Modern-day Idols, Tony and Lauren Dungy & An “Online Missionary”
Idols don’t always come in the form of carved statues or reside in places of worship. Many pastors believe modern-day idols can be benign-looking desires with significant influence on people in their congregations. Retired NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren see the key parts of their life — football and family — as forms of ministry. And, for Joshua Clayton, talking to people about Jesus has always been a part of who he is, even while playing video games or creating online content.
Idols don’t always come in the form of carved statues or reside in places of worship. Many pastors believe modern-day idols can be benign-looking desires with significant influence on people in their congregations.
According to a study from Lifeway Research, more than half of U.S. Protestant pastors believe comfort (67 percent), control or security (56 percent), money (55 percent) and approval (51 percent) are idols that have significant influence on their congregations. When asked to choose the potential idol with the most sway over people in their churches, pastors again point to comfort (30 percent) and control or security (20 percent) above the others.
Younger pastors are more likely than older pastors to identify several of these modern-day idols in their churches – particularly political power, money and control or security. Pastors ages 18-44 are the most likely to say political power (55 percent) and control or security (72 percent) are idols they see in their congregations.
Retired NFL coach Tony Dungy and his wife Lauren see the key parts of their life — football and family — as forms of ministry.
The parents of 11 both lead Bible studies in addition to his work as a broadcaster on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” and hers as vice president of the Dungy Family Foundation.
Their new book, “Uncommon Influence: Saying Yes to a Purposeful Life,” set to release Tuesday (Aug. 9), aims to help people see their family, neighborhoods and workplaces as platforms where they can have a positive effect.
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For Joshua Clayton, talking to people about Jesus has always been a part of who he is, even while playing video games or creating online content.
He now uses these two passions together in his new role as “online missionary,” at Claremore First Baptist in Okla.
Clayton began livestreaming his video game play during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
After several months of livestreaming video game content, Clayton garnered more than 40,000 followers across a variety of social media including Facebook, YouTube, Tik Tok, Twitch and Discord.
Claremore First Baptist noticed the impact Clayton was making and reached out to him about joining the church staff in a unique position to help bolster its online influence during the pandemic.
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