A couple of thousand people attended Saturday evening worship services at The Compass Church in Naperville, but it wasn’t the usual sermon or night of prayers.
“This is bigger than our usual crowd, five times as many people,” said Darcy Ruscitti, executive director of ministry for the church.
The Naperville church kicked off a sermon series about families with a member of the “Duck Dynasty” reality TV clan in attendance.
Alan Robertson, the oldest son of the “Duck Dynasty” family, spoke as part of the “Who’s Your Tribe” series that focuses on family, faith and friends.
Robertson’s family has been even more in the spotlight than usual recently, after comments by Alan’s father Phil concerning gays in the January issue of GQ magazine.
“Dad doesn’t always say things so eloquently,” he said, referencing the recent controversy.
He said that the Robertson family does have its ups and downs.
“When God worked through ourselves, it wasn’t done with us being a perfect family,” Robertson told his audience. “We are the most imperfect people.”
Robertson opened by saying he was a Southern man in a winter wonderland and there was a loud applause when he asked if anyone had seen “Duck Dynasty.”
The church, which normally has about 2,800 people attend its Hobson and 95th Street campuses the entire weekend, was expecting big crowds. The church’s worship center was full and there was an overflow room for people to hear him.
Robertson spoke at the church’s Sunday 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services, as well.
Robertson served as a minister in a Louisiana church for 22 years and joined the A&E reality show last year. The show focuses on a family that operates a duck-call manufacturing business in the Louisiana bayou country.
“I saw the worst and best. I saw Dad have a change of heart,” he said about his family.
Robertson also spoke of the success of the family.
“All you need is drive and determination,” he said. “That’s what happened to us.”
Robertson said his father, Phil, started a fishing business and nowadays as the eldest son he has no desire to do any fishing.
“We spent time on our knees praying to pay the bills,” he said.
Robertson quoted his Dad and Scripture quite a bit during his one-hour presentation. He said the family had no idea how big they would become one day on television.
“We didn’t know God was going to open the door. Instantly the show became number one on the Outdoor Channel and ‘Duck Dynasty’ came calling,” he said.
“Apparently Almighty God is behind it,” he said. “There have been some difficulties, but isn’t there always a test?”
Emphasizing the popularity of the famly, during the event, members of the church had a chance to get complimentary pictures taken next to cardboard cutouts of Uncle Si and Willie of “Duck Dynasty.”
Pat and Michelle Dawson, of Naperville, said they are “big fans” of the “Duck Dynasty” show.
“We love that they pray after every meal,” Pat Dawson said. “The family is very real and fun to watch. It is good, wholesome TV.”
Eve Heath, of Naperville, admitted her family does not watch the show, but they were interested in hearing Robertson’s family message.
“We are Christians and interested in hearing his message,” Heath said.