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How Do We Make Carols Fresh This Christmas? (Podcast w/Tim Timmons)

by Next Level Worship

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Welcome to the Worship Q&A podcast. I’m Dwayne Moore. Each week we try to answer questions that worship leaders are asking, and today we’ve got a special guest with us. Very, very excited about having Tim Timmons with us. In a few moments I’m going to introduce him and we’re going to have a conversation with him about how to stay fresh in our relationship with God in the midst of all the craziness and busyness of the holiday season.

Before I invite Tim into the conversation, I want to remind us that we’re doing the ReFOCUS Worship Conference in Pigeon Forge, February the 1st to the 3rd. We just yesterday had a young couple from Wyoming sign up to come. That’s crazy. They’re coming from all around and we’re excited about the opportunity to have Aaron Keyes there, Dr. Vernon Whaley, my son Stephen and I will all be in there. Please come if you can. Check it out on our website. We’d love to you, so that’s happening. We also have our coaching program that kicks in the first part of next year, so you can check all that stuff out on our website.

Interview with Tim Timmons

Dwayne Moore: Tim, how are you?

Tim Timmons: I’m great, and you didn’t mention that, at your conference, you’ve got a guy named Dwayne there as well.

Dwayne Moore: I do have this guy named Dwayne. I don’t know if that will actually-

Tim Timmons: I’m just saying, that guy’s a total stud.

Dwayne Moore: Well, I don’t know if that name would actually impress them or depress them, so I’m not so sure if I should mention that.

Tim Timmons: Oh, you’re awesome man, you’re awesome.

Dwayne Moore: No, I’ll be there speaking some too, man, but I’m praying down the road if the Lord opens up the door, we get you into my conference down the road, too. I’d love it.

Tim Timmons: All right. Well, I teach a lot of dance classes, so I think we could do it.
Dwayne Moore: I heard that. So, welcome to the Worship Q&A podcast. It’s so good to have you.

Tim Timmons: Thank you. Thank you, good to be on here.

Dwayne Moore: You’re in Franklin, now, I think? Catch us up to where you are now. What are you doing?

Tim Timmons: Yep, yep. I’m from Orange County, California, but we moved to Franklin, Nashville basically, almost three years ago. Just I was on tour so much, I missed my kids my wife, and it just was one of those things where it just made more sense. It’s been really great. It’s been really great. We’ve got a great community out here, so we’re real thankful.

Dwayne Moore: That’s incredible. Now, you still travel and do a lot of music, though, and I guess you have a home base there in Franklin, Tennessee. Is that the idea?

Tim Timmons: Yeah, I do a bunch of writing for myself and for other people out here as well, and I’ve been doing that for a long time, but Jesus just keeps opening those doors, and so I keep walking through them.

Tired of Working for Jesus

I mean, that was part of the deal years ago is I said, I got to a place, you guys, but I was just done being such an amazing varsity worship leader Christian guy, and I was just as soul-tired as everybody else. This weekend was coming up, Christmas was coming, I’m like, “Oh my gosh, crap, I’m dying right here, but I’ve got to really kill it again for my pastor,” you know?

It just, after a while, it just got to me, and I ended up just so exhausted. Literally, my soul was exhausted. I thought, “My neighbor is atheist, and he is just as soul-tired as I am. My thing should work. I’m a leader. Anyways, it was one of those seasons where we said, “Okay, you know what?I’m done, Jesus. I’m done working for you. I just want to be with you. That’s how I’m going to start doing everything, so if you want me to work at Starbucks and that’s it, and you’re going to provide for my family, then awesome. If you want to open up other doors, then awesome.” 

I’m done, Jesus. I’m done working for you. I just want to be with you. That’s how I’m going to start doing everything

It was at that point that I just made it a point to just hang with Jesus and go, “Okay, well, if I blow it, I’m still hanging out with Jesus. If I’m in my car, I’m hanging out with Jesus. If somebody cuts me out from the road, I’m hanging out with Jesus. If I’m leaving worship ministry, I’m just hanging out with Jesus.” It just changed the way that I saw things, and after about two years of practicing that kind of the presence of Jesus, that’s when all these doors started opening up, and got a crazy record deal and all these things and songs.

It’s just been this cool deal where just Jesus keeps opening doors, and I’m done trying to be awesome. I’m just hanging with him. Even in this Christmas season, for everybody who’s listening, I heard the question at the beginning. Honestly, I think one of the biggest things for us is just to remember who we’re hanging out with. I mean, it sounds so cliché and so dumb, right? But even in the songs that we sing-

Dwayne Moore: Not really, no, actually, sounds rather fresh to me. I’m loving it.

Owning Carols this Christmas

Tim Timmons: No, it is. It is so profound. It just sounds like, “Okay, I’ve heard that before. Hang with Jesus. Now I’ve got to actually put a whole worship set together.” But I remember even a young worship leader came up to me one time. He said, “Tim, I hate Christmas songs, and I’m just so bored of this stuff.” I said, “I totally get it. Oh my gosh.” But I mean, it’s like, who says, “God rest ye merry gentlemen?” I just don’t know any people that actually say that in life. “Hey man, God rest ye merry gentlemen.”

We started going, “Okay,” I said, “Okay, what’s your favorite Christmas song?” He said, “O Holy Night.” I said, “Why?” He said, “It’s beautiful.” I said, “Man, it is a beautiful song, but why would you pray this song? Just figure out the words in the song. Why would you pray this song?” Then I said, “You got to figure out why would your people end up praying this song?”

That night, I went and watched him lead this college ministry. He was leading these songs and whatever, and then he got to O Holy Night, and he went all the way through it, “O Holy Night,” you know, “Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth,” you know that whole part. Sorry, I have a cold, so my voice sounds awesome.

Dwayne Moore: We got the idea.

Tim Timmons: Okay. You guys know the song. Then he just stopped for a second and just played his little G chord and said to everybody, he said, “When was the last time your soul felt its worth?” In the whole room, just all the air just got sucked out of the room.

When was the last time your soul felt its worth?

Dwayne Moore: I was going to say, you could hear a pin drop, yeah.

Tim Timmons: I mean, when was the last time your soul felt its worth? He did his homework as a worship leader, and he figured out why he needed to own and pray those prayers. Then he invited other people in just with one question, and that room shouted that song. I mean, it was so cool. Just my encouragement for you, worship leaders, would be for you to figure out which of these prayers you need to pray, and then why you need to pray these, and then help your band and help your choir and help these people say, “Hey, choose one of these songs this weekend, every weekend, that you’re going to own. This is like your prayer this weekend.” Man, I think it will revolutionize the way that your people lead and the way that your people actually pray, you know? Sorry, I just went on a little tangent, but…

Dwayne Moore: No, that’s powerful. I think that’s what we need to hear, man. That’s good.

Merry Mighty Christmas

Tim Timmons: Yeah. Yeah, even you guys, this is a little tip, and please use this. The word “Merry Christmas,” you know, we always think of that as happy Christmas. “Hey, happy Christmas to you.” When I started looking, because I did this myself, I was looking up “God rest ye merry gentlemen,” like what the heck does that mean? I started figuring out what these words, and I thought, “Merry, God rest ye happy gentlemen? What’s that mean?” I looked it up. In the Old English, it was Robin Hood and his Merry Men, and it wasn’t Robin Hood and his like happy-go-lucky, jumping up and down ballet Merry Men, like happy men. Merry actually meant mighty or powerful in the old English.

Dwayne Moore: I did not know that.

Tim Timmons: Isn’t that crazy?

Dwayne Moore: Wow. Yeah.

Tim Timmons: So when you say “Merry Christmas,” you’re not saying, “Hey man, happy Christmas.” I mean, what a waste of our time. I mean, it’s either a little happy, a little sappy, dumb Christmas, or it’s a mighty and a powerful Christmas where everything changed, and everything now, we have a new way to actually live as though it’s true, that He is, the same spirit that raised Him from the dead is living in us. Well, that’s mighty. That’s powerful. Anyway, use that this year, you guys. It’s great.

It’s either a little happy, a little sappy, dumb Christmas, or it’s a mighty and a powerful Christmas where everything changed.

Dwayne Moore: Okay, you’ve already given us three. Let’s review here guys. All you listener people, like me, let’s review. He’s already, in four minutes, given us three golden nuggets, okay. These are powerful moments. First of all, hanging in jus with presence of God, enjoying him over just standing up and leading in front of people, like I think I got that surmised pretty much. Not saying I do it necessarily, Tim-

Tim Timmons: Yep. Yep, yep. No, it’s different.

Dwayne Moore: Then of course this mighty and happy Christmas idea, and then also owning a song each week. Okay man, you’re three for three. What else you got?

Discipling Worship Teams

Tim Timmons: Yeah, I mean, I think the owning thing, I mean, I think that’s how Jesus lead worship, if you ask me, and that’s a whole other conversation. But I think He led worship by helping people own their own response to Jesus. I think it has to start with us as worship leaders, and it has to start with us as bands. Dwayne, you have been one of the forerunners in helping people lead teams. We’re creating these teams of just musicians, Christian musicians, and what a waste of our time.

I mean, we get to actually create and disciple and aim these guys, these people that are on our teams, not just use them and abuse them but actually invest them, right? I think part of us investing in them, and in the choir, and in the tech team, and the guy who’s doing sound and lights, and the person who’s pushing the buttons behind the computer, is saying, “Hey, which of these things do you need to own?”

Honestly, you know, you talked about my nonprofit thing that I do. I blog every week, and it’s called 10,000 Minutes. 1-0-0-0-0 Minutes.

Dwayne Moore: 10,000 Minutes. Okay, is that 10000minutes.com, is that what that is?

Minutes in Our Week

Tim Timmons: Yep, 10000minutes.com, yep. The whole idea is that there are 10,080 minutes in a week, and 80 of those minutes are where the church is gathered, which is so awesome and beautiful and powerful. But if our 80 minutes don’t actually help the rest of the week, which is 10,000 minutes, there are 10,000 minutes until we gather again. You can use that on Sunday morning. “Hey guys. For the next 10,000 minutes, remember that Jesus is with you.” I mean, it’s just this powerful number, and-

We spend 80 minutes in church each week, but what do we do with our remaining 10,000 minutes until we gather again?

Dwayne Moore: Incredible. Love that.

Tim Timmons: These prayers, if we can help people own their prayers in the 80 minutes, I think we can help them in the 10,000 minutes practice Jesus all week long, and I think we’re discipling our bands and our choirs and tech people to see it that way and go, “Huh. What if I prayed this song all week long, in the 10,000 minutes?” We’re really trying to figure out how do we help each other practice Jesus all week long, so if you ever guys want to check out 10000minutes.com, come on over. It’s fun.

Dwayne Moore: Tim, how can we find your music? I’ve been listening to your new CD. I know you got a children’s album out. Tell us about that before you go.

Tim Timmons: Good. Yeah, I have a kids’ record called Who I Am. Kids music drives me crazy, so I’ve got so many kids, so I just wanted to do a kids record. I have two kids records. The latest one’s called Who I Am. They’re just trues that I just wanted kids to do more than just jump, you know?

Then I just did a Christmas record, a Christmas EP just came out, called Mighty Christmas.

Dwayne Moore: I love it. I’ve been listening to it, yeah.

Tim Timmons: Good, so there’s a single going out to radio called Yes You Are. Yeah, and then I’ve got stuff on anywhere. Tim Timmons. You can go get the MercyMe song, Even If, you know, I think you’ll dig that song. We wrote that a few years ago, and Jesus just-

Dwayne Moore: Yeah, I love that song out.

Tim Timmons: Jesus keeps opening doors. That’s His job. I just keep walking through them, so.

Dwayne Moore: Amen, brother. Well, thank you so much, Tim. Man, it’s been great to have you on our podcast today.

Tim Timmons: Course, you guys. Thank you, Dwayne.

A great way to keep growing as a leader and learn how to leave a legacy is to join our award-winning Worship Leader Coaching program. It’s a full year of coaching divided into 3 powerful phases:

  • Influence Phase (focusing on your personal leadership)

  • Impact Phase (focusing on developing your group’s growth)

  • Legacy Phase (focusing on training up others to lead)

The 3-month Influence Phase starts in January! Sure hope you can join us!


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