Tag Archives: Ministry

Duck Diagnosis

So…

I’m a Christian…..I’m a pastor…..I’m relatively politically conservative.

I don’t particularly like Duck Dynasty.

Not because I don’t like the Robertsons, or hunting or fishing or Jesus…But because I don’t have cable, and I don’t really like ‘reality tv’.

I LOVE what the show stands for however, because I think it’s great that America is able to see what a real life, Christian family looks like from the inside. I firmly believe that the show is making a positive difference in our culture.

The recent ‘indefinite’ suspension of Phil Robertson, the show’s patriarch, because he shares his agreement with Biblical instruction concerning sexuality in GQ magazine that prints in January 2014 concerns me.

Not just because I agree with his stance, but because, I think we need to wake up to the reality that we can no longer expect the government, laws, media or American society to affirm the proclamation of Biblical morality.

We need to stop treating America like a big church that has simply drifted in it’s theology, that we can call “back to her roots.”

This country is not a faith community that we are simply called to morally police, it is a mission field full of people who do not know Jesus and thus do not care what the Bible says. Furthermore, they will not care until they’re born again.

We’re called by God to preach the gospel of Jesus to every nation, and we need to start with our own.

The Constitution is a great foundation for governing our nation, but it is not the Bible, it is not inerrant, it was written by fallible human beings, and thus we cannot expect it to supernaturally protect us from being persecuted for our Faith.

Democracy is beautiful, government for the people, of the people, by the people, but it is a double edged sword, because ultimately it reveals the character of a people. 250 years has pulled back the curtain on who we really are–a people who need Jesus, just like the rest of the world.

So don’t be fooled America, the solution is not simply political, it’s the Gospel.

We are who we are, and only Jesus can change us.

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton

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To Win in Young Adult Ministry You Have to Be Willing To Play “Small Ball”

Everyone loves a home run. The crack of the bat, the leisurely jog around the bases, the high fives, the curtain call–it’s why people go to the ballpark. It’s energizing–it’s electric–it’s intoxicating. In ministry it’s no different, we love to swing for the fences, we love the feeling of being in a packed auditorium, with perfect music, perfect lighting, perfect preaching, and a tangible, quantifiable altar response. We feel good when we hit a “home run”. I’m convinced in too many of our ministries–we’ve come to rely on “the long ball” when we should be concerned with how well we play “small ball”.

There are several reasons for this, but the one I want to address here is that it is directly connected to our ability as a Christian generation to effectively reach, disciple and “do church” with young adults.

“Small ball” refers to the style of baseball that relies on base hits, stolen bases, sacrifice bunts, and working the count–instead of swinging for the fences on every pitch. It’s slower, less flashy, more gritty, it requires patience, and delayed gratification–but it works. It scores runs. It wins games. It wins championships.

I want to point out a few observations that I have noticed in ministering and building relationships with young adults that can help us understand and have long term success in the area of young adult ministry:

1) Young adults both inside and outside the church are highly friendship oriented–so much so that for most young adults friends play an even more important and influential role in their lives than family or pastors.

2) Young adults want to be led, but they don’t want to be told what to do. They want to know the truth but don’t want someone to else to be their source of understanding that truth. They want to discover and develop their relationship with God in small, loosely structured peer groups.

3) Young Adults are notoriously spontaneous, they have bible studies at Huddle House at 2 in the morning. They break out in a prayer meeting after worship practice on a Thursday afternoon, but they blend in and disappear on Sunday morning or don’t even show up to service.

The role of the pastor that wants to successfully reach young adults must expand beyond simply preaching and teaching; to intentionally, but not too obviously, creating Jesus centered, social situations, where discovering the Scripture happens in small groups.

This highly friendship oriented, highly spontaneous, seemingly disorganized feel, makes for a style of ministry that scares many pastors to death. It feels ambiguous, fuzzy, uncommitted, unstructured, and worst of all, un-measurable.

It’s not the long ball. It’s small ball.

It’s messy, but it wins.

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton

I LOVE HOMOSEXUALS

I love homosexuals.

But, the reality is–that if you think you can be a Christian and never come into conflict with the ways and choices of unbelieveing people or what your body desires, you’re mistaken–it’s not possible.

The word of God cannot be unloving, nor is it outdated. Furthermore, it is not vague about same sex relationships (see passage below). We must lovingly live in light of this innerant biblical truth out as followers of Jesus–or we are ignoring the Words of Jesus. himself who said “his word would not pass away”. If we choose to directly and un-repentantly disobey the bible how can we say we know or love God?

God loves homosexuals–enough to die on a cross to give them the power to overcome the temptation and orientation life experiences have thrown their way. In the same way, I believe Jesus offers me and every other heterosexual man and woman the power to overcome the temptation/orientation to misdirect our sexuality in adultery, promiscuity, pornography etc…

I love homosexuals enough to walk through the season of discipleship that overcoming any sexual sin requires.  So should you, as a Christian.

I want to let the Word speak for itself:

Romans 1:18-32 (ESV)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Pastor Dalton

Pastor Dalton