Books authored by Dr. James Dyet. Purchase on

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Humbling Words

“What were the years that you pastored our church? I know I was pretty young, but you had quite an impact on me and I never forgot you. We all had very fond memories of you and your family.”

These kind words reached me today from a woman in Pennsylvania who was just ten years old when I resigned in 1967 from the church I pastored in Altoona. Her parents, brother, and sisters had started attending the church when I was the pastor. She tracked me down the other day after reading a few articles I had written for a Sunday school paper she received in the bulletin of the church she attends near Bedford, Pennsylvania.

It is humbling to think the Lord would use what I said or did so many years ago to help shape the life of a ten year old. We must never minimize the importance of ministering to children. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.

Another woman who was about eight or nine in the Altoona church, when I was the pastor, will be visiting our daughter Sherrie in Denver next week. They have maintained their friendship since 1967. They will be present September 5, when I preach at Spring Valley Chapel, several miles north of Colorado Springs.

Pastoral ministry offers many challenges, but the dividend of knowing how the Lord has shaped the lives of His “children” makes it all worthwhile.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Shall We Gather at the Park?

Shall we gather at the park? A park is a fun place, isn’t it? Well, at least one church thinks so; it gathers at a Denver park every Sunday for fun-filled worship. The pastor says his church doesn’t teach any doctrine; everyone just tries to have fun. Maybe he thinks doctrine might ruin a day of fun in the park as quickly as a sudden downpour.

I’m not opposed to fun at the right time, but shouldn’t a church teach doctrine?

The Greek word didache, translated “doctrine” in the New Testament, derives from the word didasko, meaning, “I teach.” Didache in the New Testament refers to the body of teaching—the truth—that Jesus and His apostles communicated to believers. The believers who witnessed the formation of the church on the Day of Pentecost “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (didache, Acts 2:42). Based on what they learned, the early believers developed such a strong faith that they attracted thousands to Christ, forged a bond of close fellowship, endured severe persecution, and launched a vigorous relief program. Attention to doctrine produced dynamic living.

The apostle Paul instructed Timothy: “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine” (1 Tim. 5:17). Also, he urged Titus to set a good example in a number of areas, including “doctrine” (Titus 2:7).

Strange, isn’t it, that New Testament believers assigned such a high priority to doctrine in the life of the early church? The apostles never asked, “Are we having fun yet?” Perhaps there were no parks in the first century!