Youth Pastor Leaves Adventist Church Employment - In the Name of God


(system) #1

Shayne Daughenbaugh, known affectionately as the bearded pastor, has a rich history of serving young people. After graduating from Union College in 1996, he served as a chaplain at Bakersfield Adventist Academy in California and as youth pastor at the Hillcrest Adventist Church. Two years later, he moved to the Oregon Conference where he served as a youth pastor for four years before pursuing a Master’s degree in Divinity at Andrews University, which he completed in 2004. The Kansas-Nebraska Conference hired him out of Seminary, and he has spent his time as a youth pastor at the College View Church in Lincoln, Nebraska…until now.

His dream job was to work with young people within Adventist congregations, but time changed his dream.

The shift in focus began about a year ago, when God put a burden in his heart to reach label-less, hip, independent millennials—the young adults who don’t want to be institutionalized or put into a church building. After months of prayer and wrestling with giving up his dream job as youth pastor, Daughenbaugh decided he couldn’t help but do what he sensed God was calling him to do.

Shayne Daughenbaugh said his final goodbyes on October 25—his last day as a pastor at the College View Church in the Kansas-Nebraska Conference. The congregation and the conference offered their love, blessing, and grace to Daughenbaugh in his transition. They appreciate his honesty and humility in ministry, Daughenbagh notes, even if he doesn’t expect them to fully embrace his radical and unorthodox decision.

There’s no step-by-step plan for how to reach this specific demographic, but Daughenbaugh has chosen to go the route of house church, where one can find the principles of the early church Christians in the book of Acts embodied—fellowship, community and “the breaking of bread.” With his wife and two other couples that will form the core leadership team, Daughenbagh has begun Simple Church training through the Simple Church at Home network. “We won't start until we have that completed,” he said.

The conference and the College View Church offered to collaborate with the house church project, but Daughenbaugh resisted the offers. “[House churches] don’t need conference support in the way of buildings and insurance and policies. That is one of the beauties of this model; anyone and everyone can do it.” He points out a difference between traditional church and house churches: Church is a once-a-week, receive-something, “thank you very much, see you next week” kind of event. House churches, he notes, are not events.

While Shayne doesn’t know exactly how it will work, he knows what he doesn’t want to do. He doesn’t want to go out with the “This-person-is-our-target” mentality. Instead, Shayne expects God to lead him where He is at work. He frames the task as serving as a local missionary while being actively aware of how God is weaving people into the tapestry of His salvation. And while some pastors who quit denominational employment become anti-Adventist, that is not the case with Shayne. He remains committed to the message of the Adventist Church.

“I don’t want to be denominational,” says Daughenbaugh. “I don’t want to say we’re non-denominational, but we’re un-denominational. I don’t want a label, because labels don’t work with the demographic we’re going to be working for. They’re not interested in labels. But we will still be (if you want to put a label on it) Adventist in beliefs and values. Hopefully, without some of the baggage. While there may be some Adventists involved, we’re not looking to cater to Adventism.”

This type of ministry isn’t new or revolutionary. It’s ancient. Maybe that’s what this generation— the Millennials—need. Something basic, fellowship-oriented, transparent, genuine, and unlike what they know. While Daughenbaugh expects his ministry to focus on the house-church participants in search of closer fellowship, who frown on the concept of traditional church style, he recognizes that community and fellowship are not limited to a house location. The same experiences can be found at cafés, dinners, and mobile places.

Instead of coming to church and being preached to, house church will encourage those involved to experience God through the week and bring that experience to the conversation at the end of the week where they can get a more rounded, fuller view of God. House church will dig deep into the word of God through the lens of the one another’s experiences. In doing so, the Holy Spirit pastors them.

Daughenbaugh admits there is danger in institutional denominationalism. Placing labels on beliefs does a disservice, he contends. Labels build walls instead of bridges. He notes that Millennials seem to understand that a relationship with Jesus saves—not a particular denomination, system, or institution. Jesus told His disciples to “Go!” “[He] didn’t come to make us Adventist, or Methodists, or Lutherans, or Baptists. He came to make us family,” Daughenbaugh argues. His contention is that it is not about branding or labeling—it’s about saving.

Abner Campos is a sophomore studying theology and graphic design at Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. A shorter version of this article was originally published in The Clocktower, the official weekly news publication for Union College.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6413

(Stephen Terry) #2

I wish him well. However, I have discovered that in this type of ministry, the stigmatism of Adventism is hard to overcome. Once those supposedly un-denominational fellow travelers find out one’s SDA background, they tend to ask about this unfamiliar denomination with their more denominationally aligned family and friends. When they get an earful from them, they tend not to want to fellowship anymore. They are polite and will not say why they are no longer coming except to say they have “schedule conflicts” etc. But if one is attuned to the neighborhood grapevine, the real reason is not hard to find out.

It will be interesting to see in five years if he has found a method to overcome this stereotyping of Adventism. That may be difficult with our continuing labeling of Sunday keepers as having the Mark of the Beast and being part of Babylon in public meetings and social media. Why then should we be surprised if they then tell even their non-aligned friends and relatives to have nothing to do with SDAs?


(Pagophilus) #3

Ah ha. This pastor has fallen in to the non-denominational house church movement. I know a local former pastor who has done the same thing. Now, I don’t know much about Shayne Daughenbaugh, but what the chance that he’s also into spiritual formation and has a slightly warped view of the Holy Spirit, and believes on feelings that this supposed Holy Spirit has led Him into this? The local pastor that has done the same has clearly fallen in to this trap and has this mystical concept of the Holy Spirit and has all sorts of experiences, such as feeling the weight of the Spirit pressing on to him. No, that is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit leads people to repentance and reveals the truth to them.

The house church proponents make one big mistake in thinking that the house church model is the New Testament prescription for congregations. It is not. It was something done out of necessity or circumstance, not by prescription. What it in fact does today is often dumbs down church to the lowest common denominator, so it is not offensive to anyone (i.e. proclaims as little truth as possible), allows people to feel warm and fuzzy by performing rituals (lighting candles or whatever they do), they can have a good time meeting each other, but deep Bible study is rarely if ever done, as it is too perceived to be too challenging on the attendees, and it is thought that all they can take is a few minute homily with a one-liner take-home message. People don’t grow in such an environment. At best, they stay where they are. At worst, they get bored and move on elsewhere where there is more excitement (i.e. usually out of Christianity).

Is God leading Shayne Daughenbaugh? I’m laying it on the line that He is not. Former Pastor Daughenbaugh has been deceived and doesn’t know it (that’s what deception is). Just as Ryan Bell was and still is deceived, and a local former pastor around here, by following their own hearts rather than the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. Don’t follow your heart, and check everything out against the scriptures. Otherwise you will get yourself into a pickle.

(Your last paragraph crosses the line and makes judgments as if you had God’s perspective. It is very difficulat for us to allow people to express their viewpoint - which you have done - and keep them from wrapping themselves in God’s perspective - which I say you have also done. We expect you to not step over this line. To do so is hubris, at minimum. Please take this warning seriously. - website editor)


(Pagophilus) #4

H doesn’t want to be denominational? Does God have a people? Yes. Is there a body of people claiming to be God’s who reject God’s truths openly and refuse to accept them (aka Babylon)? Yes. So, what does Shane want to do exactly? Leave God’s people for Babylon so he can somehow draw more people into Babylon?

We don’t need to be in an Adventist church to witness, but what’s the point of drawing people into something which is not God’s church, but rather a group of people who stand for nothing and everything, and do not clearly proclaim the peculiar truths for these last days of earth’s history? What’s the use of sounding the trumpet if the trumpet has an uncertain sound? To make people feel warm and fuzzy and by this make them think they are a Christian and close to God?


(Jonrdahl47) #5

Pagophilus , It would appear that your brand of baggage may well be what Shayne see’s as needed to be dropped. I think it is way past time for the sda church to let go of the dogma ie EGW and focus rather on the Gospel message in it’s most basic and beautiful form. People I know and, myself included, are crying out for the marvelous message that the G-d of creation loves us in such unimaginable ways, and that we are of great value to Him and yet few pastors I know of do just that in a consistent way. It may be sprinkled into a sermon here or there but seldom is it the sole topic of conversation. If Shayne can keep the Gospel simple and reach people for Jesus in any format, we should applaud him and pray for him to fight the good fight but, it is a mistake to superimpose your ideology and dogma on him and belittle or denigrate him because of a narrow-minded fear based theology.
Think outside the box. Allow for other expressions of worship, Bless rather than curse, Love rather than fear. G-d is Sovereign


(Ed) #6

Looks like he might be exploring or going the ‘missional church’ route which appears to be of increasing interest to the general Christian community over the past recent years.


(Steve Mga) #7

Shayne will do well if he presents Christ. Forget doctrine, present Christ. Develop the one doctrine of God is Love. The 3 in 1 God is Totally about Love.

Both the Old Testament and the New Testament explode with how God loves the Human Family. And both are filled with the unlimited ways in which we can show this love in return. These are the messages the 21st Human Family need to hear. Perhaps Shayne has HEARD. Having HEARD he wants to share the Voice.

Perhaps Shayne will use the book, The Ministry of Healing, as the textbook for developing his new endeavor. This text book is Auntie Ellen’s most important text on Evangelism. Probably finished around 1903 or early 1904.


(Elaine Nelson) #8

In many years of working “in the world” most have known I was an Adventist, but no one, zilch, nada, ever wanted more information of what I believed.

Read the address given by the current president of the Adventist church and ask yourself: “How many of your acquaintances or friends would like to know more about the denomination?” Granted, it was given for an SdA audience, but the beliefs presented were accurately represented as millions of older Adventists recognize who were born into the church.

But what could possibly be attractive to any non-SdA that you know who would be interested to investigate or ask questions?


(Ron Corson) #9

If “un” does not mean non or not then what does “un” in “unlike” mean?

un: a prefix meaning “not,” freely used as an English formative, giving negative or opposite force in adjectives and their derivative adverbs and nouns ( unfair; unfairly; unfairness; unfelt; unseen; unfitting; unformed; unheard-of; un-get-at-able), and less freely used in certain other nouns ( unrest; unemployment).

Words have meaning and labels have meanings and pretending they don’t exist is just pretending. And pretending makes someone say un-denomination has some other meaning. But as you can see from the article the meaning is not given. So the question I would ask is how is that being transparent or genuine. A confused foundation will never stand. I am not writing against house churches I am writing to point out poor reasoning.


(Cfowler) #10

Couldn’t agree more with your comments, Elaine.

I too worked with non-sda’s and came from the non-sda world. No one was interested in the SDA church. When people would learn that I went to church on Saturday, nobody cared one way or the other.

I don’t think the SDA church is going to last much longer in NA.


(Buffy) #11

I know Shayne very well as I have had the honor of working on the same pastoral team with him at College View for the last six years. I can tell you there are very few men who are more committed, more authentic and transparent than Shayne. He loves God with his whole heart and is completely committed to follow hard after Him. He is Spirit filled and I am proud of his choice to follow God in this direction. He has a passion for others and loves completely. Those of us who know Shayne well are better people because of the encounter.

I am proud of His devotion to Calvary’s Carpenter and his desire to follow not knowing all the answers. God will honor Shayne’s faith.


(jeremy) #12

this is so different from my experience…i work almost 100% with non-adventists - and have for years - and i’m constantly explaining things like saturday worship, vegetarianism, the prophet of my church, the end of the world, etc…but i make it a point to talk about these things whenever the opportunity presents itself…even when i’m on vacation, i look for opportunities…it may be true that people won’t voluntarily ask about our faith - for some people, this would be nosy, and an invasion of privacy…but it is not true that people aren’t interested in talking about religion…


(Elaine Nelson) #13

So telling others all about the beliefs of Adventism – their lifestyle and having a prophet has resulted in how many converts?

When Christ and the apostles “witnessed” they did not tell them all of the practices and dietary laws and the importance of Sabbath observance (actually, they never taught Sabbath as something to be observed). They witnessed to what Christ meant in their life.

That has been Adventists method of evangelism for the 90 years I’ve known first hand–explaining all the distinct doctrines of Adventism and seldom is it the one goal to bring people to Christ. If “telling” others all about how Adventism is lived and practiced makes them want to become part of it, what has been your record?


(jeremy) #14

when christ witnessed, he planted seeds of truth…he didn’t convert them, although there were exceptions…conversion and baptism came later, when the holy spirit was poured out at pentecost…

that’s how i see my role…i don’t expect to convert or baptize anyone - although i understand one person i first contacted is now baptized, and another one is re-baptized…i’m simply leaving impressions that may grow into something over time, and that will become apparent when the latter rain falls…i’m not even thinking about baptisms, or converts, or numbers…


(Randy Givens) #15

@website editor you said the last paragraph of @pagophilus post

[quote=“pagophilus, post:3, topic:7008”]
Your last paragraph crosses the line and makes judgments as if you had God’s perspective.
[/quote] And you told him; Please take this warning seriously.
To be fair shouldn’t that go both ways when speaking for God?

[quote=“buffyhalvorsen, post:11, topic:7008”]
God will honor Shayne’s faith.
[/quote] If one can be wrong so can the other.

(I agree, technically. But in the case you cite the person wasn’t “speaking as God” as part of judging someone else. - website editor)


(Stephanie Halvorsen Parrish) #17

"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and when they revile you, and cast your name out as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Luke 6:22

I would say that based on the text above, and the hate, judgement and criticism directed at Pastor Shayne’s ministry that is present in this discussion feed, I can feel pretty confidant that God will bless Pastor Shayne’s ministry.

“By their fruits you will know them” Matthew 7:16. The fruits of hate, judgement and criticism are nothing like the character of Jesus. The fruits of love and compassion I have seen in Pastor Shayne’s life are much more in line with the gospel I have read and the Jesus that I know.


(Pagophilus) #18

What does authentic mean and how does it relate to Christianity? We hear this word bandied about a lot these days. Should I be authentically myself, or should I be Christlike, in which case I am not being authentically me but growing into the character of someone else. I don’t know that being authentic is really a virtue in the Christian sense.


(Stephanie Halvorsen Parrish) #19

Wow… That statement makes me feel really sad. The transformation that happens by being loved by our God, should not only be the most authentic experience one can have, but when authentic, it transforms us into the most authentic, loving, followers of Christ. Perhaps the belief that we should not be authentic is why we have become so irrelevant to our broken world. The world, that offers so much “fake” - fake love, fake joy, fake people - is craving the authentic, all-powerful and transformative love of Christ and His people.


(George Tichy) #20

Pago, is is just my impression that you believe to be the only one who has not been deceived yet?


(George Tichy) #21

Unfortunately some people can only "Think inside the boox."
Yes, “The Boox.”