You Can’t Do Church Online: Why In-Person Fellowship Matters with Dub Karriker

Show Notes

Dub shares some fascinating insights from his experience as a pastor and author. We discuss why Jesus established the church in the first place, what role it should play in believers’ lives, and how Christians today often fail to reflect Christ’s love.

A few key takeaways:

– The church represents God’s kingdom on earth and gives us a mission and purpose. Community is essential.

– Western churches frequently judge others harshly instead of showing humility and kindness. This hurts our witness.

– You can’t truly experience church online. In-person fellowship is vital for relationship and accountability.

Dub explains all this very clearly and offers practical wisdom. You’ll find encouragement to engage more meaningfully with your local church after listening. Let me know what resonated with you most! Curious to hear your thoughts and experiences, too. Blessings!

What is Church?: https://amzn.to/3O4fthh

Biblically Parenting Gender Confused Children Support Group: https://faithfullyengaged.com/christian-parent-gender-confused

North Arrow Coffee Support Babies and Great Coffee!: https://northarrowcoffee.co/MvL3lH

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Transcript

00:00:00 – Johnny Sanders
Sad. That is gender confused. Are you the parent of somebody that is either identified as transgender using different pronouns, or some other type of gender confused, just propaganda that’s being shoved down your kids throats? Well, I created the biblically parenting gender confused children support group for parents just like you. This support group is completely free. We meet monthly and you are able to connect with other like minded christian parents that are struggling with how to parent children that are gender confused. They’re getting all sorts of nonsense brought to them by the world and I want to help connect parents that are going through similar struggles and be able to tackle this issue through a biblical worldview. If you are interested in joining this group or know somebody that might be interested in this group, head on over to faithfullyengage.com and there’s more information about the support group there. I have a link down in the description below. Welcome back everyone to another episode of faithfully engaged. Today we’re going to be talking a lot about church. Most of you in the audience are either Christians or are fairly sympathetic to going to church. So I’m going to get more and more into that topic today with my guest, dub. So dub, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?

00:01:38 – Dub Karriker
Okay, sure. Hi, my name is Dub Karriker. I am a retired pastor and author of a new book called what is Church? As you said, I’m from Arkansas originally, grew up back in, well, the Jesus movement, which you have probably seen the movie or heard about, gave my life to Jesus when I was 15 years old, had grown up in the church prior to that mainline denominational church and really came to have a solid relationship with Christ at that know for the next three years or so, had a great time with Jesus and was in a band. We traveled around the country singing Jesus music and just having a good time with God and went to college and had sort of a negative experience there with some christian folks and so lost my faith for a little bit or I guess questioned, I guess today we would call that deconstructing our faith and did that for about twelve years. Just decided, hey God, I know you’re there, but you’re bugging me. So you leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone. God did not keep his. I kept my side of the bargain or I tried to. God never made that bargain. So later on got into the entertainment business, met my wife Pam doing that. We’ve now been married for 45 years and she too was a Christian who was kind of away from God and in the process of all that God showed us his love in a really powerful way, and we understood that he loved us and wanted us back. So we recommitted ourselves to him and have been more or less faithful ever since. Like I said, I became a pastor later on in life, pastored for about 17 years and was a businessman. I’ve done a lot of different things today. I obviously am an author, have written the book, but also I run a nonprofit ministry dealing primarily with the persecuted church, a specific people group in Central Asia and the east. Travel a lot for that. And I’m just happy to be here and talk about church, because the reason I wrote this book is I love the church. And I know that a lot of people struggle with church these days, even people that grew up in the church, or maybe especially people that grew up in the church and wonder, what is this thing all about? And do we even need church? And if so, what is it? So that’s kind of my backstory.

00:04:51 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah. And what you just said there at the end, I would add especially those that have been in the church. You mentioned the deconstruction movement. There’s just a lot of that going on, especially in. You talk about the Jesus movement, my generation, I feel like deconstruction movement is probably a much more relevant thing. And anyways, we see that common with people that I used to grow up listening to different music, things that are out of the faith. It just seems to be happening a lot. So let’s start with know people, especially in United States, typically are going to like, okay, I kind of know what church is. Why is it important to define what church is? So what’s your kind of answer there? What exactly is church?

00:05:50 – Dub Karriker
Well, I think it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. As I said, I grew up in one of the standard denominations, and then when the Jesus movement came along, we dropped all of that. I was a teenager, I was 15 years old, and a lot of my friends ended up following Christ around the same time. And the idea of denominations became very unimportant to us. I guess that began my whole search about what is church? I thought I knew what it was growing up, and then I got a whole different idea. I found out that the church was a lot larger than what I understood. And I think the reason this is important is because, especially if you’ve grown up in church, you sort of have your idea. This is what it is. I grew up thinking, well, I’m a Christian, and I meant that. Looking back on it now, I guess I meant that more in a cultural sense, like, I’m a Christian, I’m jewish, I’m Muslim, whatever, but without really the understanding of the relationship with God part of it. And today, a lot of people are really struggling with this. I would say especially those that grew up in evangelical churches, there’s a lot of young people that are like, wait a minute, what is this all about? And if this is all there is, why do I really need to be part of this? So that’s why I wanted to go back to, what did Jesus and his disciples think about it? Why did Jesus even start the church? What is the church? What is its mission? What is its purpose? What are we here to accomplish? And take that from the Bible, take that from the words of Jesus, take that from history. What have we seen the church be like throughout history? And as time goes along, is there an end of the world? And if so, what is the church’s place in that? It causes us all, I think when we look at the scriptures and look at the history and look at the church globally, universally, it causes us all to stop and think, wait a minute, what is this that I’m involved in? And a lot of people have been hurt by churches. They’ve been disappointed by leaders who have done all sorts of crazy things. We know all the history. And I wanted to take this from a positive point of view, not revisiting all the ills of the church, because I think everybody has a pretty good handle on that, especially even people that are outside the church. They can tell you everything that’s wrong with the church. But let’s go back and look at what it genuinely is. And that’s what I’m trying to do in this book, because I want people, we talked about the deconstruction movement. I want people as they’re looking at, okay, well, this is the faith that I grew up with. Is this what I really want to be a part of? Do I even need to be a part of a church? What does that matter? I want them to have a solid foundation that they can start from rather than just, well, these are my feelings and these are what my friends think. And here’s what me and my experts say. Because a lot of times me and my experts get us in trouble, especially when our experts get a little bit off track. And if you’ve followed, like you were talking about some strong personalities or leaders in the church, and then you’ve seen them go off the rails and you’ve seen people get hurt, you think, well, wait a minute, why do I even need all of this. Is there something solid to hold on to here?

00:10:03 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah, well, I had some fairly recent conversations about the importance of a foundation and not centering it, like you mentioned, on feelings. Feelings are not a bad thing. God made us to have feelings, but feelings can be fleeting. Feelings can be off, and we need to have something much more foundational. And that’s why, as christians, believing scripture is so important, because that foundation doesn’t change, whereas my thoughts and feelings very much can change. So when we’re looking at scripture, when we’re looking at Jesus and the apostles and just the beginnings of church, what was kind of the foundation there of that beginning church? And. Yeah, why was it important? Why was it important that Jesus made a church?

00:10:58 – Dub Karriker
Well, I think Jesus understands that. Well, Jesus was here for a short period of time, right? He was basically here for three years. He showed the disciples what God was like, and then he showed them how they should follow God and believe in him and follow God. And he showed them what God expected us to do here on earth. Then when Jesus went back, I mean, Jesus came and he announced, the kingdom of God is among us. Right. When Jesus died, was crucified, was resurrected and went back to heaven, the kingdom of God didn’t go with him. He left the kingdom of God here on earth among his disciples. And that is what the church really is. We are the representatives of the kingdom of God. We are God’s people here on earth. And just as Jesus said, hey, if you look at me, if you want to know the father, just look at know. I do everything that the father asked me to do. He instructed his disciples to do that. He showed them how to do it. He sent them out two by to, to do the same kind of ministry that he was doing. And he told us to wait for his return. And when he ascended into heaven, he gave the disciples a charge. And he know by that time, there were hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people who were following Christ, who would later become known as gathered. They gathered together in the upper room. The power of God came upon them on the day of Pentecost in the book of acts. It gives us a whole pattern about the church and what they were up to, what they were doing. They were meeting house to house, sharing meals together, praying for one another, going out and sharing the word of God with people, ministering to the people in their communities, and demonstrating the love of God in real practical ways to people and the salvation that is found in Jesus Christ. And that’s what is the church. And jesus said, I will establish my church, I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. Well, in the last 2000 years, Hades is pushed back pretty hard. And so it’s good to know what is the church, what are we supposed to be doing? And we need this gathering of the people of God. The whole thing about what jesus did was he established our relationship with God the Father, but he also established a relationship with us. He calls us his family. He says, know the Bible says that in Christ we are the whole family of God that’s gathered together and we have a mission here on this earth. He gave us purpose, he gave us things to do. We’re supposed to evangelize, we’re supposed to worship him together. We’re supposed to love one another. There’s all sorts of things that he says, this is what my church will be doing and that’s what we need to be about while we’re here. Everybody wants to know, what’s my purpose? Why am I here? What am I doing here on earth? God never intended for us to work that purpose out alone. He intends us to work it out as brothers and sisters in Christ in the church.

00:14:29 – Johnny Sanders
You’re using some language there of togetherness. We’re not supposed to do this all alone. We’re supposed to assemble together. That’s something within our current culture, I would say, especially post Covid that, not that that’s completely gone away, but you see a lot more isolation, staying at home and doing things, not going out with other people. Why is it so important in the church that it’s not just me and Jesus and I just read my Bible and pray all day? Why is it important that we have other people that we do assemble together? Why is that part so important?

00:15:16 – Dub Karriker
Well, it was certainly important to Jesus. He picked his twelve disciples, he spent three years with them and taught them everything. And then he told them to go and do the same thing. It’s important for us because we actually do have an enemy. Like I said, jesus said, I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. He said, I came to destroy the works of the devil. Is there an actual devil? Sure. Is there an Actual God? Yes, there is. And we can look at the world around us. If you can’t see the effects in the world that says that there is a deep and pernicious evil here operating here on earth and a culture that has been set up by this evil, then I don’t know that you’re paying much attention and it’s hard when you face that kind of evil, when you see that kind of evil. We’re never intended to go up against that alone. It’s important because Jesus loved us enough to come down here and live among us and show us who God really is, and we then in turn need to live together with others. Does that create some friction? I mean, do we rub off of each other? Sometimes? Sure. But also it’s more difficult for the enemy of our soul, the devil, to pick us off. We can get sidetracked. I personally don’t believe that you can lose your salvation if Jesus has saved you. I know some people do, and that’s okay. It’s within their right to believe that. But it’s harder for that to happen if you are in community with other like minded believers. You talked about the Bible and that being the foundation. Well, it is, but the Bible, just like salvation, belief in Jesus and being saved by him, the Bible also takes a leap. You have to take a leap of faith and say, this is going to be the foundation that I’m going to use as my point of reference in my life for how I’m going to live, how I’m going to believe, how I’m going to operate. A lot of people question whether the Bible is accurate or know, and you hear all sorts of arguments about that. Yeah, it does require a leap of faith. And just as believing in Jesus requires a leap of faith, and I think God knows, it’s helpful for us to have people around us who take that same leap of faith together and can encourage each other when we come under these kind of attacks. It’s a tough world we’re living in today. And if we believe the Bible that Jesus is going to return and we’ve kind of read the end of the book, well, it’s going to know even tougher. My parents went through World War II. I can’t imagine what that must have been like. We have very short memory spans. We tend to think of things only in terms of what we’ve actually experienced. But throughout history, people have been through all sorts of difficulties, and they need one another. I spend a lot of time with the persecuted church, with people in the Middle east and in Central Asia where it’s illegal to be Christian. Basically, it’s illegal to have faith in Christ. And believe me, you need other people around you. You don’t do that by yourself. It’s helped shape my view of the church and the need for the kind of community that we have. This is not a given. The love of God that’s just not a given. I work with a lot of muslim background believers, and in Islam, the Quran doesn’t say anything about God being a God of love. That says a lot of other things about God, but it doesn’t say that he’s a God of love. And the idea that there is a God who actually loves us personally and is invested in our lives personally and not just an angry God that we have to try to appease by our obedience or good works or whatever, that just doesn’t exist. And it doesn’t exist in other religions either. It’s one of the things that makes Christianity unique. And there’s so many commands in the scripture that we’re to love one another, serve one another, prefer one another. We need all those things happening in our lives. We need to be engaged in that ourselves. And there’s sometimes we need to get some of that back when we’re going through tough times.

00:20:33 – Johnny Sanders
Kind of along these lines about what the church needs to be, what it was intended to be, and some of the benefits there of being alongside other believers. How has the church, Christians just in general, how have we kind of failed here recently? What are ways that Christians in the church as a whole are not being like Jesus currently?

00:21:00 – Dub Karriker
Well, love is the big thing, right? And I don’t know that Christians, and I’m talking about western Christians or Christians here in the United States, I don’t know that we do a very good job of showing the love of Christ. It’s like we forgot what it was like to not know God or to be away from his presence or to be ignorant of God and who he is, of his holiness and all those. We’re really quick to show judgment to people we love. Johnny 316 for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. But we forget the scripture after that. Johnny 317 where it says, for God did not come into the world to judge the world. The Son did not come into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved by him. There is a judgment coming, but it never says that Christians are supposed to be doing the judging. And as a matter of fact, we’re to show the love of God. It’s the kindness of God, the Bible says, that leads us to repentance. We’re not even very kind. I mean, just go on x these days. Used to be twitter. Just go on x these days and look at the christians going at it with each other and not just with each other, with people who are not believers, don’t share the same values that we do, don’t have the same understandings that we do. And man, unkind is probably one of the weakest words I could use about some of the ways that we interact with other people. How is that demonstrating the love of Jesus? The only people Jesus ever got upset with and was ever unkind with were the religious people who were trying to put rules and regulations on people that weren’t even in the scriptures. I think that ought to give us all pause as christians. If we look at who Jesus was, what he did, how he served people, how he spoke to people, how he loved them, how he touched, know and healed them and did those sorts of things, and then we look at the church today, is that what we’re doing? It needs to be. And I think those are some of the ways that we’re kind of really missing the boat. We’re quick to point the finger at other people and not recognize that, listen, I’m a sinner and I needed a savior to save me from that sin. I think the church needs to do a much better job of that and not be so critical. Harsh, judgmental people get enough of that in the world. We don’t need to be piling on.

00:24:12 – Johnny Sanders
It’s an interesting topic here, especially when we’re dealing with the outside world, not within the church. That there is truth. Standing on truth is important, and doing that in a kind way, it can be difficult, but it’s important. And I think what you pointed out there of I’m a sinner, there’s that humility of showing that I don’t have it all figured out. Like, yes, this is wrong, this is sin that we all have. But there’s good news. Christ is here and we believe on him. He can forgive us of our sins. That’s that good news. That’s that gospel. And we need to make sure that we’re not the good guys here, we’re not the ones that figured it out. Christ is. As long as I have a prideful stance, you’re not going to have a very kind response.

00:25:20 – Dub Karriker
Yeah, that’s really true. I think it would help if we were more honest about who we are and what our failings are. Abortion has been a big topic of conversation for years, and the church has a stand on that, as we should. We’re life people. We’re not death people. Right, and you were just referring to being able to speak the truth with kindness. The Bible instructs us to speak the truth with love. Well, I’ll just tell you a quick personal story. I told you that there was that twelve years where I walked away from God and was kind of doing my own thing. Well, during that time, and this was back when abortion, Roe v. Wade had passed, but abortion was not legal in every state. And we went to the doctor, and the doctor, you know, she’s pregnant. This was a problem for us. My parents were Christian, her parents were Christian. Matter of fact, her dad was big in one of the churches and the doctor convinced us that we could get this taken care of easily and that it was not really a human life, it was just a blob of matter at this point. And so we went to a neighboring state and had the abortion. And unfortunately, it went really badly for her. Well, for us, I guess. And she saw some things that she shouldn’t have seen and it tore her up. And then that tore me up. And now I’m living with guilt. We’re both living with guilt, thinking, well, we’ve killed our own child. I’ve been a pastor, I’ve told this story a lot because there are so many people who have been through this and thought that they were doing the right thing. We certainly thought we were doing the right thing. And then you have to deal with all the emotional baggage on the other side of that. The reality is very grim, and there’s a lot of guilt and a lot of shame that goes with that. I think it’s good when we can be honest and say, listen, I’ve been there and I found salvation in Jesus. I found forgiveness in Jesus, I found acceptance in Jesus and love, and that he would even forgive, even that he would forgive of me. And it was that love that drew me back to Christ. That’s a lot better than standing there and shaking our fist at people and saying, well, this is wrong. So there’s the whole thing of speaking the truth in love and being honest and not being hypocritical about our own condition.

00:28:39 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah. And again, that was obviously a very powerful story we read throughout scripture. There’s all sorts of murderers and bad things that happened in scripture. And again, it’s not about them being these great people that did it all on their own. It’s faith in God. God has the power to save people that did not deserve it. And you and I, and no one else deserves it. And I think that messaging there is just so important that it’s not about how great I am, it’s about how great God is. And that humility, again, to share that your story and all of our stories of sin, that speaks to people that, hey, we’ve got a real loving God that, despite my own evil, still forgives us. Like you said, that’s much powerful than just pointing out like, you’re terrible. That doesn’t do a whole lot for us to just simply state things, and especially in the manner in which that we can kind of have that vitriol towards one another.

00:29:47 – Dub Karriker
I was in the entertainment business, and most of my friends were gay, and I love them dearly. I went through the AIDS epidemic back in the 80s when my friends were calling it the gay plague, and they were scared to death because they were dying and getting very sick and no one knew what it was. And then the church, unfortunately stood up and said, well, this is God’s retribution against you all. And those were my friends, and I lost some of my dearest friends through all of that. The church did not handle that very well. Why was that sin so much worse than my sin or anybody else’s sin? I think that’s what we do as human beings. We tend to kind of parse that and go, well, my sin is not as bad. I’m just a liar or whatever it is. And we kind of parse that out. But especially today with all the gender confusion and you’ve got to try to get everybody’s pronouns right and all that kind of stuff. I think christians, we have a real responsibility. Yes, we need to speak the truth, but we need to do it in love, and we need to do it with humility. Like you said, I think that’s a big thing. A lot of the church just seems to have lost their humility. And I think some of the leaders that we listen to, they have their own agenda. I would say, are we building God’s kingdom or are we building our own kingdom? So I think we have to be careful about who we are listening to. And one of the ways that I try to use as sort of a reminder is, is this person humble? Is this person teachable, or are they projecting something else? And I think that’s why it’s important for us to be together and have mutual accountability in the church. You need somebody that can look you in the face and go, hey, man, you’re being a jerk. What are you doing? If you don’t have friends in the church that can love you like that and tell you that, hey, you’re wrong, then we can easily get into more trouble than we really need to, and we can really hurt and damage people.

00:32:37 – Johnny Sanders
Kind of along these lines. I think we all have people, those that are christian have people that you listen to that are outside of the church or read books. You’ve got a book coming out, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with people reading books or listening to people that are outside their church. However, as you’re saying, there’s no reason to not have that local body. That’s a requirement that we need to have that local body there. So what would you say to somebody that’s like, okay, that’s all fine and good, but I just do church online. Is going to church just doing that online? Do you think that suffices for that kind of church commandment there?

00:33:28 – Dub Karriker
No, I don’t. Because you don’t have real relationship. I don’t know. It’s sort of like dating online. Everybody connects now online, right? You’re looking for somebody online, and that is fine. And it goes to a certain point, but if you’re actually as a Christian, if you’re going to follow through and you’re thinking, well, I need to get married at some point. I need to have someone that I can spend my life with, maybe there’s a family that God has for me, at some point, you have to actually have a real in person, face to face kind of meeting, because you can be anything you want to be online, right? I can present any sort of image that I want to online. But when you actually are together with someone in person, well, there’s some reality there, and I don’t think that there’s nothing wrong with listening to podcasts, watching services online, whatever. But you cannot live as a Christian. You cannot live your whole life online and think, okay, as the scripture says in hebrews, we’re not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. Well, I can assemble myself digitally together, but can I actually be together? It’s like when you go off to college and you think you got it all together, and then suddenly you have a roommate who is different from you, and you’ve got to put this together. Are we going to have a relationship? Are we not? With a roommate? You can just simply request, hey, I need somebody else or whatever if it’s not working out, but it doesn’t work like that in the kingdom of God, we’re going to be spending eternity together. And I think trying to do this online is not ultimately beneficial. I mean, you talk about COVID That was really tough for everybody, and Kyle Lee. There were churches that took all sorts of stands on that, there were christians that took all sorts of stands on that, and ultimately, Jesus is in charge of the church, right? And we have to be obedient to Jesus and what he’s telling us to do. And that may be different for different people, but at some point, if you sat at home in your pajamas and did church every Sunday for two years, and you were perfectly fine with that, at some point you’re going to have to establish real relationships with people again. Life moves on, even after pandemics, and sometimes we get stuck, I think. And so at that point, what do you do? Well, you pray and you go, okay, God, what do you want me to do? Your word is pretty specific. I’m supposed to be in actual fellowship with other people. We’re supposed to be doing things together, like sharing the gospel together. We’re supposed to be loving one another, serving one another. We’re supposed to go and take the good news to all the world. How am I going to do that? How would you have me do that and then do it? Do what God is telling you to do.

00:37:34 – Johnny Sanders
Kind of looking back at the COVID time frame, the church I’m currently going to, I did not attend during the very beginning, kind of March 2020, but the decision that they ended up making was to, they closed down kind of initially when everybody was closing down, but they never chose to do any live streaming or anything like that. Not saying that churches that did do that were necessarily wrong, but the reasoning, I read through this after we joined. I really liked the reasoning was they wanted us not meeting together or at the time them meeting together. They wanted that to hurt. They wanted that to not be natural and to feel like we can just tune in on our phones or on the computer, and that will replace meeting together. So the way they did that was for however many weeks that they were off. They’re like, we want you to miss each other. We want this to not be an enjoyable, easy time where I can just sit on the couch and get used to that. So when they did meet together, it was a celebration. We were back together. And I really appreciated kind of learning about that when I came in, of how serious that this church takes. Meeting together, it is that important. And yeah, there’s great resources online, all sorts of great sermons. There’s some sermons I’ve listened to that I really appreciate when they say, this is an online resource for you, but please find your own church to go to. But yeah, you can learn all sorts of things out there, but you cannot neglect meeting in person, like you said. So I really appreciate that answer.

00:39:32 – Dub Karriker
Yeah, I think that’s terrific. I like the approach that your church took. As I said, I spent a lot of time in people with other parts of the world, with christians in other parts of the world. And listen, they didn’t stop meeting. I mean, if you’re in Iraq or you’re know, Syria or somewhere, and all you can do is meet together as a small group. There’s no large group available. You meet in somebody’s home, you may or may not be able to sing songs because it might attract attention to what you’re doing and the authorities might show up. But you meet together, you share the word together, you pray for one another, you take communion together, you do the normal things that a church does. But when Covid came around and it wasn’t because of ignorance, it wasn’t like, oh, well, we don’t understand what a pandemic is. It’s just that that’s life to them, and to not do that is not life. And so they never quit doing mean. Were there repercussions for that? Sure, sometimes there were. I mean, it was tough. But I think here in the west we have so much, and we can easily jump online or however, get on your phone or whatever you want to do. That’s just not an option for people in a lot of other parts of the world, especially those that are in places that are hostile to the gospel of Jesus Christ, if we could get a better idea of the world that we live in and what it means to be a Christian, not just here in the west, not just here in the United States, but what it means to be a Christian as part of the broader community of Christ in the world, I think it would help us a little bit to get out of kind of our I me, my kind of thinking. And the scripture is pretty clear that the I me, my thing is not really the way that God wants us to go.

00:42:07 – Johnny Sanders
For those that are interested in more of the global church, like you said, you’ve traveled a lot. You’ve really been hands on to a lot of very persecuted places towards the church. But I’m thinking of somebody that’s kind of just, they’ve got kids, they’ve grown up in their same hometown, and maybe they don’t even have the resources to necessarily travel today anyways to go to a more hostile place towards Christianity. How could they get a little bit more connected and maybe have a deeper understanding of some of the struggles that other christians in different parts of the world have?

00:42:52 – Dub Karriker
That’s a good question, and I think the answer to that is one of the things that the church is to do. Tell Jesus told us in the great commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Well, you don’t have to go to the other side of the earth to do that. I mean, you can go to the grocery store, you can go to your neighbor’s house. But one of the things that I think that God gathers the church together to do is that of any church, I think that’s being obedient to God and to that commandment needs to be engaged in the church, in the world in some way. And that’s something that we can do. Like you say, a lot of individuals, I just don’t have the resources. I may be disabled. I can’t get around. There’s a lot of reasons why people can’t go to other nations, get involved in that way. But whether you have a church that meets in your home or whether you’re part of a large denomination, however God has you connected with people in your church, that needs to be part of what the church is doing. There are many different ways that we can get engaged with people around the world. A lot of that you can do online. As a matter of fact, ask God to put someone on your heart. The way I got involved in doing this was that our church back in the 90s decided that, listen, there’s a bunch of people who have no access to the good news at all. They’ve never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Most. Some of them have never even heard the name of Jesus Christ. And what are we supposed to do about that? What is our response to that great commission? And we just began to pray and ask God. And we did that together as a church and asked God, where would you have us to get engaged? What are we supposed to do? And in doing that, God began to point out to all of the people in the church, as we prayed, we started out with, well, we think we’re supposed to do something with muslim peoples. Okay, where were we supposed to do that? And we began to look at the different areas of the world. And then as we prayed, God began speaking to people. And it’s like, well, I have a sense that maybe we’re supposed to be doing this in this region of the world. And, okay, now let’s look at people who are not engaged. I mean, you can get on the Internet and look there easily and find unreached, unengaged people groups and just pray over that. And then when you find that, find other people that are doing that similar kind of work, it doesn’t require a lot of resources. It doesn’t require a lot of travel necessarily. We have plenty of people in our church that have never traveled overseas, and yet they feel very connected to the people that we are serving and trying to reach because they’ve been hearing their stories for years. And then we find out that those people are here. Some of them have immigrated here to the United States, and they’re going to college in my know, I’m 3 minutes from Duke university here, where I’m located. Well, how many foreign students do we have at Duke University? There’s tons of them, and there’s lots of them that have never heard the gospel. And so you can invite people over to your house for a know, invite a college student who’s not from this country, who doesn’t have any friends, invite them over for a meal. That doesn’t take much. It’s. It’s intent. I think more than anything is, okay, this is what Jesus told me to do. I don’t have the first idea how to do this. Let’s start praying about this, and let’s see what God will do, and then we can engage in meaningful ways right from where we are. So you don’t have to travel around the world to do this. That’s what God’s called me to do, but that doesn’t mean that’s what God is calling anybody else to do, or much less everybody else to do.

00:47:32 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah, no, I love that answer because it’s just so simple and there’s really no excuse to not be involved in some way, even if it’s just praying. Right. When you hear this podcast, just giving a prayer for unreached people group or something like that. So, yeah, you can be involved from your own bedroom, but just, you have to do something. It’s not going to just come up and hit you in the face. You got to be actively involved. Well, Dub, I really have enjoyed this conversation, and I know that those that are listening to this could really benefit from being able to read your book and know more about it. So how can they find out more resources about your book and to be in contact with you after the show?

00:48:21 – Dub Karriker
Sure. So this is the book. Let’s see if I can get it in there. It’s called what is church? It’s going to be released to booksellers by booksellers on January 16. You can order it online at any of your favorite booksellers, Barnes and Noble or Amazon or anywhere. All you got to do is just look up what is church and it should pop right up if you want to engage directly or like if you wanted to get a Christmas present or whatever, you can go to my website. My website is dubcarraker.com. Let me put that up so you can see the dub character part. Wait, sorry, not good with cameras. Dubcariker. And you can engage with me there. If you want to get a book from the website, you can order one there and I will send you a signed copy. But you can also engage with me there. I’ve got my blog there. There’s all my contact information. I just love to talk to people and I love to help people who are curious or wanting to know more. I’m very happy to be a resource to anybody that I can. I’ve been doing this a long time, and I know a lot of people and I know a lot of organizations. I’m a connector. That’s one of my gifts. So, yeah, I would love to see you@dubcarraker.com. I would love to see you there. And like I say, buy the book. It should be in bookstores January 16. But who reads hard copies anymore, right? My publisher will not let me release the audio version until it has been in bookstores for six months, unfortunately, because I know a lot of people prefer to listen. But if you go to my website, you can at least find some things, some audio resources there. But yeah, I’d love to engage and be a help to any individual or any church that’s interested.

00:50:48 – Johnny Sanders
Great. No, definitely. We’ll link all of that information down in the show notes below. And, yeah, thanks again for coming on, and it was a great discussion.

00:51:00 – Dub Karriker
Thank you, Johnnyny, so much. I really appreciate it. This is very helpful to me. I did this because God has put, I’m old. God has put younger people on my heart. I’ve spent my life working with teenagers, 20 somethings, 30 somethings. That’s really where my heart is. My wife and I were foster parents. We’ve had a lot of young people in and out of our lives. Thank you for having this program and helping get the good news out to people.

00:51:39 – Johnny Sanders
You absolutely, yes, absolutely appreciate you being on here and sharing about your book. And thank you again to everybody that tuned in today, and we will catch.

00:51:51 – Dub Karriker
You on the next episode.