Nate Sallie is an amazing person. Beyond writing this book which was great, Nate is also a top of the line musician and singer. Having put out two albums and getting Dove Award nominations as well as other accolades, Nate is now working with the School of Worship in Franklin, TN helping kids, teens, and even some adults, learn music, instruments, and how to lead in worship.
Nate's book was great as he dug into each song on his last record and told about where it came from and how it was personal to him. Nate talked extensively about his own transformation from being somewhat legalistic and ritual with his relationship with Christ to being in love with the Savior afresh and anew. In the book, he describes some of his toughest moments where he struggled in his faith and in his identity in Christ, and how through seeking God and through His Word and Nate's gift of music, found his way back.
I first met Nate in 2004 when I youth pastored in Douglas, GA. At the time, I was part of a great upstart band with some amazing guys with amazing talent. As the youth pastor, I booked Nate to come with his band and do a concert for us and the community. For an opening act, our band would play. Nate showed up at our church that afternoon and we met and chatted for a bit before heading off to the local Christian bookstore for pictures and so forth. Nate hopped in the truck with me as we drove down there. I was really surprised. It wasn't that I expected him to be rude or stand offish, but I wasn't exactly expecting him to hop in my truck either. I don't remember saying too much on the short ride. I was stuck in between those moments of, "Don't say something stupid," and "Say something, stupid!" The night went on and Nate did an amazing job at the concert. That young band in front of him did alright too . . .
Fast forward to 2006; I booked Nate again but this time I was in Ft. Pierce, FL. Instead of his whole band, we booked Nate only as he would come, sit at the piano, and put on an amazing display of talent, spirit, and soul. I was way more prepared this time to meet him. I was now married, and as such, Billie has never had a problem talking with anyone. I knew we would be fine! We picked Nate up at the airport in West Palm Beach and took him to eat at the Cheesecake Factory. He couldn't be any nicer. He was genuinely interested in our lives and the church. He talked with us about all that was going on with him as well. It was like old friends getting together to talk. Oh, and he actually asked about the band I was in . . . Now that made me feel good!
Nate did the concert that night at the church and was awesome. We took him out to eat afterwards at a place called R.J. Gators and again we just talked and had a good time. Afterwards we drove him back to the airport and the evening was over.
I won't pretend that Nate is my best friend after two meetings, but I would certainly consider him a friend. I'm not trying to sound like a name dropper though. But I can say first hand, that Nate Sallie is as genuine as they come. He's a great man who loves God with everything inside himself and he loves his family deeply. His passion is worship and leading others into a great atmosphere of worship. He loves to pour into people which says a ton about who he is. Not willing to stand off away from others who do not have the notoriety, he is a down to earth guy who sincerely and genuinely cares about the heart of God and His people. If you ever get a chance to meet Nate, get his book or any of his CD's, do it! You won't regret it.