Missional Man Podcast
Tools for the modern Christian man.

Episode #002: Identity and Longing, Dan Pratt

Summary & Intro

dan pratt #2

Dan Pratt – Christ-follower, Husband of 25 years, Dad of 3 kids (2 sons, 1 daughter), Youth Pastor for 23 years, All-around-crazy-fun-silly-guy who loves Jesus and people. Hails from Canton, Michigan (Detroit-metro area).

Recap & Synopsis

The following notes are quotes from Dan and I. Use them freely and widely, but please offer credit where credit is due. Thanks.

“Originally I thought I was a Pratt. So my family was a big part of my identity when I was a kid.”

“My first searching for identity as a child was through my family connections.”

“First was my family. Second was my culture or geography.”

“Michigan people are different…different in a different way.”

“You know the phrase ‘Bless their heart’? That’s ‘different in a different way’. That’s so safe.” (Jonathan)

“Family went away. Geography went away. I kind of rebuilt my identity around my new setting.”

“I felt kind of like a mut. I didn’t really belong anywhere.”

“Then I started searching for my identity in my activity. I was a singer, athlete, actor.”

“In my teen years I kind of became addicted to affirmation. One person saying something negative would kind of tear my world down.”

“It was painful as a kid but now I look back and see it as providential, especially now that I’m a youth pastor.”

“As a Junior in High School, I was cast as Jesus Christ in this school play.”

“I was introduced to the person of Jesus through this really different way. I was moved and touched by the character of Christ and his different teachings.”

“I did a little research on this guy.”

“I met a youth pastor there who was really odd, which seems to be a requirement for being a youth pastor.”

“The thing that struck me about this guy was he loved me whether I was a Christian or not.”

“My previous experience was that love was a give-take, ‘if you do this I will do that’ kind of deal. Especially in my family.”

“I met Christ in camp and I really found out who I was supposed to be. Although it continues to evolve.”

“God used these people to change my life. My youth pastor kept pointing me back to anything good I saw in him was because of what God was doing in his life.”

“It’s an ongoing identity story. Once you give your life to Christ, the rest of your life becomes a process of kind of unbecoming and allow God to restore who you truly are.”

“The fact of God is necessary for the fact of man. Think God away and man has no ground for existence.” – A.W. Tozer

“My best advice would be, the more I’ve stopped thinking about myself and started thinking about who Christ is, the person of Jesus Christ, the more I understand who I am and my identity in Christ.”

“Basically what you’re saying is if we truly want to know who we are we have to look outside of ourselves.” (Jonathan)

“That is incredibly radical, because we are taught from birth that in order to find yourself you look within.” (Jonathan)

“The key to discovering your identity is to stop asking that question and is to start asking the question, ‘who is the person of Jesus Christ?’ The more you understand God’s character the more you understand who you are suppose to be like.”

Brennan Manning’s book, The Furious Longing of God

“C.S. Lewis said, ‘we need to be reminded more than instructed.'” – Mark Batterson, foreward to Furious Longing

“It’s really more of a discovery process where it’s revealed to us. That really changes your perspective on identity.” (Jonathan)

The way we introduce ourselves often reveals how we define ourselves: what we do, where we’re from, who our family is, what our activities are, etc.

“It’s super difficult to deprogram that stuff in us.”

“What we do should born out of who we are.”

Book Quote: Furious Longing of God, Brennan Manning

“How is it then that we’ve come to imagine that Christianity consists primarily in what we do for God, how has this come to be the good news of Jesus?”

“We do this in the redemptive process, we do it backwards: we think if we stop looking at pornography we’ll get closer to God. When in reality, if we get closer to God we’ll lose our desire to look at pornography.”

“Everything in the kingdom of God is whacky: if you want to be great be small, if you want to be a leader become a servant.”

*Biblical Principle: “From the heart to the head to the hands.”

“The longing and desire is God-initiated thing. He puts that inside of us, we just pervert it.”

“Everything is pervertable or reedemable we just do it backwards.”

“The rest of our life as a son or daughter of the King becomes an unbecoming of what we agreed to.”

“We’ve turned the good news of Jesus into good advice: here’s Jesus, so do these 4 things. The Gospel requires a response from us, really when we turn it into a focus on us and what we need to do we begin to pervert the Good News. Good News is something proclaimed about what’s already happened.” (Jonathan)

“We underestimate the redemptive power that comes with the Gospel. So it’s a very transactional thing: I see the good news, that’s good and I want the good news, that’s awesome and fantastic. But I don’t think we trust the redemptive power that remakes our identity from the cross.”

“I’ve been living more into the freedom where God says you show up with your heart and I’ll do the real work. You just get to watch.”

“The beauty of a relationship with God is that He invites us into his activity.”

Book Quote: Brennan Manning, Furious Longing of God

“Christians find it easier to believe that God exists than they do that God actually loves them.”

“Big mistake in the church sometimes is we expect non-Christians to act like Christians.”

“‘Jenna, you don’t really love yourself do ya?’ She said ‘no, why would I love myself there’s nothing loveable in me, I’m despicable’. She told me that conversation changed everything. She finally saw her value based in what God had done for her.”

“Two years into ministry I had a breakdown because I was too busy trying to save students.”

“To live by grace is to acknowledge my whole life story.” – Brennan Manning, Ragamuffin Gospel

“Did you really, really believe that I loved you?”

*Dan’s Powerful Moment:

“I had this long laundry list of failures that I was praying to God outloud. I felt an overwhelming sense, over and over again, God speaking to my heart saying ‘Do you think that makes me love you any less?’ That is the day when I understood who I was.”

“Men push away from this because the act of surrender is crucial to this process. For men, we push away from surrender b/c we think that means weakness. But the surrender of Christ on the cross is anything but weakness. It’s a picture of strength like this world has never seen before.”

Action Round (1 Take-away & 1 Action-Item)

1 TA (One take-away for YOU think about)

Stop trying to figure out who you are in Christ. Instead spend your energy to figure out who Christ is in you. That’s it.

1 AI (One action-item for YOU to go do.)

Living the “heart-to-the-head-to-the-hands”. Catch yourself in your activity and stop and remind yourself. Continually let the truth of the Gospel invade our hearts. Starting your day in quiet time, God’s word or communion with God is crucial.

Quote: A.W. Tozer

“For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself. And the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.”

Connect with Dan

On Twitter @pastor_danimal

On Facebook

Favorite Resource on this Topic

Brennan Manning:

Furious Longing of God

Ragamuffin Gospel

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