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David Tarkington
Orange Park, FL
Lead Pastor at firstFAMILY Church
Recent Activity
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I received this email from a member of our church yesterday. I asked permission to share the information in this blog post, believing it may be helpful to others who have felt alone, empty, and forgotten, not to mention those... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at davidtarkington.com
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For the past week, it seems that every news report, trending topic, and entertainment update has been about the fall of Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, along with his brother Bob, founded Miramax and the Weinstein Company. The multi-millionaire entertainment mogul has... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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A few days ago, I posted an article intended for other pastors and church leaders. The article was titled "People Will Leave Your Church - And It Hurts Every Time." It drew a few more clicks than other articles I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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Pastor, regardless the size of your church, eventually people will leave. There are many reasons people leave the local church and you need to be ready. After over twenty years serving in the same local church, I likely know more... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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I have to make a confession. Years ago, I pushed against what I perceived as difficulty for people to join the local church. It wasn't that I was opposed to membership classes or clarifying belief, it was just that I... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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Hugh Hefner is trending because Hugh Hefner has died. News reported this morning that the founder of Playboy Enterprises died last night at the age of 91. Hefner has been an iconic individual in western culture since the 1950s when... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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There's really nothing new in the Nashville Statement, but there is need for it. On Tuesday morning, August 29, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released a statement, signed initially by over 150 evangelical Christian leaders. Once the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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Annette Teague served with the North American Mission Board for the past two summers as part of GenSend Toronto. While serving in this summer program, it became clear that God had called her to engage more long-term in the Greater... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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I addressed this reality a bit during last Sunday's sermon. We all know people who just love to debate. If you're a Christian who attends church regularly and are part of a small group or Sunday school class, you probably... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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As a pastor, I have the great privilege of bringing words of comfort and hope to many at times of grief. I have preached funeral and memorial services for dozens and dozens of dear friends and family members of friends... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
Comic books and modern mythology are big business. After an era where the magazines were losing money, the creation of the DC and Marvel Cinematic Universes has propelled super-heroes to the forefront of the entertainment industry. Many of these stories... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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There is no doubt that our culture is sports-hungry. The money spent and made in the professional and college sports world is astounding. It was only a couple of generations that long ago that professional sports leagues were relegated to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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Once again social media reacts (maybe with some responses) regarding statements made by a Christian leader. Yesterday, the buzz centered on Eugene Peterson's interview with Jonathan Merritt of Religion News Services and his stated affirmation regarding same-sex marriage. Today, Peterson... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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In the Christian corner of the Twitterverse and blogosphere, there's a bit of a disruption today. Author and pastor Eugene Peterson, in an interview with Jonathan Merritt for Religion News Service shared his current views affirming homosexuality and same-sex marriage... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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There comes a point in pastoral ministry when people stop referring to you as the new, young pastor. Youthfulness is fleeting and along with the greying of hair, stiffening of joints, and a few more "smile lines" comes, hopefully, some... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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What if the church engaged this affinity group through story-telling in ways that centers on the Scripture and the Gospel? What if rather than just continuing to add programs and events to reach the already reached, we went to this "Mars Hill" in our culture today? I have talked to a few teenagers specifically about this. Some attend church, but always seem to be on the fringes. Others have no place for church in their lives and basically have denied or ignored the message of the Gospel. I asked if they would consider joining me for a study called "The Meta-narrative of the Gospel as Revealed in the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes?" Yeah - that's what I named it, based on Dr. Jones' articles. However, I may shorten it to "Superhero Sunday Nights." Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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A few years ago, in one of our network's church planter assessment meetings, my wife and I served as coaches and assessors as we have done for years. At times, we meet men who are wrestling with the call into... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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The Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting concluded yesterday with quite a bit of public media attention and continued talk of what is next in the SBC. Steve Gaines, Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee was reelected for a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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The 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting has ended. The second day of our annual gathering traditionally has welcomed less-than large crowds following lunch. In recent years, required business, for the most part, was completed during Tuesday gatherings. Wednesday has... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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I am currently in Phoenix, Arizona for our denomination's (Southern Baptist Convention) annual meeting. I am serving as a messenger (a representative) from my church (First Baptist Church of Orange Park, FL.) This is not the first annual meeting I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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While most of America was watching, or at least aware, of the Senate hearing last week featuring former FBI Director James Comey, there was another hearing taking place in Washington DC that flew under the radar for the most part.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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While I do not pretend to be up-to-date on all the latest software and hardware features available today, I do try to find best uses for some of the more prevalent ones. On a recent post on Thom Rainer's blog... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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In a culture that seeks to be spiritual, but not religious (which ultimately is impossible) a certain version of religiosity has developed over the years. In the early 2000s, researcher Christian Smith surveyed adolescents in the United States of various... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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Students are putting on ill-fitting mortarboards and unattractive robes as symbols of accomplishment throughout our nation. It is that time of year where high school students receive their diplomas and college and university students are honored with their degrees. Commencement... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2017 at davidtarkington.com
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Here in the South, the previously known "Bible Belt," many local schools and youth sports leagues used to avoid scheduling games and practices on Wednesday evenings. Some leagues and schools still avoid this day for sports. For those who live... Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2017 at davidtarkington.com