It’s a Doggy-dog World

Here at the Summit, we have an audacious goal of planting 1,000 churches by 2050. (By God’s grace, we have already planted 298!) One of the most bittersweet realities of planting churches is sending out your best leaders. One of the greatest benefits is getting to learn from them along the way. So we decided to ask some of our Summit Network pastors to give back a little share some of what God has taught them.

Every Monday throughout the summer, check in here for a dash of wit and wisdom from some of our Summit Network church planters. To find out more about how the Summit Network equips leaders to plant, grow and multiply gospel-centered churches, visit Next up: Lawrence Yoo!

–Chris Pappalardo, Editor

My wife is an intelligent and gifted woman of God who is talented in many ways. However, there is one thing she really struggles with: American idioms. She says it’s because she wasn’t born in America, which is probably most of it. It also might be that I often enjoy her misspoken idioms too much to correct her. 

My favorite example is the following: What would you say if you were trying to explain how the world is competitive and harsh? “It’s a … dog-eat-dog world,” right? 

Well, my wife always thought people were saying, “It’s a doggy-dog world,” a world full of puppies running around that you could snuggle all the time. She was always a bit confused because the cute saying didn’t quite seem to fit the context.

One day I shattered her sweet worldview and told her the actual expression. It broke my heart. 

When I said, “It’s actually ‘dog-eat-dog,” she said, “What? Why would they do that?” 

(Quick timeout. Many of you—who grew up right here in the U.S.—probably began this post thinking the saying was “doggy dog.” Be honest. Jesus will still love you.)

As silly as it is to think of confusing these two phrases, I honestly wish it were a doggy-dog world instead of dog-eat-dog one. 

My son, Josiah, is an affectionate boy who loves going up to strangers, giving them hugs, and sitting on their laps. I hate that I have to teach him that not everyone is safe. Do you ever look around at the world and think, “This isn’t the way it should be?” Do you see hatred, racism, starvation, oppression, and genocide? 

This isn’t the way it should be. 

This is why I believe our church, and every church, exists. Our job is to continue Jesus’ work of renewing creation from “dog-eat-dog” to “doggy-dog.” We do this by living as the coming attraction of the kingdom of God. And we do this by working as instruments of this kingdom’s advancement on earth. 

Just like a movie preview raises our anticipation for that movie, we believe that by living like the people of the kingdom of God in forgiveness, love, justice, and diversity, others will be attracted, and desire, to be a part of God’s kingdom (John 13:35). We reflect God’s truth and grace and give others a taste of what is to come. 

We’re also called to work to advance God’s kingdom. The primary way we do this is by making disciples. In the Ancient Near East, when an emperor or king wanted to show the expanse of his power, he would erect statues of himself and place them throughout his kingdom. When God made men in his image, he was doing the same. And, when Jesus told his followers to make disciples, he was inviting us into this process (Matthew 28:18-20). As we go out into all nations and proclaim Jesus, we get to be a part of seeing God’s rule and reign advance and the world transformed in the process. 

This is how a “dog-eat-dog world” becomes a “doggy-dog world.” Will you join us in this mission?

Lawrence is the Lead Pastor of Waypoint Church. He is also the owner of Sushioki.