maintain excellence in all that they do not excellence is in terms of being like a stellar performer, but excellence in this sense of bringing, bringing intentionality and passion to what they do
Nathan Drake: You’re more qualified to speak to the spiritual aspects of that. So I’ll leave that to you. I can talk about some practical aspects. I will say. Oh, let me say two [00:22:00] things about this one. I think replants have something that a lot of people don’t have that they wish they did. And that’s that you have some of you, if you’ve like, if you’ve gone, taken an old congregation and a new congregation and put them together, those replants what you have is you have a group of people that have no idea how to do worship service.
With a group of people that have done it so many times they’re sick of it. And both of these people get to help each other. Like, I think often it ends up as like this budding head sort of thing, but if we can just shift our minds so that it’s a, Oh, my gosh. We get to learn all these awesome ways of doing worship that these people have been doing for years.
The other side gets look, these people are. So, I mean, this is all new to them. That’s amazing. I wonder what it’s like when it’s new to you and you both get to experience this kind of worship culture that doesn’t exist a lot of places and is awesome. Like, so. One of the ways to keep it fresh is that in our reclamp where there’s two congregations, older and younger coming together, you literally get to create a [00:23:00] worship culture that does not exist anywhere else in the world because of these two congregations coming together.
And that in itself is fresh. Like you’re, that’s literally, it doesn’t exist anywhere in the world and you get to build it. You get to be a part of making this worship culture with these two dis disparate groups of people. It’s not the one thing I would say is just the worst culture itself. It gets to be a fresh too.
I would say that. One thing. I notice that’s a huge difference between like say a brand new church plant with 30 people and a hundred year old church with 30 people is that the new church always explains things because it assumes there’s someone there that doesn’t know the old church never explains a single thing because everybody’s done it a thousand billion times.
And I think we need to say that, listen, we need to treat this as if it’s new, like, and we should explain it because sometimes. After you’ve done it a million times, you needed explained, like you’ve never done it before. And then, and that happens to me. Like I was doing a call to worship or a prayer [00:24:00] of confession and a service, and I want to explain it to the people.
And so I was like writing how I was going to explain it to people. I’m like, Oh, I forgot. That’s why we do a confession. Like, so then it was fresh to me like, Oh yeah, We’re already forgiven. We’re doing this confession not to earn forgiveness. Like we’re just doing it because we get to do it because our forgiveness is already earned and you kind of get into the reasons you do these things and those reasons can kind of come back up and you can be like, Oh yeah, because I think things get stale.
When we forget the reason we do them.
JimBo Stewart: I mean, I really appreciate you coming on. All of this has been so valuable. I’ve written down so many great quotes. I want to take a moment before I recap everything and land this plane, and just point everybody to some of the resources that you’ve put out there. so in particular, tell us about the hymn book and some of those types of resources that you’ve created, that would be beneficial for revitalizations and replants.
And then I’ll lay on the plane.
Nathan Drake: yeah, so I do have a handbook that’s. It’s like 83 hymns and it’s just simplified versions of the core charts. [00:25:00] So if you’re a dude like me, who’s usually just by himself with acoustic guitar, with some people that are 20 years old and some people at 80 years old, you can simply play a hymn. That sounds modern.
It’s easy to play on guitar, but he can sing along. That’s what the handbooks for. It’s just a resource to make. Playing him is easier. if you’re your church without a worship leader at all, I do have like lyric videos too, that you could put up on the screen and sing along with me and there’s lyrics and stuff.
So it could be like your distance worship leader or something. Yeah. So all of my stuff is acoustic. And then as I said earlier right now, and for the next year and a half, I’m working on like set number two, which is like the ultra modern sound, but still trying to keep the hymns exactly as they are so that everyone in your congregation can sing along.
Like there’s not big. Melody changes and stuff. So that’s what I’m currently doing. Those will be out in starting in September and then another year from that. So I’m trying to get, you know, the resources for that solo acoustic guy to play hymns. And then also for that band, with a synth player and a drummer to play him as the way they were.
Bob Bickford: Where can we find all these things? Nathan
Nathan Drake: Yep. Www dot [00:26:00] awaken, hymns.com would be the best place or you do, but I’m also on YouTube.
JimBo Stewart: That’s so great, man. It’s so valuable. And it just so many of those things just to highlight what you said, that hymn book, if you’re trying to figure out how to lead hymns in a way that your 20 year old and your 80 year old will both be able to sing together as you’re leading that culture. That’s a very valuable resource, but I wanted to go back to a quote just to, this is the one quote stood out to me more than anything, what you said.
So the style of worship, isn’t really the issue that the style of. Worship matters is really the issue. and so I appreciate the work that you’ve put in to helping bring generations together in style, but I even more so value your heart, that it’s not about the style it’s about our heart and what we’re doing as we’re.
Worshiping God also, I love how you talked about explaining things. You need to explain it, especially if you’ve done it a million times, so that you always remember what it is we’re doing and why we’re [00:27:00] doing it. man has been a great episode. Check out reawaken, hymns.com and all the stuff that I think Drake has out there.
A lot of it you can get from him for free because he’s a generous church. Loving Jesus loving dude. But mean you ought to, if you can, and that’s not going to cost you, it’s not going to break your bank to just buy the book and buy some of those resources by his album. it helps support that so he can continue to create resources that serve churches and help others.
Nathan, thank you so much for coming on with us.
Nathan Drake: thanks for having me.