Hello my name is Kelly, and I am a bibliophile. I love to read. I love audiobooks. I even like movies based on books, (I almost always like the books better). So, when I had the opportunity to join the launch team for The Daniel Dilemma by Pastor Chris Hodges I jumped at the chance. I have been planning a series on the Book of Daniel to kick off 2018 and as I often do, I was looking for a book for the congregation to read to augment the series. There are several great ones out there, here’s why I chose this one.
1. Because Pastor Chris Hodges is an incredible man.
Yes he will often remind you that he is from Louisiana, a state with historically low test scores. He often shares stories about Budro, who never fails to elicit a laugh, but that’s not it. Pastor Chris has a passion for Christ, the church, and for people like few others I have ever encountered. I honestly didn’t know much about him until I attended the 2017 Grow Conference. I went to learn more about Growth Track, their discipleship program, and how to implement it at LifePoint. What I experienced when I got there wasn’t just a megachurch environment, I’ve been in those before. What impacted me was that I saw a deep, rich, and vibrant people gathered with a sense of purpose and direction. I saw young and old, men and women, every possible skin tone, men and women dressed in Sunday best, others in skinnies and v-necks. There were people with tattoos and piercings, dudes with beards, chicks with hats and others as clean and straight as Pastor Chris himself. What I experienced was the church, as rich, full, and diverse as God created us to be, all coming together with a purpose and passion to see Christ exalted and to see lives changed. That doesn’t happen by accident, and it isn’t simply the product of great leadership. It takes a man of great character, deep faith, and contagious enthusiasm to grow a church like Church of the Highlands, to start a church planting organization like ARC, and incredible generosity to make the resources of The Grow Network available to leaders dedicated to growing healthy churches for free. Bishop Tony Miller says that “We have too much content today and not enough modeling.” Pastor Chris not only offers great content, (I have lead our leadership team through two of his other books) but he lives the kind of life more people need to model theirs after as well.
2. Because it is a timely message.
Many people see Daniel primarily as a book of prophecy, and while it does contain many predictions concerning the end times, and even the Messiah, there is more to it than that. Daniel lived in a very multicultural world. Powers rose and fell all around him. Expectation about religious freedom changed, to the point where Daniel essentially received the death penalty simply for praying alone in his room. Through all of this, Daniel’s faith remained constant. This is a message we desperately need today. Our cultural morays shift almost continually, the world we live in today continues to challenge Believers regarding the truth, and we are left trying to figure out what to do. Pastor Chris does a masterful job of bringing this message to life for today. He gives practical insight and keeps your attention.
3. Because we need direction.
Christians today are struggling to know how to influence their culture without letting the culture have too much influence on them. We want to know how we can be a light in the darkness, dedicated to the truth of God’s Word, without neglecting the love offered through God’s grace. This isn’t a new predicament for God’s people. The Daniel Dilemma speaks specifically to these issues and empowers believers to stand firm and love well no matter what pressures we face in our ever changing culture.
That’s why I chose this book, it’s not a substitute for reading God’s Word, but it is an amazing accompaniment. If you are a church leader I give it my whole hearted endorsement. If you are a LifePointer reading this and are interested in the book, I already have copies for you! Just ask about it at The Point and we will hook you up. If you are a pastor, church leader, or are just interested in the book, you can order copies for yourself or your church anywhere that you would like, Lifeway Christian, Christianbook.com, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon all offer great online options.
And today, Pastor Chris is having an exclusive Facebook Live launch event at 12 PM central. (You can click this link for the replay!) This is a great opportunity to learn more about the book, interact with the author, and hopefully you will get as excited as I am about this book and the message God has for us today. If you get the book I would love to hear your thoughts!