Daniel Darling, author, pastor, speaker

How to Pastor Single Adults

Lisa Anderson is the editor of Boundless, one of the finest resources for young adults in the evangelical world. She's also host of the Boundless Podcast, where she interviews leading thinkers on issues of singleness, sexuality, marriage, and culture. I had the chance to interview Lisa this week for Leadership Journal. I asked her questions on singleness, sexuality, and ministry. This is one of the questions: Some pastors and church leaders face a tension between encouraging marriage and yet not diminishing the gift--and even calling--of singleness. How would you advise them?Pastors need to invite singles into the life and leadership of the church, treating them not as "kids" but as functioning adults with vital spiritual, emotional, and physical assets for the congregation. There's a delicate balance between encouraging single young adults in their current life stage and experience while still elevating marriage and acknowledging that marriage is in most people's future. Over 90...

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Preaching and Baseball

In an article for Leadership Journal, I compare ministry to baseball. Pastors have a tendency to "swing for the fences" with every sermon, but we're better off working hard on the little things of preaching in order to give our people a lifetime of good spiritual food: Ministry is very much like baseball in this way. There will be the home run hitters—exceptionally gifted preachers. But most who lead God's people will be the grinders. The Belhorns, Glanvilles, and Bakos who show up every week and feed God's people truth in faithful, but unspectacular fashion. This is not an excuse for mediocrity. It's not a rant against celebrity. Every generation has genuinely gifted servants with ministries beyond their congregations. We should rejoice at their large kingdom impact. "There many not be many noble," Paul says. But there are some and we thank God for their giftedness. Still, I wonder if the rest, called to...

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Thinking and Rethinking Social Media Engagement

From my latest for ERLC.com: Has there ever been a time in history where celebrities are as close to the people? In the old days, if I wanted to ask Tim Keller a question, I’d have to look up his church in the phone book (yes, a phone book). Today I can tweet him a question and get an answer. Social media allows us to join tribes based on common interests. It can be leveraged for social good. And often drives conversation around important issues. But social media can also bring out the crazy in all of us. Somehow even the best of us throw off restraint behind the keyboard and find a strange new hubris. We say things about people or even to people that we’d never say if the conversation was happening in flesh and blood. The most clever and the manipulative among us are able to form critical narratives about people...

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Christians Around the Digital Water Cooler

When I got my first job in ministry right out of high-school, the internet was just starting to be a thing. I remember how excited I was when we installed our first broadband access at this growing church. Broadband back then meant “anything faster dial-up.” It was a major accomplishment to simply have a website, with pictures, even! Social media wasn’t a concept, much less a job description. Most of the online conversations we had with colleagues and friends happened over email. A few of us rebels used instant messaging. It is quite different now. The web has matured and is now at the epicenter of the marketplace. Not only do we have better broadband, we can watch five minute cat videos (not that there’s anything wrong with that). We also gather around a digital water cool on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other networks the kids tell me about. Mostly this is fun and useful. Has there ever been...

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