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7 Reasons I’ve Decided To Be A Bivocational Pastor

Dream Big and Work Hard.001The church planting journey we are on has lead to several major changes in our lives. Moving 10 hours from family, living in a townhouse with a small yard, and tapping into savings to live have been just a few.

It’s also lead to some amazing conversations as husband and wife and some really candid conversations with God.

As I’ve matured in my faith over the years, I’ve had to move from asking God to help me deal with the situations of my life to asking Him what He wants me to learn in each situation.

Currently, I’ve been praying, talking and thinking a lot about financial provision.  While I have the faith God is going to provide for us, I still have a role to play.  The earth will produce our food, but God clearly told Adam mankind would have to work for it.

So, we have decided to change directions a bit.  We had been thinking our financial provision would come through donations.  And, while I see nothing wrong with this approach to ministry it wasn’t right for us.

We have decided that I will be a bivocational pastor instead.  Now, you either don’t care, think bivocational pastors lack faith or think it’s a great idea. For me and my family, this is the right decision; here’s why.

  1. A bivocational pastor is not reliant on the income from the church; therefore, he tends to speak more freely.  There isn’t a foothold for the devil to lie and say “whoa there fella if you say that people might get made and hold back their tithe.”  In fact, I’ve worked in the past with many pastors who wanted to make a certain decision but were afraid to because of their job security.  For me, I can struggle with what others think of me; so I could easily fall into this.
  2. Being a bivocational pastor will give me contact with unchurched people to witness to that otherwise I wouldn’t have the opportunity.
  3. I’m better positioned to model “every member a minister”.  In other words, being in the marketplace isn’t an excuse to not participate in the work of Kingdom building.
  4. The church will have more of its monies available to do mission work.  Now, for some churches they believe that paying a full-time salary is the best way to allocate their funds.  I support them.  God has entrusted them to handle their funds prayerfully the best way they can.  The same is true for Coastal City Church.  And, as the senior pastor, I believe this is what’s best for our funds.
  5. By necessity, I’ll have to invite and equip more people to do the work of the church….which is what we are called to do in the first place.
  6. I believe this will make me a better communicator of the Gospel.  I’ll stay in touch more with how the world talks, what their fears are, what excuses they have holding them back from accepting Jesus.  There are 5.5 billion people on the planet out of the 7.5 billion people alive that have no relationship with Jesus Christ.  I for one feel urgency to reach these people anywhere and everywhere I can.  I need to be the best communicator I can be.
  7. I’ll have to be hyper aware of my time management and productivity.  I can easily major in the minors if I have margin in my calendar.  By working with my wife to prioritize my time I’ll be a more attentive Christ-follower, husband, father, friend, leader, and pastor. I’ll have to say no to knucklehead stuff and focus on the important.

So, thanks to a good man and a great leader, Kirby Hasseman, I’m hanging out my shingle to put my creative side to work helping people develop promotional programs to achieve business/organizational goals under the Hasseman Marketing umbrella.

In other words, if you want or need a promotional product with your logo on it to help with client acquisition, employee retention, resale, customer appreciation, etc….I’m your new go-to guy.  Together we will answer some key questions in leading us to the perfect product that helps you achieve the goals you have.  From pens to shirts, hats to calendars and teddy bears to signs; I’ve got you covered.

Thanks for reading this update on the Dinglers.

Please pray for:

  • For provision of time, talent and finances in achieving the strategic plan for Coastal City Church
  • The building of new relationships and opportunities for me to invest in the success of other organizations by setting them up with promotional product programs that work for them.
  • Continued blessings and growth in our family’s relationships and health.

 

Consumed By The Call,

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The Five Stages of Parenting

Five Stages of ParentingOne of the questions I’ve been asked most by parents goes something like this.  “Can you help me connect with my 12-year-old daughter?”  or “I just don’t get it, we use to be so close.  What happened?”

The way we approach parenting our children need to change from child to child and as each child get’s older.  This is one of the things that can make positive parenting so challenging.  Just as we think we have it figured out, our kids change.

But isn’t that what you were going for?  A kid who is maturing and changing into the productive adult God desires them to be?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a road map or some guidelines on “how” we should be parenting our kids as they grow older?  Well, there is.

One of the things I’ve been able to document about kids over my years of working with thousands of youth in summer camp is the developmental and relational changes they go through from one age group to another.  I’ve literally seen an entire generation grow up; one week at a time, once per year, year after year.   And, I’ve seen trends in age gouging that I’m now applying to my own parenting.

Here is a brief overview of the five stages of parenting.  I’ve adopted the wording of each stage that I heard Andy Stanley use.

STAGE ONE:

Birth to approximately 1 year.

Connecting.  It’s important in the first several months for parents and kids to connect.  A baby cries, and get’s comforted.  A baby has every need met by a parent.  A baby cries again and get’s comforted.  This cycle continues and the child realizes that mom and dad are there for them.  Mom and dad will take care of their needs.  Mom and dad love them.  Mom and dad make life safe.  Mom and dad will be there.

STAGE TWO:

Ages 1 to 5.

Discipline.  Laying down a foundation of cause and effect will help your kids believe you when they are older and you tell them; “this relationship is going to hurt.”  or “that behavior is bad for you.”

STAGE THREE:

Ages 6 to 12.

Training.  In this stage of parenting, you’ll still be responding to and correcting behavior, but you’ll be adding in more training.  Both in regards to skills, but also habits.  Study habits, chores, choosing good friends, work ethic, etc.

STAGE FOUR:

Ages 13 to 18.

Coaching.  In this stage of parenting, the name of the game is proactive vs reactive.  With kids at this age, parents really want to focus on upcoming decisions vs how the school day just went.

STAGE FIVE:

Ages 18 and up.

Friendship.  God didn’t give you kids to fill your need for companionship and friendship.  That’s one reason you get married.  But, once your kids are 18 or older; they should be living their life.  It cracks me up to no end how many moms call me asking if I’m hiring because their 20 year old “is looking for a job”.  No they aren’t…mom’s looking for a job for them.  (PS.  Moms, I never hire anyone over the age of 18 who’s mom or dad calls me to inquire about a job.  Never.)

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The Book On Marriage I Recommend For Everyone

007.001As I write this, we are in the process of getting ready to move to a new state.

It’s a lot to prepare for, and to be honest….I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed.  That is until I sat down and sketched out a plan.  Putting all the “to-do’s” in sequence helped me relax.  Seeing that certain things would happen, that would allow for other things to happen later helped me find focus.

This same holds true in marriage.

A lot of us believe that once the honeymoon is over, our marriage is complete.  But marriage is a forever journey.  It’s a complex relationship that grows and changes.  Because it’s two people who hopefully grow, but for sure will change.

My wife and I didn’t want to just date forever, we wanted more for and from our relationship.

So, we got engaged.  But, we still wanted more for and from our relationship….so we got married.

And today, we still want more for and from our marriage.  But what is it?  How do we get it?

Isn’t the sequence of marriage; Date -> Engagement -> Marriage?  I mean, most people think that’s all there is to it.  I know I did.

Actually, there aren’t 3.  There are 7.

Enter, The 7 Rings of Marriage.

The 7 Rings of Marriage Book CoverAuthor Jackie Bledsoe Jr and his wife Stephana have captured the stages all marriages could and should experience.  I believe stagnating in any of these stages (“rings”) is the open door to failure in marriage.

Stop at one ring, and your marriage is dead.

As you read through each ring of marriage, you’ll see marriages around you and your marriage in new light.  You and your spouse will have a shared and common language to use in evaluating your marriage, in fact there is a tool at the end of the book to help you with this.

Helping couples get on the same page of where their marriage is is one of the most powerful outcomes of reading this book.  Once you know where you are you can decide where you want to go.  Then, you can develop a plan.  And in your plan, find peace and focus in your marriage journey.

Order your copy today: 7 Ring of Marriage.

 

Family Fun With Glow Sticks (Hint: You Don’t Need To Wait For Night)

Glow Sticks are perfect for an afternoon of family fun.  But most people think that you have to wait until it’s dark outside to do activities with Glow Sticks.  Not true friend.  Watch the above video and try out some of these family fun ideas.

Spiritual Foundations

While doing these activities with your family you will have a wonderful opportunity to connect glow sticks and the light that they produce to God. Who, after all, is the light of the world. Talk about the time that Jesus said “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill can’t be hidden. Also, people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house.“In the same way, let your light shine in front of others. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will praise your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.

When we have Jesus living in us, He wants to shine through us. Ask you kids how much fun it would be to get the glow sticks, only to hide them under their bed. Not fun at all, the point of the glow sticks is to play with them. The point of God living in us to is share Him with others. What’s the point of having Jesus live in us, if we are only going to hide Him from those around us.

Recommended Products for this Family Fun Activity

Link to 50 glow stick Necklaces

Link to 100 glow stick bracelets

Link to 25 6 inch glow stick tubes

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How To Build A Pop Bottle “Rocket” Launcher

At one time in my life, this website was dedicated to helping leaders lead at work and at home.

While these are core foundations I still teach, I now offer the “leading at home” content through new blog posts on the website of the weeknight church in Virginia Beach we lead called Coastal City Church.

Now on EricDingler.com, I focus on providing content that helps brand leaders develop, deliver and promote their brand.  Learn more by checking out my about page.

I leave this post live on this site because it’s viewed several times per day.  I still enjoy knowing that people are finding this helpful in creating a fun activity for kids.

 

 

Don’t let this family fun activity intimidate you. It’s a lot easier than you might think and it’s crazy cool! Build the launcher once, and you have it for years to come. Plus, you have a built-in reason to enjoy some root beer floats. 🙂

More Than Just Fun

In addition to being fun, these activities can also do the following for you and your family.

  • Teach your kids about using toolsRocket on launcher ready to be sent flying
  • Encourage creativity
  • Have some quality family time enjoying root beer floats
  • Teach your kids how to read and follow instructions

 

 

Barrier Busters To Help Make These Activities Easier

Launcher Schematic

Downloadables

 

Variations

  • Use a different amount of rocks in the cone cup.
  • Put a different number of fins on the rocket
  • Try out more or less pressure

10 Questions To Ask Your Family (HINT: This Is How Your Family Get’s Healthier)

ID-10062569How are your spouse and kids really doing?

I mean, how are they feeling about where your family is headed over the next five years?

Do you know how you are feeling about the next five years and the direction you are headed?

Do you even know what direction you are headed?

Leading a family is like building an airplane while flying it at the same….it’s hard work.

You won’t drift into a healthy future for your family.  You have to be intentional.

And, the first place to start….know your family.

Can you answer these questions about/for everyone in your family:

  1. What is your greatest fear?
  2. What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
  3. Do you have a plan to improve something in yourself?
  4. What have you been realizing about yourself lately?
  5. Why do they think we are going in the right direction?  What about the wrong direction?
  6. What do you think is right with our family?
  7. What do you think is wrong with our family?
  8. What do you find confusing about our family? (ie. you say one thing, but act a different way)
  9. What do they think is missing in our family? (ie. eating dinner together as a family)
  10. What is the one question you have wanted to ask me, but never have?

You’ll have to do the hard work of creating a safe environment to ask and hear the answers to these questions.  Try going on a walk or driving around in the car.

You have to know the emotional, relational and spiritual condition of your family.

 

What questions do you think would be helpful to ask your family?

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