Author Archive: tomdunn

BVOTD 5-28

Proverbs 30:7-9
7 “Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:

8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, ‘Who is the LORD ?’
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God. (more…)

Music

If you remember, in my intro post, I mentioned that I am a youth pastor. I am in my 8th month of youth pastoring now, and I would like to discuss with YAR an issue that am dealing with as a pastor: Music.

Nine months ago (before I was a YP) music was not an issue at all in my life. I listened to whatever I wanted to, and on occasion I would censor some “bad stuff” from myself. For instance, if the song blatantly objectified women (i.e. anything on MTV), promoted violence, sex, drugs etc. I would try to avoid it. That being said, my personal “censoring filter” was pretty generous. By and large, if I liked the way it sounded I listened to it. (more…)

Anabaptist and College

I just finished reading Loren Swatzendruber’s article, “Liberal or Conservative” in the Spring 2007 issue of Our Faith. It was a good article, although his conclusions seem to be very different from what the title would indicate. I found myself enjoying the article, and felt like giving a hearty amen by the end of it, but then I remembered that I just graduated from a Mennonite institution (Bluffton), and my feelings deflated. My initial reaction was to write a letter to the editor of Our Faith with my thoughts, but instead, I will publish my thoughts here on YAR. (more…)

Church and Young Adults

Young adults and church: I have had this conversation with way to many people way to many times. Everyone wants to know why the young adult (18-?) population is so small in churches, and everyone seems to have a different opinion about this, especially young adults. As much as I don’t want to start up the cyclical, never-ending and frustrating discussion, it has been on my mind a lot lately so I am going to spill my guts onto your computer screen. Enjoy. (more…)

Jerry Jenkins

My intention in joining YAR was not to use the rest of you members as my moral sounding board for difficult questions that I am dealing with in my life, but this is what two of my three posts have turned out to be. I’ll try to make my next post more heady and intellectual, but I think you should enjoy the predicament that I will lay out here.

As my first biographical entry said, I am a youth pastor in a Mennonite church. Being a staff member I get to sit in on the elders (the power-players of the church) meetings and occasionally throw my two cents into the discussion. In our last meeting, we had a decision to make, that was somewhat exciting and completely uncomfortable. This is what we had to work with: There is a member of our church (who happens to be my dad) that owns a large Christian giftware manufacturing business that distributes product nationally and globally. Every March this man has a “Dealer’s Conference” where he invites every retailer who sells his product to come and see the manufacturing plant, buy more of his product, see the local Amish population, and overall does his best to express his gratitude and keep his customers happy. A big part of this conference is bringing in a big name speaker to inspire those who come to the conference and the speech is given in our church. This year, the speaker coming to give the inspirational message is Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the Left Behind series. (more…)

What would you do?

No, this isn’t one those questions intended to corner pacifists. This is a question that I actually have, based on experience I actually experienced, and a question I would actually like to have an answer to, although I understand that a solid answer to what I am pondering is allusive at best.

Here is the scenario: I am a youth pastor, and not too long ago I was at a youth pastor peer meeting with about five other youth pastors. It was a good meeting, refreshing to hear other people’s joys and frustrations that I can relate to. We ended the meeting with a homemade lunch which was really good, but over the lunch the conversation turned towards everyone’s family. One of the younger married youth pastors began telling of how he was just finishing up the adoption process and he and his wife were about to get their first child: a cute little Guatemalan baby, they had pictures, a name and everything. Then one of the other youth pastors chimed in that her sister (or other close relative, I forget exactly) just recently adopted a Guatemalan baby, so needless to say, the table conversation was about Guatemalan adopted babies for at least fifteen minutes. For these fifteen minutes I kept my head down, and didn’t speak. (more…)

Intro to Tom

I have always been wary about getting involved with internet forums, chat rooms, blogs and the like, but here I am. My name is Tom (or Thomas) Dunn, I am a recent graduate of Bluffton University and am currently the youth pastor at Kidron Mennonite in Kidron, Ohio. I have heard about YAR from a number of different places, but most recently was reminded of it by Becca, who was home and at church a couple of Sundays ago. She said she had some poetry on the site about Mennonite sermons, and since I had just given a Mennonite sermon that particular morning, I thought it would be worth my while to read these poems. I read them, and they are good, but I didn’t stop there. I continued to read through many of the various post on YAR and my interest has been sparked.

As I said earlier, I am still wary about posting things on the internet. I’m not sure if it is just me being old fashioned, or the fear of becoming addicted to this and then getting a my space page, a face book page (I actually do have a facebook page, but my room mate from college set it up), and spend all my time blogging and networking over the web. But even deeper than this, I think I have a fear of my virtual self—who will I be on the pages of YAR? Will I still be Tom Dunn or will I become something I’m not. Will I get caught up in projecting myself as an intellectual, intelligent, educated, open-minded, globally aware young anabaptist radical, or can I just be myself? Is it possible to be yourself on the internet? Well, as you may have gathered since you are currently reading all this over the internet, I have decided to post here on YAR, and spark the beginning of my virtual self.