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Interview with Dustin Whittington

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
July 3, 2019 4:38 pm

Interview with Dustin Whittington

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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July 3, 2019 4:38 pm

05-12-19 Interview with Dustin Whittington by Truth for a New Generation

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Best-selling author, speaker and advocate for Christian apologetics Dr. Alex McFarland, best-selling author and apologist Dylan Burroughs together bringing you truths for a new generation. This is TMG radio. I recently read a statistic that in secular schools, 54% of high schoolers say that it is not possible to know whether or not God exists.

Welcome to TMG radio hi Alex McFarland here and will give a talk today about young people reaching young people the gospel of Jesus Christ and that stat really stopped me in my tracks and you're always there been lost people and is always in any generation acute segment of pop patient needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. But I think about also campus Crusade for Christ. This goes back 50 years with Bill Bright and Yvonne at Bright, the founders of campus Crusade, but Bill Bright, many, many years ago said if a person has not come to Christ by their mid-20s, the odds go down that they ever will. And then they said by about age 21. If a person has not made a salvation decision by age 21. With every passing year, the odds go down that they ever will. And now it's estimated that it's around age 18. If a person has not made a decision to follow Christ to put their faith in Jesus by around age 18.

The odds go down that they ever will.

Now of course we know stories of people getting saved it at all sorts of age is in fact a dear friend of ours that does nursing home ministry has led many people to Christ in assisted living and nursing homes and praise God for that.

But my point is that it's best to reach people for Christ. The younger they are and somebody that I've met that is being used by God to do that and he's become just a very close friend and colleague over the years and is one of the people that really really impresses use his name is Dustin Whittington and is on staff at one of America's great churches rockfish church which is In re Ford North Carolina which is near Fayetteville, but Dustin is our guest today and he's administered to students at rockfish and I wanted to have them on because like few people I know God is using him to do it. They are reaching and growing disciples and they they've got an incredible ministry and I would encourage you if you're looking to jumpstart your church's outreach to all ages and especially young people, check out rockfish church, but Dustin thanks for taking some time to be with me and God bless you. Welcome to TMG radio yeah Alex, thanks so much.

I love being part of this and in all that you brought to me you're more of a friend to me than I ever could be. Really appreciate the well, you know, I first met you as if my memory serves me correctly, was probably in 2012, I came here to speak and doubt have been back since then. And I know you didn't grow up and find yourself on the staff of a major church just on day one what what is your background and how did God bring you to the point where your Dustin ever really unique story and that I started coming to rockfish when I was in the sixth grade I walked into this church and was just really really turned off the lights were not know it was it was all it was a it was a weird environment.

The music was loud, lights were non-up but it was attractive. It just wasn't something that was used to and and and long Univest for just a little bit. I amend him in the six grade and I meet Courtney, who is now my wife. We met here rockfish church when when I was in the sixth grade and I told her in the seventh grade. I said some snarky remark and she looked at me and she said Dustin I feel bad for your future wife so professionally and alone is where you guys in the six grade like 12 or 13 years old while attending the youth group here rockfish and so a been a part of the organizational log is this is what I know this is what I grew up in a minute of the beyond that, you know we can't. I came on the staff knows that when I was a freshman or sophomore in high school I was and that I was doing the custodial work around the church and and really in that time pastor Dan Stanley hit he took what I say a chance on me. He believed in me. He believed that God had a call on the life and forever grateful for that, but him, along with several others here rockfish church of have poured so much into me over the years and just give me opportunity after opportunity to just test the waters that that that I felt like God was calling me to summon that I'm doing those things and over the years became more and more involved in the student ministry here rockfish church and and today that that's what I'm doing on the director rockfish students and that that's my job here. I love that's got to be pretty special that you often probably meet sixth graders and is it ever because you think back when you were that sixth-grader ignores rockfish or certainly and I love all of connecting with the parents and my first thought of my first comment on the top of the yeah met my wife here in the six grade and they look at me with these big old eyes like oh my goodness might get out of there but you've got a beautiful family on.

They are also in your office here. These two big pictures of of your girls appear in one of their ages. Now ED is three and Piper is. She's one years old shall be two in November and then a minute will you know you personify in this church really does personify the two things that God will use to save this nation and he's done it throughout history, great families, great churches. Let's talk for minute and the will have to pick this up after the first break on the state of student ministry in the 21st century. In my opinion and I'm not saying this to flatter you but you guys are really the flagship of of what churches can be to evangelize young people. What is your assessment of the state of youth ministry in America 2019 for us. It is been eight just this huge shining light on this one area which is connection and for us is not being connected to the youth group is not being connected to the youth pastor Leah put a huge emphasis on connection to Jesus and connection to Jesus mission reaching the next generation. That's our theme of today's edition of TMG radio Alex McFarlane here talking with Dustin Whittington, TMG radio will be back from.

I am a watchman ministries. Here's today's I am a watchman minute this side of heaven.

You may likely never see the full impact of your good work. Consider Moses he did many great things, but likely never knew about. One of the greatest things he did he seek one of the people.

Moses led out of Egypt was a man named nation nation had a son named Salman in those millions of people is doubtful. Moses even knew Solomon but because Moses was faithful.

Solomon was born and later he married Rahab and they had a son Bo asked who married Ruth and they were the grandparents to King David. Jesus was not a descendent of Moses, Jesus was a descendent of Solomon whose new life in the promised land was made possible by what God did through Moses, so do not grow weary in doing good. The seeds we plant will blossom God's way and in God's perfect time. People will be faithful, be a watchman, I am a If you're a Christian parent.

You of course want to instill a biblical view of life in the hearts of your children, your pastor, you want to offer ministry that draws young families to your church. This is Alex McFarlane encouraging you to check out my new book and video curriculum. The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask about Christianity. I interviewed hundreds of children ages 5 to 12 and we address actual questions from actual children. The spiritual issues that are on the minds of your kids the book and video lessons are great for groups of any size and was produced with the goal of equipping kids to stand strong for Christ in any situation.

The 21 toughest questions your kids will ask the book study guide and video series. You'll find that AFA you know Romans 116 says for. I'm not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes. That's what your kids need before they go to college.

That's the theme for the 2019 TMG Christian apologetics youth camp July 29 through August 2 at Camp Caleb North Carolina speakers include of course Alex McFarlane along with Daniel Ritchie, Andy Lawrenson and Vicki Addison exciting worship every night, and rocksolid teaching every day. And yes, it's a summer camp with all the summer camp activities and kids would expect the TMG Christian apologetics youth camp July 29 through August 2 at Camp Caleb to learn more and to register, call 800.

Yes, God, one 800 yes God in the number one or email info and truth for a new and then will go back to TMG radio Alex would finally remind you that the newly redesigned truth for a new generation website and now you can find and that's truth for truth for a new Also, we got this app that it works on all mobile devices. It's a free download and my schedule is on there were I'm speaking were the trees for Nguyen and apologetics to work is going and is but also this week on an archive a searchable database of questions questions from folks like you and questions from all ages and there on the website there on the app things like how do we know the Bible is the word of God and what about the resurrection of Jesus did. Can we be sure it really happened. There are out another 80 some questions we've just posted were adding one or two a week. We probably got an archive of over 500 questions and answers that we're in the process of uploading the check out website check out the app and let's together be equipped to stand strong for the faith will my guest on today's program who is helping the next generation do that Dustin Whittington had rockfish church down here in the greater Fayetteville area. You know talk about families. Let me ask you this because you all are quite literally on the doorstep of Fort Bragg, the largest military base in our nation on what are the dynamics of ministry to the families that come to Fort Bragg. Are there some unique dynamics about ministry in a military town. Dustin, yet there there are several there are several different unique you know just different challenges that we face. Internet can stretch everything from unit students are really does you know, used to .cn mom and dad on a regular basis in a Weatherby worker deployment like a thing, but I'm even even more than that out loud.

I would narrow down to one that that that we could speak to and that would be that the dynamic of the students they come in there here, and as a rule they're only here for short time because they're going to end me know if we put what we know that the military brat terminology wears home the home is wherever the military sends us and so the students they come to rockfish church and as a rule we have them for about two years.

They connect and then they they leave and so one of those things that you know one of the barriers that we face is sometimes you have the students who come in in and of connecting with people is not a top priority for them because they know that the pain that's involved with leaving and Saturday yeah and so there they get used to that saying these goodbyes and there there here and then they're gone and so that would be essay one of the challenges we face is is really just trying to take that those two years and capitalize on them as best we can. How do you build relationships in that kind of a context and as you're saying this I'm thinking about the world itself you know everybody so busy.

Everybody's on their devices you know in a way technology has divided us. How do you build relationships, how you train your people to build relationships in this why five. Hurry up this crazy world that we are in yet so lightweight it goes back to the.

The very first thing that we, we, our our sin to our Ark volunteers.

The people who serve in ministry here in rockfish students that we say this we say rockfish students exist to make a quip and release fully committed followers of Jesus. So in that art. Our number one goal everything that we do is to equip and empower students to do the work that Jesus called them to do so.

Connecting with them, and in this culture.

I think sometimes we we capitalize on it. They know we we utilize social media in a way that we can note bring home deliverables of truth in knowing that, thanks of what do you say to the churches because in as you and I were talking about Dustin, 85% of America's churches or hundred and 50 people or less front unit. There are some very large churches. Praise God for some incredibly wonderful smaller churches, praise God. But what you say to the church who says look we don't have a lot of resources you know where it were not in a big city like Fayetteville can any church today build a youth group regardless of where they are, absolutely, they can absolutely, I believe wholeheartedly.

If you have students you have the opportunity to to really just cut it. You note minister to them. No matter the context where you're out or anything in that regard.

How do we do it, but I say the number one emphasis is not on how many students can we put in a room absolute number one emphasis is how many students can we connect to the mission so we talk about churches all over the world hundred 50 less whatever that looks like a if the emphasis is on how can we connect the students to the gospel.

How can we connect to the local church.

I think all too often, youth groups, focus on and and not even not even intentionally, but sometimes as a byproduct is what happens would build the youth group at all suddenly look and guess what we have we have church plant wheat we have a whole church inside of the inside of the church is completely separated. They have their own pastor. They had their own worship team and that, thing for us. It's been about creating a bridge, a conduit to get students from student ministry connected to the church.

Thank you. I applaud you saying that that is not just a church within the church, but either even though youth do some things on their own, but I've always wanted when I was a youth pastor for 11 years. We wanted the young people to understand that they are part of the body of Christ and they are a part of the local church. It's not just us down and fellowship hall.

There are part of the church.

How do you communicate that wheat wheat with a diverse write out the Corinthians as is the hand can't say to the foot.

I don't need you and for us. We have here rockfish church.

We have six through 12th graders who God has given gifts and abilities to them their God-given gifts and abilities that they can utilize for the glory of God. And so for us it's been an very intentional goal of creating opportunities for those students to take these gifts and abilities and first figure out what they are. The unit we talk about identity.

Students don't know where they fit so one of the main goals we have is just helping them figure out what their shape is where they fit and then after they have that figured out what where at least an idea of what that looks like we start showing them opportunities within the context of rockfish, church and ministry in and around the area that they can take these gifts and abilities that they have and they can use them, whatever that looks like of the Lord called them to ministry. We create opportunities for them to to to utilize those things and you know I think about Ephesians 412 that talks about the Saints doing the work of administration and we got a break. I would talk with Dustin Whittington and youth ministry in the 21st century from rockfish church. The Fayetteville North Carolina area stating TG radios back after this at liberty University earn more than a degree in the satisfaction of seeing what you can accomplish and what God can accomplish more than 600░ options from SOC 100% online more discover God's truth through every degree at liberty University where we train champions for Christ good at liberty\exploit landmark liberty.\Exploit landmark as we take a break, let me tell you about 310 three books that will answer questions that come your way from others or even yourself about the Christian faith. Number 110 answers for skeptics today. Skeptics are looking for authenticity, integrity, and straightforward faith in this book, you learn how to answer intimidating questions.

Identify the roof issues behind those questions and dismantled the spiritual bombshell dropped by nonbelievers. Those usually end up just being a puff of smoke, number 210 answers for atheists were Alex looks at the philosophical assumptions at the root of atheism and agnosticism exposing logical historical and conceptual fallacy. Alex shares clear explanations of beliefs and biblical answers to those questions that often leave you stumped, but no more in number three. The 10 most common objections to Christianity and how to answer the know many Christians hear these objections and have a crisis of faith, but Alex and Dylan have been around. They visited many places and talk with many people through the years and can offer straight answers that will give you confidence and understanding about your beliefs, so the 310s once again 10 answers for skeptics 10 answers for atheists and the 10 most common objections to Christianity and how to answer find them wherever Christian books are sold for Alex Ephesians 411 and 12 says that God gave pastor's teachers and evangelists for the saints for the work of the ministry and it's an exciting thing to know Christ. It's a privilege to serve Christů Are doing that and were talking with Dustin Whittington who is doing that, by the way I want to say that Tristan the generation ministries exists for a lot of reasons to evangelize the lost and equipped the saved but especially young people and and I believe the future the country hinges on great churches and great families and I do want to remind you listen very carefully.

Every summer we do an apologetics youth camp the summer of 2019.

That's going to be July 29 through August 2 will be at camp KO in eastern North Carolina. And I camp Kayla's a beautiful beautiful camp, world-class, and there there all the Things zip lines, ropes courses, kayaking, and volleyball and all that stuff but will be doing 15 sessions on apologetics Christian worldview. My different Andy Lorentzen will be there in my opinion one of the preeminent youth leaders in America and Mickey Addison from the American family radio network. Just an amazing thinker and speaker will Addison great food, great friends, great memories, but the most important thing of all the biblical worldview, so if you've got middle school through high schoolers.

And yes, adult leaders are welcome to come, please go to the website truth for a new there is still time it is made, but there is absolutely time to sign up. Last year we had teens from nine states so the camp is coming up. Don't miss out on a week that will count for a lifetime truth for new generation camp July 29 through August 2. You know, before the break we were talk about getting students engaged and I applaud what you're doing because here's one thing that is kind of a core value of ours ministry that is multigenerational. Sometimes I get worried when young people are sequestered away and they never interact with anybody but their own peer group and talk to me about making sure the body of Christ. You know the guys girls beyond the old toddlers use seniors. How do you get young people to minister in all levels of the church. So for us it's one we we we have the opportunities you build a church like the opportunity to serve no matter what their there are simply things that happen even all throughout the week but just on a Sunday morning in O'Hare rockfish, you know, we have in about 2000 people come through the doors on Sunday and for us.

It's about an opportunity of creating opportunities for these the students to serve, we just pointed at him with a guys there there there are spots within that within the context of guest services okay was at me.

Will we we have these outlined values right here with in guest services out welcome center greeting people. All these different things, making us feel welcome and fries.

It is been about lowering those barriers and said you know for the only barrier that we have is gotta be at least in the six grade to serve and so we have all just tell you of our tech team are guest services team our photography. I could go on and on through the list are our our worship team. These these teams are full of students who may have God-given gifts and abilities and we just pointed at the opportunities and get you can do that unit with junk.

I guess culture that S is been what it is a yes quote hey cannot cannot serve in this will yeah you can in order to show you how to do it will empower you how to to do it in it for us it's just been so fruitful. You note showing these these guys. These are what your gifts and abilities are missing out. What can I use them here have absolutely can. One thing I love about rockfish. There's just such an atmosphere of grace and just a good heart. Here I know there are churches where some people do a thing and they grasp it and they wouldn't let anybody else get involved because this is my little turf. Yes, this is my, how have you guys help people understand that it's it's all God's ministry that is not my ministry. I it's it's Christ's ministry that that is your your your spot on and and and him not to say we haven't seen those things, even throughout our ministry here. There's always that and and and part of that you can appreciate an element of that when somebody takes ownership of something.

You know those are the kind of people that you want on your team but not ownership to the detriment of the ministry for it for us.

You note regarding that has always been about having a culture where we want to train other people to do what were doing and how can you replicate yourself just the way that the church here. Rockfish has been built as it's not built around one person you know if you come on one Sunday and listen to the teaching is to be somebody completely different teaching next week. It's not a it's not a personality driven church is not a superstar driven church and for us and you know that starts on the on the stage at the end that starts in the pulpit. People see that people who serve in ministry see that and so you know we want people to take an element of ownership in their ministry but not to the detriment of the ministry and so for us is that it is been one of those things.

It we've infused consistently in our culture that is not about me it's not about this person is not about this pastors know about the senior pastor. It's about Jesus and it is floated is continuously been something we can every day try to infuse in the culture and we we've seen the fruit of it, but it comes it comes with consistently pushed back saying I don't own this this is Jesus or we don't have a lot of time left. But Dustin, are there any one or two resources that you would make people aware of may be any authors that you've read or websites to build a great outreach to students anything you'd recommend you note and and this of the like of pushing your book, but I'll just tell you, abandon faith, I will tell you Alex's has really been for me an eye-opener that that that that that book and in the research they did throughout. That was really good for me and and others tell you the other one. John Maxwell's 21 irrefutable laws of leadership I think. Check it if somebody could read John Maxwell's 21 irrefutable laws of leadership before going the student ministry I think would help you put your focus on on billing that lead team that leadership team a minute really see the fruit of in unit one of the things I appreciate about you and the staff here and Dr. Stanley guys are lifelong learners and I want to say. If you're in ministry for your pastor or support staff or volunteer or or just every Christian. Don't ever let your your mind and your skill set get stagnant. Be a leader be a reader, go to seminars always be growing and learning. Because as as you allude to John Maxwell. We all have some degree of leadership entrusted to us and it behooves us to be the best that we can for our Savior. Absolutely stupid so folks.

Thanks for listening to 10 G radio again to check out the website. Check out the app but are called to everyone of you to present explained to defend the gospel.

Make your life an investment in Christ's great commission because knowing Christ and serving Christ bringing others to Christ.

That's what counts for eternity. Truth for a new in association with Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries exists to equip Christians with the biblical worldview through conferences and camps for information about upcoming events visit for a new or give us a call at 877 yes God one that's 877 yes, God, and the number one TMG radio is made possible by the friends of Alex McFarland evangelistic ministries PO Box 102310 NC 27404. That's PO Box 10231, North Carolina 27404. Give or truth for a new

Thanks for listening and join us again next time. As we bring you more true for a new generation on TMG radio

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