Dan Dean: On church, changes and crazy times

Dan Dean is a pastor’s kid who lives in the Dallas area. In 1991, he joined Randy Phillips and Shawn Craig to become PCD, or Phillips Craig & Dean. All three of the men are pastors and have released scores of hit songs over the nearly 30 years of ministry.

Dan is still busy during the coronavirus crisis but took some time to answer a few of our questions about some of the things he and his family are encountering. There are links at the bottom of the interview that will help you to follow what PCD is doing these days.

How has the coronavirus event changed life for you, Becky and your family?

The Corona Virus has had a crazy impact on my life. I’m an extrovert who loves and enjoys being with and around people. When Covid19 first begin to hit, being that my wife and I now fall into the high-risk category, we did our best to heed the warnings of our local and national government. This for me was a drastic change. I was generally meeting with folks every day for lunch, leading a Connect Group, and of course, with PCD traveling as much as we were allowed while keeping up our church schedules. This meant that pretty much every routine in my life ground to a halt. It has been a radical change of pace from my normal schedule. 

Obviously, concerts and tours have ground to a halt. What are you, Randy and Shawn working on right now?

This past summer, the guys and I started work on a brand new project, our first in about four years. Thankfully, we finished completely before the virus made travel impossible. A digital single should be releasing shortly, and we feel that it speaks to the time we are currently walking through. The complete LP will be releasing soon and we hope that it will be a blessing to the body of Christ. There are some songs on this project that lend themselves to the place we find ourselves. God doesn’t want us to be hopeless, but filled with faith as we look toward the future. God is using what was meant for evil to bring good to our country and to our churches. 

The Bible says that we are not to forsake the assembling together, yet these are perilous and unusual times. Some churches are still meeting, despite recommendations against gatherings of more than 10 people. I realize you aren’t actively pastoring Heartland now, but how is the church there handling this crisis and continuing to minister to its people?

A very unusual phenomenon has been occurring during this crazy time. While we are not able to meet together, according to our best estimates, our online attendance has grown and people are giving their hearts to the Lord while watching the services online. I think people are looking for hope and while God did not cause this horrible tragedy, He is using it to turn the hearts of people to Jesus. It is very encouraging to see this happening. It is not unusual. From Old Testament days until now, many when there is a dark period in history, people start awakening spiritually and turning their hearts toward the Lord. I sense this happening in the midst of the chaos. 

I think people are looking for hope and while God did not cause this horrible tragedy, He is using it to turn the hearts of people to Jesus. It is very encouraging to see this happening.

Dan Dean

What is one thing God has emphasized to you over and over during this time?

That my confidence and trust must rest in him and not in things around me. What has been really evident is that we have so very little control of things in our world. In a few days, our entire lives were changed, the stock market tanked, the world economy and well as our own country’s economy stands on the brink of collapse. Just a few short weeks ago, no one could’ve imagined that things could shift so quickly. I have seen this as a reminder from God that there is one thing that can be trusted…God and his word. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is shifting sand.

This coronavirus event is going to bring many changes, especially for the church, but also in the way we do business, handle future crises and will greatly affect our way of life. What are some of the biggest changes you see coming when the dust settles?

I’m certainly no expert in this area, but I can see changes coming. People are going to continue to socially distance for awhile. Hugs, handshakes, and things we have taken so for granted in the past are likely to be less prevalent as we do our best to rebound from this. I’m an optimist by nature, but I think the economy will be slow in rebounding and this will be borne out with lots of people struggling and hurting financially. People are going to be less likely to trust that they are safe from the virus. For that reason, I think the church globally, could be headed for its finest hour. Already there are signs of this happening. The church is becoming the beacon of hope with financial help, food help, family help, counseling online, etc… When darkness comes, the church has the opportunity to shine the brightest. I have been amazed at the acts of generosity and selflessness that I’ve seen since this thing started. 

Great songs come out of great travail and troubles, and you are a great songwriter. What phrases or lines are bubbling around in your head right now?

I really haven’t been focusing on this so much. I tend to write in spurts and this has not been a pressing need at the moment. What I have found is a hunger in myself and others for some of the old hymns of the church. I posted several songs from my past on my Instagram Account (@danpcd) and I’ve been amazed at the number of views….just me sitting at the piano singing Great Is Thy Faithfulness brought numerous responses from folks. It is comforting to lean into some of the classics during this time.

What one scripture most often comes to your mind about where we are and what we are experiencing today?

I’ve had this scripture come to mind on so many occasions over the last few days: “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” Matt 4:16

Your dad was a pastor and you have many great leaders and mentors who have paved the way for you. What are a couple of pieces of advice or quotes from your sages that have helped you through this odd time?

My father and father-in-law both used to say over and over. “This too, shall pass.” I’ve said it numerous times to myself and others over the last few days. One of my friends was quick to respond, “Yes, but will it be like a kidney stone?” That is a pertinent question. (<:)

Since you have the heart of a pastor, what would be the title of your first message when you return to the pulpit when the church reconvenes?

I haven’t given a lot of thought about this, but I think If I were doing it, it would have to do with gratitude and thanksgiving. For sure something about not taking things for granted. 

How can people follow you and keep up with PCD right now?


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