Two Keys That Open The Door So YOU Can Effectively Lead – Peter Drucker

Fatherhood CoMission blog

Mark Schaefer is among the most acclaimed and accomplished marketing consultants in America. He teaches others how to effectively lead others in the business world and how to market effectively to those we seek to influence.

As I read a recent article in Mark’s blog, I was struck with the obvious overlap with being a leader over a Christian ministry, church or nonprofit.

Mark shares in his article about his former graduate Professor, Peter Drucker, one of the most acclaimed experts in the business world.   “Peter Drucker was one of the handful of people I have known who could distill vast complexity into simple wisdom. The scope of his knowledge was breathtaking. He would sit on the edge of his desk and lecture for three hours straight without a break, and without notes. “

He goes on to say “I learned that being vulnerable, involving others in the process by asking the right questions, coming up with a better solution together, sharing the weight of decisions – those are all benefits of humility.  Being deeply human, instead of trying to wear the Superman cape, is powerful and liberating.”

Wow, what a deep truth in learning how to effectively lead, including Christian leaders, ministry Presidents, CEO’s, Directors and yes, even Dads.

Instead of being arrogant enough to think we know all the answers, we must learn to be humble enough to ask the right questions versus telling others what to do. We can learn to lead better by first humbling ourselves, slowing down enough to ask good questions versus telling them what to do. Then our constituents, church members and our own kids can be part of the solution and grow personally. Everyone wins.

Psalms 25:9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

To read full article

http://www.businessesgrow.com/2013/01/22/the-best-advice-i-ever-received-for-my-business-and-my-blog/

Mitch Temple

Executive Director, FCM

Marriage Tips – Practical ways to help your marriage

Men, for those of you who are married or ever hope to be, here are some very practical marriage tips for men that you can use to show your wife (the mother of your children) you love her:   (Taken fromNationalMarriageWeekusa.org)

marriage tips for men

Eat, Talk, and Play!

EAT

In our busy lives, all too often we don’t make time for the most basic of social functions — eating together! Be sure to make time to sit down together and share a meal for two. Try to even share the preparation — and the clean-up! If you haven’t got time to cook, how about a take-away, or a romantic meal at a local restaurant? Take the time to eat face to face, not in front of the TV!

TALK

What does your daily communication as a couple consist of? Organizing the family and home, questions about the kids, what needs to go on the shopping list? Or perhaps some of the big decisions of life — whether to move, what new car to buy, your health or ailments? When was the last time you sat down and just talked about “you” — the challenges of life, what’s motivating you, what’s dragging you down, how it feels to be you — or perhaps your hopes and dreams for your future together? Make some time this week to sit down together just to “talk”!

PLAY

When we first fall in love, life always seems to be full of fun — but as the years go by, sometimes we forget to play together! Why not make some time to do something together you both enjoy –something as simple as going for a walk, watching a movie together, taking a dance class, or spending an evening in your local pub or a jazz club. For the truly adventurous, think para-gliding or a zip line! Maybe just curl up together in front of a fire, and read stories to each other. Whatever it is, try and find something you can both take part in, and which will remind you of the fun times in your relationship!

Any of those marriage tips for men that you can do today?

What have you done recently that your wife really responded to that took some thought but not a ton of effort and the return was great?

National Marriage Week Website: http://www.marriagewebinar.org/nmwdocs/NMWEatTalkPlay.pdf

A Crisis is like a Thunderstorm

fatherhood commissionGoing through a crisis is very much like riding through a thunderstorm.  While driving through the storm you are not focused on anything but the potential danger and threat of the storm.  You immediately turn off the radio. You don’t have any desire to hear the news. You are not concerned about what the stock market is doing. You do not care what is occurring in Washington, D.C.  Your main focus is on the danger and threat that you are facing.  The powerful wind is swaying your car from side to side.  The trees are leaning over the road.  The dark clouds billow and roll through the gray sky like waves in the ocean.  The deafening thunder and blinding lightening cause your body to tense up.  The muscles in the back of your neck feel extremely tight.  You actually go through a “bracing process” physically and emotionally, preparing for the worst.  Jokes are not appreciated at this time. Everything looks bleak.  There is nothing about which to be jovial.  You insist that everyone in the car become quiet and still.  Your focus is on the storm, on surviving, on safety, and on getting through the storm.  The fact is, the situation is extremely dangerous.  This is no time to dismiss the brevity of the situation simply as “a little storm.”  Your emotions, your fears are well founded.  Something could happen, something tragic and horrible.  Hope begins to ebb away.  You question the wisdom of putting yourself and your family in jeopardy.  You ask repeatedly, “Why did not I stay at home?  How could I have been so stupid?”  Most of us feel these same emotions and physical responses during the storms of life, which we call crisis.

People in crises often have a difficult time differentiating between the way things are and the way things seem to be.  One of the most important roles a caregiver plays is enabling the suffering person to distinguish reality from perception.  The fact is, even during the darkest, most critical moment of the storm, there is still hope.  The sun is still shining with the same intensity as it always does.  However, when you are in the heart of the storm, you simply cannot see the sun’s brilliance.  The clouds conceal any rays of hope.  Your focus is on what is occurring at that very moment – the danger, darkness and destruction of the storm, not the light from the sun.

If you keep driving long enough during a severe storm, you will eventually get through it. The wind will calm, the thunder and lightening will temper, and the dark clouds will begin to diminish.  Suddenly, the sun bursts through the clouds again, just as bright as ever.  You then realize that everything is going to be OK.  The initial crisis is almost over.  However, even when the initial storm is over, there will be “after effects.”  I recently heard on the weather channel that most people are not killed from gale force winds during a hurricane.  Most people lose their lives from the after effects of the storm.  This includes flooding, electrical shock by downed power lines, and cleanup accidents.  The same is true of crisis situations.  The initial storm may pass rather quickly.  The after affect of the storm is often the most difficult to deal with.  It is then that we need extra support and help from people who care about us.

Storms are such strong metaphors for people while experiencing a crisis. The sun can represent hope, peace, balance, and even God to people.  Individuals in crisis may know deep down that God, peace and hope are still existent, yet at the same time, they maybe having trouble recognizing them.  Our job is to walk along side them and assure them,  “It is going to be OK and the sun is still there.”  “You will get better.  You are not going insane.  God still cares and so do I.”   Isn’t that what God does for each of us?  He walks beside us and guides us through the storm.  The Shepherd Psalm, Psalms Chapter twenty-three, illustrates this so clearly:

“… Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.”  (Psalms 23: 4).

(*All quotations are from the New International Version unless otherwise indicated).

When passing through a valley, our ability to see the light of day is often obstructed from the towering mountains on each side of us.  When we walk through the dark valley of tribulation and trial, our ability to see God clearly is also impaired.  It is during these times that we need to be reminded that these trials that are being experienced are only temporary and will pass.  Fatherhood has enough challenges of its own.  Don’t be afraid of the darkness.  It is through darkness that God can show people the light.  It is in darkness that God does his greatest work.  After all, in the beginning when He created this magnificent universe and world, He created them out of complete darkness and void.  Shadows and darkness are no challenge to God.  That is why we should depend on Him the most when we are facing a storm. What looks dismal and dreaded for most people, is an opportunity of growth and development to God.

 

Finally A Dad Ad Worth Watching

I recently came across a really neat commercial that featured (for a change) a really powerful “dad moment” in of all things a commercial…for coffee.

I like it for several reasons.  First, it stands in contrast to most commercials that feature men or dads that are catatonic dolts.  You know the guy I’m talking about…the dad that can’t figure out the simplest things, that acts like a big kid all the time (while the all-wise, all-knowing woman tolerates his stupidity, and the all-wise, all-knowing kids do, too).  I’m very tired of that stereotyping of men and dads in particular, because it reinforces the lie that dads do not matter.

Another reason I really enjoy this commercial is that it’s based on a real story.  We need to share our real stories as men, to encourage each other.  To sometimes warn each other.

I’m also fond of this “dad ad” because it reminds us of the powerful and enduring impact of a dad…for good or bad.  In the commercial, the grandfather is bringing coffee to his grandson’s hockey game, while his son is already there looking on the game. Flashbacks tell us that this game…hockey…has been a passion for the son (father of the grandson) since he was a little boy. We also sense that the grandfather didn’t approve of his son’s love of hockey.  He didn’t refuse his son’s desire to play ALL the time, but he did put studying above hockey MOST of the time. And yet…the son realizes by the end of the commercial that his dad was not as disconnected from his hockey playing as he thought.

His dad would sneak into his games…his dad would watch from a distance and cheer him on…his dad even kept a picture of his son in his hockey uniform in his wallet for YEARS AND YEARS.  The faded picture is shown to the adult son as proof he watched the games and knew about the effort of his son in the sport.  The picture is precious to him.

This sets up a moment of peace, implied forgiveness, gratitude…and pride.  The grandfather is proud of his son.  The grandfather is proud of his grandson.  And the implication is clear. That pride and admiration and respect of your dad means a lot.  And even that statement is an understatement.

Research shows that an engaged dad in a child’s life has a huge impact in the social, emotional, academic, and spiritual well-being and development of our kids. So how are we doing, dads? Do we take or create opportunities to let our children know we are proud of them? Do we have our own “This is my beloved son/daughter in whom I’m well pleased” moments?

I’m humbled by this commercial.  I’m warned, in a way, as a dad. The warning to us is this:  Don’t wait for decades to pass before we tell our kids that we love them, that we are proud of them, that we appreciate what they can do and are capable of doing. We can talk all day long about government programs, church programs, non-profit ministry programs and the like that we need to encourage dads.

But some times as a dad…we just gotta go do it.

So let’s tell our kids and our grandkids today how much they mean to us.  Let’s not let the day go by without making an opportunity to do that.

What ways have you been blessed by a dad or grandpa that told you that they were proud of you?  What creative ways have you seen this type of blessing shown in public?  Share your comments below.

 

Leon C. Wirth is a Christian speaker, husband and father. He serves as Executive Director of Parenting and Youth at Focus on the Family and host of the Dad Matters podcast with Dr. Greg Smalley. He is the co-author of the book The One Year Father-Daughter Devotions. Leon lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Michelle, and their daughters.

Fatherhood: It’s About Marriage, Too

Fatherhood CoMissionOver a cup of coffee at Starbucks several years back, I asked Dr. Bill Dougherty one of the nation’s marriage and family researchers this question: “Bill if there is one thing that large family organizations need to focus on to really help families this century, what would it be?” He thought, thought, and thought some more. Then he said: “Helping the American public reconnect marriage and parenting (Fathering).” He went on to explain that our culture has separated, compartmentalized the two.  Americans seem to be able to compartmentalize the two “My marriage stinks but I can still be a good parent” or “if I can’t be successful in my marriage I will put all my energy into being a good parent.” The problem with that Bill said was “all the energy then is taken up in parenting and none is left to restore the marriage so it just gets worse.”

We all know great single parents who do a wonderful job with their kids, but we are not talking about that. We are talking about a parent, fathers specifically in a struggling marriage. The truth is, marriage does affect your ability to parent your children. The family is a system. What goes on in one part of the system affects the other. It’s like a mobile hanging over your child’s crib. You disturb one piece, the whole thing is disturbed.

If a marriage is struggling in a home, you can be rest assured that the struggle trickles down to the kids. They know about it and feel it, at any age.  Often as a therapist I see out of control behaviors in kids directly tying back to their parents struggling in their marriage. If parents can work on the marriage, they often help “fix” what’s going on with their kids’ unacceptable behaviors.

If you are fatherhood leader, let me encourage you to help Dads realize the connection between their role as a father and their role as a husband. The two go hand in hand. Maybe, the best thing we can do to help dads be better dads is to help teach them how to be a better husband?

Mitch Temple, Exec.Director, FCM

*For more articles to help marriages go here.

The Vison for The Fatherhood CoMission — The REAL Impact of the Movie, COURAGEOUS

This past November, The Fatherhood CoMission hosted over 50 key fathering leaders from across the U.S. to pray, learn, laugh and build collaborative relationships in order to champion the cause of fatherhood TOGETHER with one heart and one voice.

On Thursday night (Nov. 29,2012) Stephen Kendrick, FCM board member, presented an update on God’s faithfulness regarding the film, Courageous, over the past year.

courageousbannerStephen began his session recounting how he came to be part of the Fatherhood CoMission leadership and vision. He and a few others had caught the vision of what FCM could accomplish- to create a collaboration platform where Christian organizations and leaders passionate about fatherhood could come together in the spirit of unity and champion the cause of fatherhood together.

How Will We Fund This New Venture?

After Stephen came on our board, one of the big issues facing us was how do we fund this cause and organization that doesn’t exist? Stephen mentioned an idea that Courageous was being submitted to the San Antonio film festival, and if it won, the $101,000 prize might could be used to launch the Fatherhood Comission. But there were about 7 different hurdles that had to be overcome including the fact there were over 300 other submissions and that if Courageous won, all the parties and organizations benefitting had to agree to give up their portion of the winnings. The possibility didn’t seem likely in human terms.  But, Stephen and I prayed, “God if you are in this, make it happen.”  Guess what? Every hurdle was broken down. The movie qualified, won the festival, everyone cooperated, and God provided the money to start the Fatherhood CoMission. This past year the organization was formed, web and social media presence built out, national leaders’ summit planned and executed and that’s just the beginning. God is giving us the ideas and strategy to make a bigger impact together in 2013.

The REAL Impact of COURAGEOUS on Men and Families Around the World

During the Leaders’ Summit presentation this past November, Stephen went on to detail testimony after testimony of how God blessed the movie Courageous and has been using it to help bring the hearts of fathers back to their children not only in America but around the world.

“And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Mal 4:6, ESV)

Here are a few highlights of what God has done and continues to do through Courageous.

  • Courageous was the number 4 movie in the nation when it released theatrically.
  • Over 4 million people went to theaters to see Courageous.
  • Courageous remained in theaters over 17 weeks.
  • It was released in theaters in over 20 countries.
  • It was the number one DVD in the US the week is was released to the market.
  • The Courageous DVD was released in over 75 countries.
  • Some of the proceeds Sherwood’s movies are being used to establish missionaries where there are none like among the Dutch speaking people in Germany and buying motor scooters so pastors in Sudan can share the Gospel throughout the barren region. Over 100 new churches have been established this past year as a result.
  • Courageous was translated into one of the dialects of the Philippine language. Over 1,000 police officers came to Christ in the Philippines as a result.
  • In Ecuador, key government leaders and thousands of Police Officers saw the movie and many believe this could have an impact on turning corruption around in that country.
  • In Malawi Africa, Courageous was shown by a local missionary in various villages. 100’s of men came to know Christ, gave up drinking their daily wages away, rededicated themselves to their families and have been holding resolution ceremonies in their cities.

Tumbuka Tribesman with their signed Resolutions

  • In Afghanistan, soldiers saw the movie and rededicated themselves to their spouses and children. Many marriages have been saved and fathers returned to their homes.

The REAL Power Behind the Success of COURAGEOUS

Throughout the presentation Stephen reiterated that Courageous was God’s thing, and no one could take credit for it. They prayed for over a year about what the next Sherwood film would be about. God gave them the story behind Courageous. Even during filming and production, they began each day with prayer asking God to guide and bless each scene. They prayed for the right actors, God gave them strong believers who could produce professional performances. They prayed for a scene that would make the audience laugh after a deeply emotional scene. God gave them the “Snake King” idea (by far one of the most popular scenes in the movie). Every aspect of this film was given over and dedicated to God and the Lord ordered their steps and blessed their efforts. (Proverbs 16:3)

It’s still bringing people to Christ and leading men back to their families. Resolution ceremonies are still being conducted all over the world. Men are stepping up to the plate and being the courageous leaders of their homes that God has called them to be. Sherwood Baptist and the Kendrick’s freely give all the glory to God for what is happening.

Keeping the Light From COURAGEOUS Shining – The Fatherhood CoMission

And now through the Fatherhood CoMission, fathering leaders are coming together from over 30 organizations asking God to take the foundation that Courageous has laid and allow them to build upon it and keep the winds blowing in the sails of this incredible movement. Egos and logos are being laid to the side and God’s leaders are coming together asking Him once again, “how can we, together, continue to champion strong fatherhood in the world?”

Join Our Team to Champion Fatherhood!

Will you join us in rejoicing with what the Father has and continues to do through Courageous and now through the Fatherhood CoMission? Will you pray with us as we begin our 2013 plans to help churches and communities encourage and equip men to be strong fathers? Will you consider helping us financially in 2013 to champion fatherhood in our nation?

As we continue to serve together, we believe that that dads will respond to the call and step up to the plate. Dads will recommit to their wives and children, they will start spending time with their children, they will lead their families spiritually. The result? Stronger churches, communities, states, countries. Less crime, less addiction, less incarcerations. Better schools, safer neighborhoods. More families coming to Christ and more families Courageously raising future generations for the glory of God.

*Click here for more information about the Fatherhood CoMission or to support our cause.

Together we can make 2013 the Year of the Father!

 

 

A Time To Let Go

old car
Just after Christmas I took a peaceful stroll in the woods close to our home. It was cold and especially quite. You could hear everything: every breath, every step, branches falling to the straw covered ground, squirrels scampering in the green pines and, I could even hear my own thoughts. This was a time of reflection for me.
The end of the year is here. It’s a time to slow down from the crazy spinning cycle of life and just think, reflect.

As I walked and listened, I stumbled across this old car. It was a 1940-ish Ford coupe dusted with fresh morning snow. In one sense it looked quite serene nestled between the pines. But the more I observed, the more I saw it as it was: broken down, rusty, cracked and parts sagging to the ground. Realistically? quite useless. Beauty and attractiveness had long sense gone.
Yet, I thought of how this car must have been a source of great convenience for the family which owned it zooming from home to school, from work to home, from home to church and – life to life.

I also thought of the memories that must have been made in this car: the conversations, the laughter, tears over turmoil, painful decisions that had to be made, and trips to the park or movie theater downtown for a noon matinee. Maybe, the aged ripened sedan hurried mother to the hospital to deliver their first child.

As grand as this car must have been in its day to this nameless family, like all things, it had a beginning and an end. The time came when they had to let go of it.
So, here it was decade’s later right where they parked it – for the last time. It just sits alone and silent, slowly rusting away through warm summer rains and frosty winters.

Listening to my own thoughts and thinking of this time in my life a faint hint drifted by: “You know, I too am in a season of letting go. I’m 50 years old. Things are not as new and vibrant as they once were. There’s less opportunity in front of me and ample past. I’m no longer in a season of holding on to things and those I love as I once did. In the past my life was more about building, protecting and establishing. Now, much of what I do is about letting go.

Though sobering, these thoughts didn’t distress me, I simply accepted them as they were: the season God has ordained for me, for us all, to walk through.

I’m letting go of my children as they establish their own lives and families.
I’m letting go of my parents as they age and their health declines.
I’m letting go being their child and now becoming a parent.
I’m letting go of castle in the sky dreams I formed in my head as a barefooted boy.
I’m letting go of unrealistic expectations about money, career, marriage, family and even faith.
I’m letting go of old mind sets, thinking and habits. I’m adopted some new ones.
I’m letting go of this present life and beginning to grab hold of the next.
And, I’m ok with that.”

So, what season might you be in?
How is the response thing going?
Is there a little struggling to let go?
What is it that you may need to let go of?

Need some advice?
Let me unassumingly offer words of wisdom stemming from a much higher and intelligent source than I- God’s word:

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
-Ecclesiastes 3