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In this episode, I have Nathan Drake of ReawakenHymns.com on the show to tell us how to introduce (or re-introduce) hymns in your church.
Here are some main points of our conversation!
Hymns Were Cool, Then They Weren’t, Now They Are Cool Again
At least that’s what a lot of people think. However, hymns never lost their cool. People are just re-discovering them in a big way.
And part of hymns’ reawakening has to do with what Nathan Drake is doing across his website, Facebook, YouTube, and more. He’s offering free resources like easy chord charts and even live tutorials on how to play these classics.
Here’s where to find free, easy versions of hymns for your worship ministry:
How did Nathan discover hymns?
Nathan didn’t grow up in the church. So he didn’t know the difference between modern songs and hymns. He thought hymns were just more poetic, theologically dense songs. Then he discovered some of them were over 100 years old. That led him down the path of finding and optimizing hymns for today’s worship teams and congregations.
Why are hymns still relevant today?
Hymns are a powerful tool because they can bring together all walks of life in your congregation. A 20-year old and an 80-year old can walk into a church and share the thought-provoking message, deep theology, and more complex music and lyrics that is coming back into style.
What are a few of your favorite hymns of all time? Which hymns are the easiest to incorporate into an existing worship ministry?
Nathan’s favorite hymn is Before The Throne Of God Above. But it’s certainly not the easiest hymn.
Some good hymns to start with are:
- Amazing Grace
- Come Thou Fount
- Jesus Paid It All
- Nothing But The Blood
- When I Survey The Wonderous Cross
For chord charts and resources for these songs and more, visit Reawaken Hymns.
What are some channels to follow to learn more about introducing hymns?
Obviously, Reawaken Hymns, which has chord charts, tutorials and more. In addition, visit:
How did Nathan simplify these complex hymns for today’s guitar-driven worship?
Hymns can be difficult for guitar players. Back in the day, churches used piano and organ and switched chords pretty much every syllable of every word. Plus, they used complex chording or worse yet, didn’t include chords in the music at all. Luckily Nathan has simplified these hymns to be more accessible for the typical guitar player.
Nathan’s first tip for anyone who wants to simplify a hymn is to take out the music altogether. Then rebuild it using only the essential chord changes that support the melody and overall feel of the song. That eliminates a lot of the rapid chord changes that would otherwise show up in the song.
Luckily, Nathan has done that work already on dozens of hymns and offers free chord charts on his site.
What Are The Copyright Benefits Of Hymns?
Many hymns are public domain. That means you can record, arrange, play live, and basically do whatever you want with them without restriction and without paying for use. So, for instance, if a small church can’t afford a CCLI license, it can freely use hymns including printing chord charts and displaying lyrics in the service.
Hymns can be a real solution for congregations without a lot of money to set up CCLI or other licensing services.
Easy Christmas Worship Chord Charts And Tutorials
Many of us dread December because we have to figure out how to play Christmas songs in worship. Fortunately, Nathan has put together the Reawaken Christmas Hymnal, available on his website, plus tutorials available on Facebook.
Nathan offers 20 easy Christmas songs in a downloadable PDF book, free of charge. This is going to be a great resource for worship leaders looking for Christ-centered Christmas songs to play this season.
I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Nathan Drake of Reawaken Hymns as much as I did. The value he provides his audience is truly incredible!
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Featured Image by Mick Haupt on Unsplash