At our church's Disciple Now this weekend, my wife and I hosted the high school boys group and I had the chance to meet the Dutton Band from Dallas, Texas. I mentioned the Dutton Band was leading our worship in a tweet Friday night, and I got a tweet back from my friend Alvin Reid telling me he knew the band's bassist, Josh Hicks! The guys did a great job and were great with our students. They were gracious enough to grant me an interview before the worship on Saturday.
In case you haven't met the Dutton Band, they are a band of 20-somethings, and they are (left to right):
- Logan Walter, frontman
- Nathan Jennings, drums
- Shane Wilson, guitar
- Josh Hicks, bass
- Brian Patterson, guitar
- Okay, that's me in the pic in the white sweater, but I'm not in the band – yet!
Bob: Let's start with some basics like your favorite Bible verse and maybe your favorite song?
Logan – Hebrews 12:28 – I love this whole chapter because it is so focused on worshiping God. My favorite song is "Jesus Paid it All". It's a great hymn, but the words just say it all. Anytime I feel like I have to earn my salvation, this song reminds me that He paid it ALL. There's nothing I can do to earn heaven because Jesus did the job completely.
Nathan – The entire book of Psalms. I can get in there and just meditate all day. As far as a song, I assume it is one that requires singing. I say that because I'm not the greatest singer, but man I love "Shine Your Light On Us" by the Robbie Seay Band. I love singing that song! (Lots of nods from the group – I assume they are agreeing with both Nathan's lack of singing and approval of the song).
Shane – Philippians 4:6-7 – "Be anxious for nothing…" Making a living as a band is hard. You never know sometimes when you're going to get your next paycheck, and some times of the year are better than others, so it helps that God's words says for us not to be anxious. David Crowder's "Sing" is my favorite song.
Brian – Ephesians 4:1 – "Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called." I want to make sure that everything that I do brings glory to God. The version of "Our God Reigns" by Delirious is my favorite song – for the moment!
Josh – For scripture, I would just say Romans 1 & 2. These two chapters just tell me that if I am just observant, I can see evidence of God all around me, especially in nature. I love how these verses communicate about God in such simple but profound ways. As far as a song is concernced, I like "In Christ Alone". Honestly, I'm not too excited about the music, but the words are powerful and there is a lot of depth there, I like that.
Logan – A lot of the time, when we are signing CD's or posters, instead of writing just one verse, we will write like the reference to the whole chapter – like what Josh just told you. It sort of makes people go back and read the entire verse in context instead of just taking some verse that they may have heard a lot and may not think about.
Nathan: We know each other well! REAL well! We talk, read, and just hang out. Like today; we were out late last night leading worship so we slept in a little and then went out for lunch. We went to Panera and hung out and then we went to Bricktown.
Shane: If there's an argument, you have to fix it. You can't let it fester and drag on. You've got to realize that proximity amplifies character flaws. You can either strengthen each other or tear each other down.
Logan: We are a team. Solo artists control what they want. If they want the lead guitar to play a riff a certain way, they just tell him. But we don't work that way. Each of us has a 20% say, so we have to work things out together.
Bob – Q: As a band you've done lots of concerts and you have met thousands of young adults and teenagers. What are some things the church could do to reach more young adults with the gospel.
Logan: First, we belong to and go to a local church. We don't have to travel to see this, we see it in our home church. Like many churches in America, we have a great youth group, but we don't have a lot of 18-30 year olds in our church. We have a few more young adult families, but lots of people over 40. I would say if a church wants to reach young adults, then they need to be authentic. Stay away from feel-good stuff. Do less stuff for show. Eugene Peterson says the church should be a hospital where sick people go to get help. The way a hospital treats a disease is to bring it out into the open. So the church should honestly address issues and not act like everything is all right all the time.
Brian: Churches should ask themselves – "Why don't we have more young adults?" Then do something. Address the problem. Don't say something like, "We'll wait until we get a minister of young adults to address this problem." Churches can do things like creating small groups that young adults can get into, study God's word, and hang out.
Shane: Young adults don't want to come to church with their church face on. You know, that smiley happy face that says I'm fine all the time. I'm not saying people should come to church all grumpy, but man let's be real with each other.
Josh: I think that churches need to do stuff like missions, and helping the poor. When young people see a church that is doing what it is supposed to do, share Christ and help the community, then they'll have respect for the church and its mission and be drawn to it.
Logan: Here's what a church should do. Young adults struggle with sin. They struggle with alcohol. they struggle with sex, and they dabble with drugs. They battle with authority, which is why a lot of them left the church to begin with. They don't want to come to church because the church has the rep of being judgmental and they already have enough of that. Here's the deal that churches should get into. They should put out the vibe that if you're a prostitute, or an addict, or an alcoholic, or if you embezzle money at work, or if you're deep in debt – then come to church. We want to have dinner with you! That's what Jesus did! He had the rep of hanging out with people that the religious folks would have nothing to do with. That's what the church should do to reach young adults.
Bob – Q: That is some great feedback. So what do you guys do to keep your spiritual focus?
Nathan: We are all in accountability groups. We travel a lot, so we are in an accountability partnership with our pastor or executive pastor. We go through books together, like An Arrow Pointing To Heaven, which is a biography of Rich Mullins, and report in once a week, often on email. When we report, we answer these 3 questions.
- What did God reveal to me this week?
- What did I learn about myself?
- What did I struggle with this week?
Josh: We also read our Bibles and pray. Our church recently went through a 40 day fast, and we participate in any project our church is doing. In other words, let the church do what the church does best.
Bob – Q: What about some other things that you guys do for your personal spiritual growth?
Nathan: Being in nature and sunrises. I love getting up early and just enjoying the stillness and the change from night to day.
Shane: I need a method rather than a random approach. So I have a plan for daily Bible study.
Logan: I have the Bible on my iPod. I love to listen to the four gospels and to Acts. I like to hear the stories and they inspire me. But I prefer to read the epistles. They are more instructional, so I like to read my way through them.
Brian: For me it is prayer and journaling. I like to reflect in my journals and see how God has been working in me. (I've surmised that Brian is the quiet, still waters run deep type and now I think I'm right.)
Josh: For me it is simple, prayer and Bible study. I like to be introspective and compare my actions to the actions of Christ. I think my devotional life should cause change not just inwardly, but outwardly too. People should see what I'm processing in my devotions in my actions.
I just want to say something about these guys. I am really impressed with them. This interview lasted almost an hour, so obviously I couldn't put everything in here. But these guys have a lot of spiritual depth to them and I thoroughly enjoyed our dialogue and their humility. I watched them just hang out with the students from our church before and after the worship services. The worship was uplifting. These guys play before 3-4,000 people, and in front of 30-40! It didn't matter what the attendance was, they gave their best and were very personal with our kids. They called the kids in our group by name all weekend. These guys also have a heart for reaching students and young adults. Put them in your prayers today…