The Singles Ministry

Others give to avoid embarrassment.  We kind of feel bad because we have been here for awhile and we know people in our small group or our connection class or work with one of the ministries and they know who we are.  So we just put in a couple of dollars.  Some of us give like paying dues.  We say, “You know, my kid really loves Children’s Church.  We just got back from the Father-Son Campout.  I am going to give a little bit to the church.”  Or, “I love the Singles Ministry.  It has helped me a lot.  Here is a little bit.”

But the true essence of giving should be a generosity from the depths of our being.  Just for a second, picture Christ when they put Him on the cross.  He voluntarily opened up His palms, they nailed nails in them and He hung there for your sins and mine.  He did it voluntarily. The moment you open up your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ, the moment He steps inside of your life, you begin to open up your palms, your hands voluntarily to worship.  You open up your hands in the marketplace and then you open up your hands with generosity.  No longer do you have that grip, that grasp on the scratch, dinero, the mean green, the cash and the fundage.

Pastor Ed Young, Wife to Stream Time in Bed on the Internet

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The North Texas pastor who once challenged his congregation, will now spend 24 hours in bed with his wife and stream it live on the Internet.

Fellowship Church Pastor Ed Young and his wife Lisa, who have in the past garnered national attention for their innovative and frank approach to discussing marriage, including infidelity, are launching a 24-hour “Sexperiment” to help promote a biblical view to show people “how it’s done God’s way can lead to a life punctuated by exclamation marks—a life full of passion, purpose, and pleasure,” according to a statement on the church’s website.

The experiment will place the couple in a bed on top of Fellowship Church where, for 24 hours, they will not only eat and sleep, but they will conduct bedside interviews, talk via Skype with friends from around the world and discuss the biblical view of this subject in a marriage.

The whole point, it seems, is to encourage married couples to build lasting relationships through intimacy with their spouse.  For those who take part, a companion book is available with all proceeds going to Fellowship Church.

The event begins at 6 a.m. Friday.

Young is the founding pastor of megachurch Fellowship Church.  The main campus is in Grapevine while there are satellite campuses in Plano, Fort Worth, Dallas and Miami, Fla.

Ed Young and His Wife Appeared on ABC Television Networks Nightline on Feb 14 2012

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Church might be the last place congregants would expect to talk about this subject, but a brash new crop of preachers are starting to aggressively tackle the taboos of intimacy from the pulpit, or in some cases, from the roof of their church.

Evangelical Pastor Ed Young and his wife Lisa of Grapevine, Texas, said Christians have been unenthusiastic and unimaginative about this for far too long. To demonstrate their point, the couple had an elaborate “bed-in” event, in which they had a crane lift a bed onto the top of their Grapevine congregation’s church and settled in for the next 24 hours to talk about their favorite topic.

“I think in the Christian world, there are so many people who are uneasy about this,” Ed Young said. “Most married couples want to have this, but they’re not having enough.”

“For far too long, the church has been completely silent about something God has not been silent about at all,” said Lisa Young.

In their radical new book, “The Sexperiment,” the Youngs challenge heterosexual Christian married couples — LGBT and unwed singles need not apply.

“The first place to have that talk is in the home,” added his wife. “The second place to have that talk is in the church.”

Their “bed-in” was modeled after an event first put on in 1969 by gleeful blasphemers John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The Youngs said they are trying to take the topic back from a popular culture that has perverted it.

“The sad thing is that our culture is throwing all these cues, all words, all these pictures of what this represents to our children, to couples to spouses, to husbands and wives, and it’s not working out well for marriages,” Lisa Young said.

The Youngs point out that the topic is discussed throughout the Bible. For example, in the rather risqué Song of Solomon 4:3, two lovers rhapsodize about each other’s lips and mouth: “Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy talk is comely: thy temples are within thy locks as a piece of a pomegranate.”

And there’s even a passage in Song of Solomon 4:16 that includes coming into the garden and eating the pleasant fruit, which has been interpreted by some Biblical scholars as a reference to oral : “Arise, O north, and come O south, and blow on my garden that the spices thereof may flow out: let my well beloved come to his garden, and eat his pleasant fruit.”

While the Youngs insist their “Sexperiment” is about improving marriages, not a how-to guide, another book written by a different pastor and his wife from Seattle comes very close to just that.

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God created Eve from the side of Adam by Pastor Ed Young

Ed:  Yes.  If you think about the word and the name “Eve” back in the book of Genesis, the name “Eve,” another definition of it, is “one who stands opposite of.”  So again, when God made men and women, he made them different for a beautiful reason.  We are made in his image.  If you think about the whole chromosome thing, women have the XX chromosome and men have the XY chromosomes.  So even down to the core, we are utterly unique.

But that is not why we are here today just to talk about the differences.  We are here to talk about women and the uniqueness of them.

Lisa:  Right.  Anybody can talk about the differences.  It is so obvious, the differences between men and women.  That’s why I like the visual with the triangle because, yes, we are different.  I have a lot of friends who will talk to me about “How in the world can I relate to my spouse or the opposite sex?”  I think many times we get way caught up in how we are going to relate to people of the opposite sex that we forget the main thing we need to be concerned about is that relationship with God, looking to God.  The closer we get to God, the more clearly we can see how God has wired the opposite sex, men vs. women, and guys can see that about women.  Let your attention be focused mainly on knowing who God is, drawing closer to him and then those things will fall into place more clearly.

I think to see the origin, we need to go to the beginning of time in the book of Genesis, chapter 2, where God created Eve from the side of Adam.  God said that he created Eve as a helper, and some of you, ladies, may get nervous and panicky about that idea, because, if you are not secure in who God made you to be, that’s threatening.

You may be thinking, “Wait a minute.  Helper?  That means I am just here to take care of, to look after.”

The Bible by Pastor Ed Young

I think a lot of parents here would echo that.  I think some of us would say, “You know, I’m getting the parental job done pretty well.  But the spouse thing is not going that great.”  Today I’m launching a brand new series of talks called the Parent Map.  We’re talking about traveling to an ultimate destination.  I’m excited about this destination, because I truly believe this series can change the course of our culture.  I don’t make that statement lightly.

Why do I say the culture?  Because, so goes the family, so goes the community; so goes the community, so goes the culture.  But I’m going to warn you: it might get bumpy now and then.  We might take some detours and hit some dangerous curves, but stay with it, because I’m excited about the results.  I know I need it as a parent, and I think you need it too.

Have you ever asked these questions of yourself?  Sometimes I just question myself.  Do you ever say things like this: “Should we even have children?” or “When should we bring children into the world?”  Pretty good questions.  Maybe you’re dealing as a husband and wife with infertility.  Infertility is rampant among this demographic.  You don’t tell anyone about it, but every time you see someone who’s pregnant, every time you see a child, you’re reminded of what’s not happening with you.  What do you do?  How about the adoption option, and other choices out there?  Have you ever asked this one?  I have.  “When and how do I teach my children about sex?”  The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees.  Good question.  Or maybe you’re asking yourself this: “I have a special-needs child.  Is there something in the Bible that will help me, because, Ed, to be honest with you, this why question is really messing me up.”  Maybe you’re a single parent, and you’re saying to yourself, “I feel like I’m sinking.  I feel like I’m just so immersed in the life of my kids that I can’t get my head above water.  How do I do that?”  You’re an adult, and you’re trying to deal with your parents.  And you’re stressing out over those issues.  Is there help?  Any guidance out there?

Kid-Centric Or Spouse-Centric? by Pastor Ed Young

The statement was made early one morning in a local coffee shop.  A toddler-toting mom was sitting in a comfortable chair talking to another woman.  I was sitting just a few feet away, minding my own business, studying and doing some research for this series.  While nestling their morning brew, these two women were engaged in deep dialogue.

It always amazes me how women will share their emotions and lock in on a conversation no matter who’s around.  But I could tell these women were oblivious to me.  I was sitting right next to them, and they didn’t know I was there.  Suddenly they began to talk about parenting.  I began to listen in.  The toddler-toting mom was talking about the challenges of child-rearing, and how to balance her marriage and her husband’s travel schedule.  The other woman, between sips of her coffee, was discussing whether she and her husband were even mature enough to have kids.

After a while I couldn’t take it any more.  I said, “Excuse me, ladies.”  And they turned and looked at me like, “Oh!  Someone was sitting there?  Someone’s here?”  I said, “Do you mind if I ask you a couple of questions about parenting?  I’m doing some research on parenting.”  They said, “Sure.”  So I began to talk to them about this whole subject matter and they began to share with me some really good stuff.   After a while, it was time for me to go to the office so I packed up my briefcase and headed toward the door.  While I was leaving, the toddler-toting mom turned, looked at me, and made a statement that I will not soon forget.  She said, “You know, I think I’m a great mom, but not that good of a spouse.”  Wow.  I think I’m a great mom, but not that great of a spouse.

E stands for explain by Pastor Ed Young

I have got to tell you this and it is hard for me to say….”  E stands for explain how you feel.  “I feel hurt.  I feel separated.  I feel angry.”  Explain how you feel.  L stands for love and forgive.  Love and forgive, don’t hold any grudges.  New week we are going to talk about revenge, something that every single human being deals with.  Love and forgive.  Accept their apology.  Accept where they are.  The final L stands for learn from the experience.  Have you ever had the same argument, the same problem in a relationship over and over again?  I have.  You know what my problem is oftentimes?  I forget to learn from the experience.  When you tell the truth to your brother or your sister, your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, your father, your co-worker, use the TELL principle and things will happen.  And that sounds good, doesn’t it?  We could kind of close the Bible us and say let’s go and leave early.  No problem.  When you think about communication what is the thing that pops into your mind?  Talking.  Speaking.  But, that is only half of the ordeal.  That is only part of it.  Rarely do we ever hear anything discussed on the second element of communication.  You have got to learn how to listen.

We go back to Matthew 18:15, “…if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone, if he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”  This implies that listening is a learned process.  You don’t just show up and say you are a great listener.  If we are going to be real with others we have got to learn how to speak the truth and how to hear the truth.  There is a major difference between just hearing and listening.  How do you listen?  Some of us listen like the wanderer.

Preparing For Adolescence by Pastor Ed Young

Here’s another thing I would suggest to you concerning maximizing teachable moments. Answer questions directly. Don’t try the creative approach and say, “Well, son, you know why there are so many giraffes in the zoo?”   Don’t try to paint this Mutual Of Omaha, National Geographic type picture, and never get down to the facts. Steve Farrar in his book “The Point Man”, says “Answer small questions with small answers and big questions with big answers”. I heard about a father who kind of messed up in this regard. After dinner, his son, who was five years of age, cornered him and said, “Dad, where do I come from?” The father swallowed hard, “Oh no”, and he went into this long speech about the facts of life. He’d been talking for five minutes and he looks down at his son and his son has an expression like this…he said, “Son, do you understand what I’m saying?” His son said, “Yes, dad. I guess so. Tommy comes from Cleveland. Where do I come from?”  Make sure you discern the question.

That brings us to another guideline if we’re going to maximize teachable moments. Discern the age and development of the child. Don’t give them too much too early, but begin to teach, begin to explore, begin to initiate conversation. However what you say to a seven year-old will be a little bit different from what you would communicate to a ten year-old and on up the ladder. Sex education never stops. It never stops.

Something else I would encourage parents to do is to take your child off for a night or two and talk to them about the facts of life. I know Owen Goff took his son, Timothy, off for the weekend and they went through this book, “Preparing For Adolescence”. Again it communicates to your children, “Whoa! This is important. Dad or mom, they’ve taken enough time to take me off for the weekend, to sit me down and share with me this gift called sex”. Are you capturing those moments or are you fleeing from those moments?

A No Trespassing sign by Pastor Ed Young

Here is the result of a controlling parent.  Two blanks in your outline.  The result, domination or rebellion will be the results of this.  Your child will feel dominated and I am talking about children who are 25, 35 and 45.  They lack the courage to say to their parents, “Mom, Dad, I am a grown person, I am an adult.”  And they lack that courage and they feel dominated.  But one day, though, they will have had enough and they will have a kind of explosion.  Sometimes children just rebel.  At 21 they will rip the reins of control off their back and say, I’m going to do it the opposite way and they think, when they have their own personal property and their own deal and they just do the opposite of what their parents do, that that is really being independent.  And it tears them apart from this relationship that God wants to grow and to develop through the years.  A No Trespassing sign.  Watch the violations.

A third decision, and a final decision we have to make.  We have got to take responsibility for our property.  We have got to take responsibility for our property.  I love what I Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.”  And I know a lot of baby busters who still like to talk and think and reason like children.  And they prefer the cocoon of parental protection over the reality of the tough and real world.  And they like staying at home.  They like that cash.  They like all the meals prepared.  They like the new clothes.  They like, they like, they like.  And sometimes the children make this call and the parents have done the best they can as far as launching them into the world.  I Corinthians 13 though says, “When I was a child I talked and I thought and I reasoned like a child, when I became a man (or when I became a woman) I put childish things behind me.”

The Holy Spirit Has Instructed Me by Pastor Ed Young

JOHN:  The Holy Spirit has instructed me that it is not in the best interest of my profession, of the job I am trying to do, to get personal like that and it certainly, and more importantly, not in the best interest of my witness.  I am known in my corporation as a Christ follower, someone who is active in this church.  If I mix it up with them and get the profanity going right back, that doesn’t serve any purpose.  So, I have learned some techniques over time like taking some deep breaths before responding, lowering my tone of voice.

ED:  That is Biblical, too, John.  Proverbs 15:1 says that an angry word or a harsh word stirs up a lot of hostility.

Also, I just try to speak more slowly.  I try to choose my words carefully and stay cool.

ED:  What are some of the difficult people you have handled?

JOHN:  There is the “chest-thumper”, the kind of person who is all about self-promotion.  The business community encourages us to promote ourselves and talk about what we have accomplished.  Then there is the “intimidator”, the kind of person who will try to bully you around.  They will yell at you a lot and use a lot of profanity.  I had an interaction with one guy who used profane phrases that I had to have explained to me.  I didn’t even understand them.  He was also quite a bit older than me and tried to use that fact to intimidate me into backing off what I knew was right.

Then there is the “politician”, the person who appears to be looking after someone else’s best interest, maybe their employees, maybe their management, but they really have an angle on how this is in their best interest.  You have to have discernment to see through that as well.

ED:  That’s great.  The Holy Spirit enters your life the moment that you become a Christ follower.  The first thing after you say that you are going to turn from your sinfulness and ask Christ into your life, the very first thing He does, is put the Holy Spirit within you.  It is the Holy Spirit’s occupation, His labor of love, so to speak, to do an inside job on us selfish people and to help change us.  And John, it sounds like it is happening in your life with those difficult people.  Thanks for sharing that with us.

Last, but not least, Anita Vanetti.  Anita, you work for Channel 8.  You are in the secular media world, dog eat dog arena.  We have talked about temptation and I can just imagine the temptations that you have to deal with.  Talk about some of them that you are dealing with now.