2nd Annual Fatherhood Leaders Summit Approaching

The 2nd annual Fatherhood Leaders’ Summit is coming up Dec. 4-6, 2013 at WinShape Retreat Center in Rome, Georgia.
We have invited a group of 70 key leaders and influencers to convene this coming December with the intent of laying aside individual agenda’s and logo’s to build stronger relationships, learn, dialog and pray about how we can help strengthen fathers- together. The annual summit is hosted by The Fatherhood CoMission whose mission is to simply champion fathers together through the church and in our culture. FCM was launched on the heels of the movie COURAGEOUS.
This year’s Summit guests and speakers include: Dr. John Trent- author- The Blessing, Dr. Jeff Myers (President of Summit Ministries, Co.Springs), Bill Eyster, (COO Family Life), Michael Lewis (Pastors Director for NAMB, SBC), Stephen Kendrick (Courageous Producer), Brian Doyle (Pres. Iron Sharpens Iron), Jeff Kemp (Former NFL QB), Mark Holman (Pres. Faith@Home), Ryan Dobson- (Co-host Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson ), Glenn Stanton (Researcher, Focus on the Family), Dr. Tim Clinton (Pres. American Associations of Christian Counselors), Zoro the Drummer (number 1 R&B drummer in world), Bob Waliszewski (Plugged In Movie Review), Leaders/ CEO’s from National and Regional Fathering/ Family org’s like Prison Fellowship, National Center for Fathering, Day Spring Cards, Care Net, National Fathering Initiative and other national and regional influencers. There will be sessions on Current Research regarding fathering, movies to reach dads, reaching men through technology sessions
Topics, presentations and discussion items will include: Fatherlessness in our culture- how do we tackle the issuetogether?; Current research, Trends on faithlessness and fathering; What God Says about leadership?; The Theology of Fatherhood- how to equip churches to help dads live it out; Dads passing on faith to kids, how leaders can equip; How to equip dads to bless their kids; Positive Technology and Media- how to use it to reach Dads; Guiding kids to make good entertainment choices and why important; Moral issues and problems dads/ men are struggling with; How para ministries are reaching dads and equipping leaders. There will also be an exclusive movie premier for an upcoming family film, testimonies and appearances by Entertainers, Athletes, Zoro the Drummer and Comedian Michael Jr.
Read what last year’s guests had to say about last year’s summit: “I’m still unwrapping this weekend like a kid at Christmas! It was rich!!” -Jason Ellerbrook – Men’s Ministry Leader/ LifeWay; “I’m moved by the Kingdom focus and the timing of the event. God is obviously working in and through many ministries individually and collectively to prioritize the issue of Biblical fathering”. – Mike Young, Noble Warriors; “I found brothers and sisters I never knew I had who are now my partners in encouraging, empowering, celebrating dads and the Gospel. It was a thrill and so encouraging…” -Jim Liske- CEO, Prison Fellowship; “It was very powerful. The energy and focus was fabulous! -Jeanett & Marvin Charles, Co-Founders, D.A.D.S.; “The facilities were beautiful, the staff was super helpful and the entire conference was extremely well run.” – Gregory W. Slayton, Former U.S. Ambassador.
From last year’s Summit the idea was birthed to offer a national level event designed to encourage dads around father’s day 2013. With God’s help that dream came true with dozens of organizations working together to host the Courageous Dads Simulcast in June. In spite of the short time frame for planning, the event was successful in encouraging and inspiring dads across the country to be Courageous Dads. We expect God to work through the 2013 summit in a similar way to bring about key opportunities for His leaders to work together around this issue called fatherhood.
The importance of this Summit cannot be overstated. The need is greater than ever for God’s leaders to come together and shout with one voice “dads are important!” Please begin praying now for this event as leaders are making plans to attend, presenters are preparing their presentations and logistics are being put in place to make this Summit even more impacting than last year.
Fatherhood Leadership Summit team

Courageous Dads 2013 – Summary & Testimonies and It’s NOT DONE YET.

Courageous Dads | Fatherhood CoMission | LifewayThank you again for promoting, viewing and being a supporter of this incredible unified effort to champion dads- Courageous Dads. We could not have done this without you.  Considering the short time frame to produce and promote (since February), busy time of year, being a new platform, our first large collaborative project with over 12 national level partners, we feel grateful about the outcomes we have seen so far. Here are a few highlights:

  • Simulcast hosted at over 150 locations
  • Courageous Dads.com: From May 9- June 14 we saw a 700% increase in web traffic to access simulcast info., marketing tools, free dad resources, videos, ebooks, blog info., mom resources, etc.
  • Courageous Dads FB saw significant increase during same period in likes, views, shares, etc.
  • Millions of impressions created through combined partner/ supporter promotions
  • Courageous Dads App and Game-over 300 downloads. Hundreds of downloads
  • “It’s not too late to experience”- On Demand to remain available a minimum of 30 days. Select on demand during checkout process.
  • Please continue to promote through social media channels and email lists. Messaging: Lifeway is now making the Courageous Dads Simulcast available via on-demand- anytime, anywhere. Churches can still host their own Courageous Dads viewing events, retreats, men’s breakfasts. Small groups and individuals can watch on their laptops or in their living room. Go to www.courageousdads.com to register and access free fathering resources. Select on demand option during registration process.
  • We are currently discussing how we might “repurpose” the simulcast through other media channels so Courageous Dads can champion dad’s year around. Look for updates through Courageousdads.com and Courageous Dads face book page.
  • We hope to offer something similar next father’s day weekend.

Here are a couple of Testimonies from men impacted by the event:

COURAGEOUS DADS was a great event…we had little over 100 men who came to experience the evening with us. It was covered by our local NBC stations 10pm news. Several conversations with dads afterwards indicated that they were well pleased with the evening. Gave away a copy of Stepping Up to a dad who came by our resource table and he left with tears in his eyes. Biggest win for me personally was it setting up the opportunity to invite my daughter in laws dad to join me last night and tomorrow he has committed to joining me for worship. PRAISE GOD and thank you guys for helping to blaze a trail… Love and respect each of you! To God be the glory!

Tony- Montgomery, Al.

We had a great group of Men and Pastor’s over to watch last Friday night’s Father’s Day Simulcast. The Men all gave the show Rave reviews, Many hand claps  Etc….It was very well done. The session with Jeff and his Family was awesome. Dennis session was also very powerful Stephen Kendrick’s  session on Prayer  Really ,really good. It was all so very practical and so needed. My Father was there he is 80 yrs old and was very encouraged and empowered by Dennis last Step the Patriarch. But just having the opportunity for Men to gather prior to Father’s Day and to be encouraged was such a Blessing.

Mike, Little Rock, AR

God bless you and thank you again for your incredible support of Courageous Dads. Spread the word that it’s still available through Lifeway online (On-demand)- only $10.00 for individuals.

Mitch Temple

Executive Director

Fatherhood CoMission

A Tribute to Mom’s from the Fatherhood CoMission – Mom’s Magic by Mitch Temple

There are many things I remember about my mom growing up-  being in the stands at ball games, slaving over a hot stove to prepare delicious meals, keeping us close by her side during church, encouraging me to not give up, consoling me as only a mother could do when I hurt. But one thing that stands out is the way she could work a “mothers magic” during holidays and special days. Though we had little income and our home was modest, mom always found a way to “go over the top” to make these days special. Every year at Christmas she would decorate our home like a high level interior decorator using every decoration she could buy and even make out of resources around the house- old sheets, pine cones, oat meal boxes, paper towel rolls. She saved S&H green stamps all year to buy some of our gifts. She put back money she could have spent on herself, just so we could have a “big Christmas”, something she never had growing up. When I married my beautiful bride over 30 years ago my mom worked her magic again to make a wonderful wedding complete with beautiful decorations out of a budget of about $200.00.

Today, her time is no longer spent in saving and decorating to make her children’s special days special.  But her days are spent caring for my dad who is striken with severe Parkinson disease. She’s still giving and still making our family feel rich with love and grace. Thank you Mom. I honor you on this Mothers Day.

MTempleMom-mosaic

Courageous Dads Father’s Day Simulcast Event – June 14, 2013

Courageous Dads | Fatherhood CoMission | LifewayImagine what our world could be like when Fathers are ENGAGED, EMPOWERED, and EQUIPPED to be all God intended.  What if we could all be a part of ENCOURAGING and ESTEEMING fathers toward this goal?

Well, we can…

PASTORS: Check out our FREE downloadable sermons and video clips for your Father’s Day service. Find all these resources and more at CourageousDads.com. Sign your church up to host the simulcast.

CHURCHES: Take advantage of the FREE downloadable resources to get the word out about the importance of fathers. You’ll find banners, icons for Facebook, postcards, bulletin inserts, and posters at CourageousDads.com.

SMALL GROUP LEADERS: After Father’s Day, engage dads in small group studies and events that will equip and inspire. Be sure to check out the Courageous Movie Study, Stepping Up and other men’s equipping events.

EVERYONE: We invite you to host, attend and be a part of the Courageous Dads Simulcast, Father’s Day weekend – June 14th!  Register Here.  Come back often to CourageousDads.com for ongoing help in being a courageous dad and husband through blogs, apps, games, events, and more.

Individuals, small groups and churches who register for the simulcast will hear some of our nation’s most courageous men tell their story of what it means to be a Courageous Dad! On Friday June 14th (for times click here) you will hear from:

Thank you in advance for your support of the Courageous Dad’s Initiative!

Mitch Temple

Executive Director

The Fatherhood CoMission

Courageous Dads | Fatherhood CoMission | LifeWay | June 14, 2013

Don’t Miss Out on Real Life

fatherhood comission mitch temple ute passWhen our family lived in Colorado Springs a few years back I loved taking walks along an old Indian trail called “the Ute pass.”  Often as I hiked I noticed large pines bowed down toward the ground pointing to the earth. I assumed this was due to heavy snow storms but I read a historical marker one day which said that these are most likely “prayer trees.” Prayer trees served as markers to mark sacred spots along the trail as Native Americans traveled from the plains through the Stony pass heading deep into the Rockies. When these travelers sensed a spot that felt was sacred, they would simply bend a young sapling over without breaking it and tie its bows to the earth with a leather strap. Through the years the tree would continue to grow but would remain postured as if bowed in prayer.

As fellow tribesmen and women passed along these trails from hunting or gathering food from the plains, they would see these trees and be reminded to slow down, stop and pray. To pass these sacred spots without praying was not looked upon with favor by peers.

Just as Native Americans needed prayer reminders as they carried on their daily journey of life, so do we.  Not only do we need to be reminded to refocus our thoughts to the One who made us and the things around us, we also need to be reminded to refocus on those we care about- our family and friends- the “big rocks”.

Sure it’s easy to pass hurriedly along our “trails” each day. I am the world’s worst at running wide open often missing “sacred moments.” But if we forget the people and things that mean more to us than our  “must do” responsibilities, we can miss out on the most important opportunities of life.

We may not be able to bend trees to remind us of the sacred or what means the most to us, but it’s good to place reminders along our daily expeditions to slow down, remember the important.   “Sticky note to self: Call Dad tonight; send my wife an email thanking her for working tirelessly to care for us; send a text to my daughter telling her how proud her daddy is of her. And, most importantly, say a little prayer thanking God  for it all.“

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

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.

 

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

Dealing with Depression

depressed manDo you realize that many Christian leaders struggle with depression, even during the holidays? Depression is a silent distractor and disabler of many Christian leaders throughout the year. Its causes can be many including biological, genetic, stress, chemical imbalances etc.

Charles Spurgeon considered “the prince of preachers” in the 1800’s struggled with depression.  Tommy Nelson one of today’s most popular pastors, author and family leader shared his struggle with depression openly through lectures, interviews and books.

I know of numerous fathering and family leaders who sometimes silently struggle with the “demon of depression” including myself.  Depression can strike anyone, including leaders who are out front leading the battle on today’s biggest faith and family challenges.

Depression typically doesn’t just go away. It takes courage, intentionality and often seeking outside help including a medical doctor or therapist.  If you are married to a spouse dealing with depression, you can also help by familiarizing yourself with what they are struggling with and how to help them versus making it worse.

This holiday season; say a special prayer for our leaders, fathers and pastors. We need them on the front lines.