Welcome to ZachVanDyke.com

I’m excited you are checking out the website of a “grace junkie” like me. Here I will blog (hopefully on a regular basis) and post sermons. I’d love to hear your thoughts on grace too!

Besides being a “grace junkie”, I’m also a husband, dad, friend, Teaching Minister at Summit Church (www.summitconnect.org), and Key Life’s “Young White Guy.” (www.keylife.org) I’m messed up…but trying.

I look forward to connecting with you.

So glad it’s all about grace. - Zach

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Known – Part 1

Known

In my first sermon preached at Summit Church on June 23, 2013, I spoke about our strong desire to be known. Yet it is also our greatest fears. What leads us to feel that we need to hide ourselves from God and others? By examining God’s Word, we find, no matter how far we run or how hard we try to hide, He is continuously seeking us.

Click on the links below to watch the sermon on youtube.

Known – Part 1A: http://t.co/w5jmPQU9j1

Known – Part 1B: http://t.co/2YGvD0N6jS

Known – Part 1C: http://t.co/hyEKgCfoXk

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To The Groom

This past weekend I officiated my 3rd wedding. I got what I thought was an unusual request from the bride. She asked if I would speak a charge to the groom right before she walked down the aisle. I started out thinking I would speak to him about his responsibilities as a husband but this is what I ended up with…

Bo, before your bride is presented to you…I know it is already been a long day and to wait even 2 minutes more must seem excruciating…but I want to remind you of something.

In the book of Hebrews, in chapter 12, it says:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witness, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Today, Bo, you are surrounded by a great cloud of witness and not just those that you can see but all the people of God that have come before. You are part of a much bigger family. A much bigger story. And today, we are all cheering you on as you embark on this new leg of your race.

The word “race” in the Greek is the word “agon.” I just graduated from seminary on Friday so I thought I would show off a bit. I should also tell you I got a “D” in Greek. But I digress. We get our word “agony” from the Greek word for race. Now you, Bo, are a strapping, athletic, and according to your friends last night, extremely competitive young lad. So the idea of entering a race for you is probably more exciting than daunting. But as an athlete, you also don’t enter a race blindly. You know it’s not going to be easy. It will be hard work. And you will inevitably experience pain and suffering.

When the book of Hebrews was written, the greatest race of that day was the Pentathlon. This race included not only long distance running, but also jumping and javelin and ended with a wrestling boxing match in which the participants wore hard leather gloves that protected their hands but disfigured and bloodied their opponents.

I know your story, Bo. I have watched as you have run hard after Becca’s heart. Time and time again you have fought for her. You have suffered for her heart. Today you don’t pass the finish line. Today will feel like you have won and it should…but in reality, my brother, are just starting. Continue to run hard after her heart. Continue to fight for her. And be willing to bleed for her.

My favorite picture from my wedding day is the one of me seeing my bride for the first time. In my face, you can see the beauty of the one set before me. She was the joy set before me.

The book of Hebrews reminds us to “fix our eyes on Jesus…who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning it’s shame.”

What was the joy set before Jesus? What didn’t he have? He had glory. He had holiness. He experienced perfect relationship within the Trinity. What was the one thing Jesus didn’t have before he entered the race? What joy was set before him as he was being disfigured and bloodied? What was he beholding as he climbed onto that wooden cross? You.

In this very next moment, Bo, you will know what it is for Jesus to see you.

Bo, behold your bride.

So glad it’s all about grace.

Zach

Zach seeing Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank God, I Have Good Works!

When I was asked to preach the Sunday after Christmas (or commonly known as “let the youth pastor preach Sunday”), I could pick any passage of Scripture. I went with the passage I like least – James 2:14-26. I don’t want to give away too much, but Jesus showed!

http://www.keylifemedia.com/ZachVanDyke/Thank_God_I_Have_Works.mp3

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Thoughts from a pastor’s kid/wife

Some people ask me how I know it’s all about grace – my wife, Kelly is one way. A huge way. You will see what I mean if you read this post. Kelly grew up as a pastor’s kid and now is married to me showing that God loves me a lot more than He loves her.

This week one of my heroes, someone I have looked up to since I was a teenager, resigned his position as Lead Pastor because of an affair. Earlier this year, another hero did the same due to alcohol abuse. And I have another hero who is still in ministry but his controlling, manipulative and narcissistic ways are increasing rapidly and his end is only a matter of time.

Steve Brown tells seminary students that the reason God called them to ministry is because He knew how bad they’d be if their job didn’t depend on them being good. The more pastors I meet and the more I hear their hearts, the more I believe Steve isn’t just being shocking but brutally truthful.

So why am I still pursuing this? Why am I studying for seminary exams this week? Because I think things will change. They have to! And I believe my pastor’s kid wife will be leading the change!

Here is something she wrote today that blew me away. I had to share it with you!

We are all human. Aren’t we? All except for our pastors. They are “called.” Set apart. Super-human. How could we ever follow them otherwise?

They must have the best quiet times. The best counsel. The best small talk. The best memory (who wants a pastor who doesn’t know their name and the name of their neighbor who’s hurting and their first cousin who has cancer).

They must be available and wise and leading in service and discipleship and constantly in prayer and communion with the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit and all the while remaining relatable and easy to connect with. 

They must have time for us when we need them and they must work hard according to the standard set by each individual in the congregation. After all, it is our money…well, God’s money and we must be good stewards.

Pastors must be accountable to anyone who wants an account and ready to hear the opinions, critiques, advice and “words from the Lord” offered by concerned parishioners.

Pastors must be able to forgive and not judge, although they are constantly scrutinized, and through all of this, they must be able to come home, leave work at work, and be there to love and cherish their families.

They must have a rock solid marriage that sets an example of Christ’s love for his church and their parenting must be grace-filled, thoughtful and patient…and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on…

But most of all, Sunday mornings! Sunday morning, we must laugh, weep, worship, be inspired. We want intellect that connects. Relatable but surreal experiences. 

Who the hell do we think we are?! The kids from ”Mary Poppins” making a list for the perfect solution? Well, I call bullshit!

We are killing people’s hearts. We are killing people’s marriages. We are building our “tower of Babels” and God is tearing them down.

No man can carry this pressure. No man can fulfill this expectation. Enough is enough! Someone has to speak up! And I think today it’s supposed to be me! Tomorrow it might be you.

I remember sitting in a church “family” meeting nearly 14 years ago watching my family’s life ripped apart. But that’s nothing special. The same is happening in another church somewhere at this very moment, I’m sure. I’ve always remembered the words shouted out at that meeting by my baby sister, “What about our family?!” That echoes often in my heart and it aches. 

What about a pastor’s family? What is left when everybody has had their share of him? What is left when we’ve shackled him to producing true, heartfelt messages each week – messages that we’d like him to be on the other side of – messages that show redemption, freedom from sin, obedience, wrestling – but completely wrestled though. We want the take away. We don’t want to join him in the struggle.

We are killing our pastors’ hearts. I believe, for our benefit, God continues to speak through them even so. But how could they not start to feel used, cold, exhausted, stuck and angry? What would you do if you weren’t free to not know something or not care for a little while. Ooh, that really scares us, doesn’t it?!

Your pastor is a man. He might be my husband. Or my dad. He’s somebody’s.

Your pastor has struggles and not just with consistency in his quiet times or obeying the traffic laws. Your pastor needs grace and community. Your pastor needs the freedom to be honest (and so does his wife). 

I believe God has called specific men, specific families, to be proclaimers – to live inside this professional ministry snow-globe, but it must look differently! I’m ready to knock down walls. I’m ready to re-think. I’m ready for the life and freedom that a life lived honestly can bring. It’s scary and it’s new.

The death that results from the false, fake, over-produced, over-worked, over-analyzed, over-exhausted Pastor will not take my family down without a fight! I will fight for my husband, for my dad, and for all pastors.

Something new must start today! 

And that is one reason I know it’s all about grace.

Zach

 

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Satan’s Mouthpiece

Yesterday I was accused of saying something that pleased Satan by someone I consider a brother…ON MY FACEBOOK WALL! At first, I was offended and hurt, but then I started thinking, it’s true. I do please Satan.

Now in the case of my statement yesterday, I disagree wholeheartedly that Satan was pleased. In fact, I believe he absolutely loathed my statement. But every time I sin (including my immediate thoughts about my brother after being called “Satan’s mouthpiece”), I do please him. He is delighted in me.

What a depressing thought: Satan delights in me. I sometimes please him. I can even serve as his mouthpiece.

Remember when Jesus called Peter “Satan’s mouthpiece.” It was shortly after Peter had confessed Jesus as the Christ, his Lord and Savior. Doesn’t that seem odd?

After Peter’s confession, Jesus described to his disciples the suffering he would soon endure and about his death and resurrection (and the text says, “And he said this plainly”) and then Peter rebuked him.

Why? Because Peter hated the idea that his sin needed such costly and painfully excruciating grace. Or a more noble way to look at Peter’s motives for rebuking Jesus is that he didn’t want his confession to result in such a cost to Jesus whom he loved.

And Jesus said “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

We become Satan’s mouthpiece whenever our minds are on the things of man. Grace is so counter to our nature. It is not something that man would ever think up. It is solely a thing of God. And Satan is greatly pleased whenever we are offended by or rebuke grace. Whenever we think that because we have confessed Christ as Lord and Savior once, we need the cross less, Satan smiles.

“…but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Greeks…” (I Cor. 1:23)

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (I Cor. 2:2)

I do please Satan at times. But Satan’s pleasure is usurped at the cross…or maybe more so, every time I acknowledge my need for the cross.

So glad it’s all about grace.

Zach

 

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Will I Be Faithful?

I delivered this sermon on January 1, 2012 at Orangewood. To my surprise, my wife and my mom were not the only people in attendance that day. This was by far my hardest and most disruptive sermon to prepare. Looking at my faithfulness was painful. But my wrestling in the dark place, I found the Faithful One yet again. Looking at Romans 3 and the prophet Hosea, I found the answer to the question, “Will I be faithful?”

http://www.keylifemedia.com/ZachVanDyke/Will_I_Be_Faithful.mp3

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Heroes/Heretics (re-posted)

I read a very thought-provoking blog today by Donald Miller on the whole Lance Armstrong thing. In the blog, he turned his attention to an unnamed “celebrity” pastor (Mark Driscoll) which then got me thinking about a blog I wrote for poopedpastors.com a couple years ago.

Here it is: (It should be noted that I originally wrote this blog long before Rob Bell wrote Love Wins. But even so, I still like Bell more than most “celebrity” pastors! Also, I have grown to appreciate Kay Arthur a lot more since I wrote this! Just so you know.)

Heroes/Heretics

hero – [n.] anyone noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially who have risked or sacrificed his or her life.

heretic – [n.] anyone who does not conform to an established attitude, doctrine, or principle.

So the other day I wrote that Kay Arthur is teaching heresy on my facebook page.

Now before you post a comment or write KeyLife…

I, Zachary David Van Dyke, am in no way stating in this blog that Kay Arthur is teaching heresy and I will not be using this platform to comment on Kay Arthur and what she teaches.

And I know she has pointed many people to Jesus…every single one of my mom’s friends who are on Facebook let me know…and yes, I have read all 40-plus comments that have been posted on my Facebook wall about the great, life-changing precepts of Kay Arthur. She is a hero to many.

But this got me thinking…why does it bother us when someone else thinks one of our teachers, leaders or heroes says something that is wrong or false or heresy?

I decided to do a google search that included the name “Steve Brown” and the word “heresy.”

As I read the various articles and blogs that google produced for me, I found myself wanting to cut and paste a lot of the things that my post-menopausal friends had written on my facebook wall. I was outraged at the misrepresentation of my teacher and friend (and unofficial hero), Steve Brown. These “Heretic Hunters” just didn’t understand the context or what Steve really meant. I just needed a chance to explain it to them.

Just as I was about to post a comment I remembered something Steve says often; “50% of what I am telling you is wrong. I just don’t know which 50%.” (This is for the guy who said that those who study under Brown respond with “brownisms” instead of Scripture.)

The other night, I went to hear Rob Bell (a man who has been called a heretic by many of his brothers and sisters in Christ). It was crazy. About 2,000 people paid (me included) $20 bucks to hear him talk for two and a half hours.

The excitement in the theatre was palatable leading up to his entrance and once he made his appearance from the middle of the audience, the crowd went wild.

At one point, Rob asked if anyone was wearing a cross necklace that he could borrow for an illustration. A woman on the 2nd row hurled her cross earring to the stage like it was undergarments at Bon Jovi concert in 1988. (I have never been to a Bon Jovi concert and was only eight in 1988, but I imagine that is what it was like.)

During the event, no one yelled out “heresy” but if they did, there is no doubt in my mind that some hipster wouldn’t have hiked up his skinny jeans, taken off his spiked belt and started a beat down. Unless of course, Rob reminded him that “Love Wins.”

I got to read a paper a ninth grader wrote for his English class. The assignment was to write about your hero. His paper was titled “Zach Van Dyke.”

Does he not know that I am often mad at God and don’t believe He is good…
that I can give an entire talk at youth group and not believe a word coming out of my mouth…
that I’m a very selfish husband and distracted father…

or even WORSE…

that I sometimes sound antinomian…
that I was moved by The Shack…
that I once posted on my facebook that Kay Arthur taught heresy.

I had a vision as I was working on this blog…not that kind of vision…maybe it would be better to say I started daydreaming about heaven…

I saw Kay, Steve, Rob and I (how presumptions of me) sitting around Jesus laughing about how many times we were so wrong and thought we were so right and thanking Him for being a Hero that rescues “heretics” like us.

So glad it’s all about grace.

Zach

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Be Good

When I found out I was assigned “goodness” in my church’s series on the Fruit of the Spirit,  I was annoyed. I wanted “love” or “faithfulness” or even “self-control.” But “goodness.” How boring! I was so surprised by what the Spirit taught me through the process of preparing a sermon on “goodness.”

http://www.keylifemedia.com/ZachVanDyke/Be_Good.mp3

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Telling secrets

Yesterday, I ran into a former student at this hipster coffee shop, which I had no place being. I’m so uncool compared to the people that frequent non-Starbucks coffee shops. I have no tats, no piercings and definitely look ridiculous in skinny jeans. It wasn’t until I had sat down and got my computer out that I realized I had brought in my Starbucks water bottle. So uncool.

But anyways, I said “hi” to this former student that was never really active in my ministry and with surprising enthusiasm, he asked if he could join me at my table. I didn’t really know this guy. Why was he excited to catch up? After some awkward small talk, he abruptly blurted out how often he thinks about what I had said at his Senior class retreat. Really?! No one ever remembers what a preacher says. I don’t even remember what I say most of the time.

I’ve now done 5 Senior class retreats and I couldn’t tell you what I said at his and he didn’t tell me either, but what I gathered from our conversation is that he doesn’t really remember anything I said particularly. But he remembers me, the “religious professional”, talking honestly about my doubts and my struggles and my sins.

This former student shared stories of drug addiction, depression and suicidal thoughts. He told stories of a very hard life. But he also told me he just started attending NA meetings.

He said growing up he always thought people like me had it all together…that he was different from people like me.

Jesus came to be like us. Scripture tells us, He was like us in every way…tempted the same way we were, but did not sin.

Jesus was the same as us, but different. The “no sin” part is obviously different from us and very important. Because Jesus was without sin, He can and does provide us with imputed righteousness! Jesus took our sin on the cross and gave us His righteousness! What a great exchange!

With that truth, we are free to tell each other the truth about us. Even those who look up to us. Maybe especially those who look up to us. No one needs us to be an example of righteousness. Christ is that example. He is righteousness. We simply need to be ourselves – ones in need of Christ’s imputed righteousness.

After we talked for a while, this young man said to me, “I’m going outside for a smoke. Please don’t judge me.”

I leaned in and whispered, “Can I tell you a secret? I keep a pack in my car for hard days.”

With a huge grin, he replied, “What a relief!”

So glad it’s all about grace.

Zach

 

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The Addict, the Accuser, and the Advocate

I chose to not believe in God. Ok, it was only for 2 days, but it was an authentic stint with atheism. But God sought me out, yet again, through His prophet, Zechariah…and I decided to preach it. Here it is:

The Addict, the Accuser, and the Advocate

http://keylifemedia.com/themerrymonk/AddictAccuserAdvocate.mp3

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