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

President Obama Talks About Fatherhood–His Father and Being a Better Father

President Obama at MorehouseThough we may not agree on all of the political or social issues with President Obama, we can all relate to some of his remarks about fatherhood that he shared as part of the commencement address he gave to the graduates of Morehouse College a couple of weeks ago. Here are some of those comments (the entire commencement address can be seen at the WhiteHouse website www.whitehouse.gov

Personal Reflection-

…I sure wish I had had a father who was not only present, but involved. Didn’t know my dad. And so my whole life, I’ve tried to be for Michelle and my girls what my father was not for my mother and me. I want to break that cycle where a father is not at home — where a father is not helping to raise that son or daughter. I want to be a better father, a better husband, a better man.

Order of priorities–

It’s hard work (being a father) that demands your constant attention and frequent sacrifice. And I promise you, Michelle will tell you I’m not perfect. She’s got a long list of my imperfections. Even now, I’m still practicing, I’m still learning, still getting corrected in terms of how to be a fine husband and a good father. But I will tell you this: Everything else is unfulfilled if we fail at family, if we fail at that responsibility.

 

Leaving a Legacy

I know that when I am on my deathbed someday, I will not be thinking about any particular legislation I passed; I will not be thinking about a policy I promoted; I will not be thinking about the speech I gave, I will not be thinking the Nobel Prize I received.  I will be thinking about that walk I took with my daughters.  I’ll be thinking about a lazy afternoon with my wife. I’ll be thinking about sitting around the dinner table and seeing them happy and healthy and knowing that they were loved.  And I’ll be thinking about whether I did right by all of them.

To view President Obama’s full address to the graduates of Morehouse College on YouTube, click here.

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

Continuing Our Tribute to Our Mothers – from the Fatherhood CoMission

ALL IN

This Mother’s Day tribute is from Focus on the Family’s, Roy Baldwin.

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I wrote a recent blog post about my mother for Dad Matters entitled, “My Mom: Through the Highs and the Barf…” In it I describe my mother as one who was always been “all in” in my life.  My mother and father sacrificed much in raising my younger brother and I.  My parents have modeled for me the importance of having an intimate relationship with Christ.  They have shown me that putting others first is a primary calling not a secondary thought.  We were far from a perfect family…we have had our struggles and trials but in the midst of the journey my parents kept pointing to Christ.

As I raise my own family…I look back on those years and am grateful for a mother who was “all in” as a mom but more importantly as a Christ follower.

Roy

Fatherhood CoMission Pay Tribute to Their Moms

Sunday is Mother’s Day.  You can thank us later for making sure you don’t forget Mom’s day.  Over the next few days, members of the Fatherhood CoMission will share some brief tributes to their moms.

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From Board Member, Brian Doyle, National Director of Iron Sharpens Iron

I can’t remember a time when I tried to see or call my Mom and she wasn’t available. She was there when I came home from school every day and wanted to hear all the details. She was there when I went away to college or started a new job. She was there when I changed jobs, sometimes when it was not my choice. She was there but with the appropriate space after getting married but with the same interest and unconditional love. She was there for my kids and became a person who was available for their phone call and visit.

In a world that values productivity and ingenuity and flash, my Mom was available to me from the early days of being her first born child to the very end. I knew where to find her and how to reach her. Her investment in being available made a mark that no other person could ever match. She has moved on to be with her Savior but I still know where she is and look forward to visiting with her again someday.

Brian

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

Great Fatherhood Requires Cross-Training

GREAT FATHERHOOD REQUIRES CROSS-TRAINING by Stephen Kendrick

As Christians around the world join together every year to celebrate Good Friday and Easter Sunday, let me challenge you, Dads, to direct your attention and boldly train your children in the powerful and transformational truths of the cross.

Let me summarize thousands of years of history and theological books for you. The cross of Jesus Christ is the secret to knowing God, experiencing His love and walking in true victory in life. (Romans 5:8)

Cross-training2Embracing the cross transforms a man from the inside out. Living the cross guides him to die to his fears and self-centeredness and to be more like Christ and walk in courage and truth in this world. (Luke 9:23) Teaching your children about the cross is fundamental to leading your kids to the heart of God and training them to make the most of their lives.

Jesus said it this way, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” Luke 9:23-25 nasu.

Palm Sunday and the Passover week leading up to Easter are really about the cross and Jesus becoming the sacrificial lamb whose blood would save people from God’s wrath (John 1:29, Luke 22:14-20).

Did you know that the cross is the central theme of the entire 66 books of the Bible? The Old Testament is constantly using symbolism and prophecies (Genesis 22:4-18, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53) to point people forward to the cross. The New Testament looks back to the cross. The four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all take you on a journey to the cross.

The cross is also the central theme of true theology.

Through the cross, Jesus dealt with everything that our selfishness and sin has brought into the world. Sin brings guilt and shame, but Jesus bore our shame on the cross. (Hebrews 12:1-2) Sin brings bondage, addiction and spiritual slavery. (John 8:31-36) But Jesus sets us free from these. (Romans 6:6, 17-18, 22, Galatians 2:20; 5:1) Sin brings the judgment and curse of the law. Yet Christ died on a tree and became a curse for us to deliver us (Galatians 3). Sin results judgment, death, and the fear of death. (Romans 6:23 Hebrews 2:14). But Christ conquered death, hell, and the grave.

At the same time, the cross of Jesus reveals and uncovers the character of God’s heart. It glorifies and announces the very nature of God Himself in vivid color.  If you want to see God’s wrath upon sin, then look at the cross.

So much blood. So tortuous that Romans exempted their citizens from it. So painful, a new word was invented to describe it. In English, our word “excruciating” actually means, “out of the cross. ”

But at the same time, if you want to see the beauty of God’s mercy, look at the cross and how He bore our sins for us. (Romans 9:16; Eph. 2:4-5). The height of God’s LOVE was revealed at the cross. (John 15:13) Jesus paid the highest price possible to those us who deserved it the least in order to give us the greatest gift possible.

When we men and our children realize how much we deserve God’s judgment and yet how much love and mercy He has offered us through the cross, it does something amazing within us. It humbles us.

Charles Spurgeon wrote,  “My sins were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorn those bleeding brows: my sins cried “Crucify Him! crucify Him!” and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders. His being led forth to die is sorrow enough for one eternity: but my having been His murderer, is more, infinitely more, grief than one poor fountain of tears can express.”

Yet, knowing what Christ did for us transforms us. It awakens us to God’s love and mercy poured out for us. It inspires us to let go of what is wrong in our lives and embrace what God wants from us.

The cross answers life’s toughest questions. Which religious leader is worth following? Look to the One Who died on a cross for you. How can I know that I am really loved? Run to the cross. How do I get encouragement on a daily basis? Be inspired by the cross. How do I get set free from addictions? By embracing the cross and following Christ. What does God think about my sin? Gaze upon the shame of the cross. How do I get eternal life? By bowing your knee and your heart at the foot of it.

How should I then live? The Apostle Paul beautifully explained it this way, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” – Galatians 2:20 NASU

This is the power of the cross.

Embrace it and teach it to your children.

Well Done Good and Faithful Dad

“Well done…good and faithful dad”

Recently I wrote a blog post for Dad Matters, a new blog for dads from Focus on the Family called, Defining Manhood: Reflecting on Steubenville.  This blog post was a letter to my son about manhood in light of the tragedy in Steubenville, OH.

In the post I wrote, “May I stand before the Lord some day and hear the words, “well done, good and faithful dad …”

“Good and faithful dad …” isn’t that an interesting thought?  The more I think about servanthood in that context the more I long to hear it.  As a man, I want to be found faithful in my calling to the Lord.  To be a good steward of the talents and skills He has given me…but always within the context of being a husband and father.

opentomb-crossYou see, to know at the deepest level of our being that God is our Father and that we are his sons and daughters is the result of what Christ did for us on the cross.  It is to know Him as ‘Abba, Father.’

No Longer On The Cross

In today’s culture, fatherhood is often merely an afterthought, but Christ changed all of that for every single one of us on the cross.  In the garden of Gethsemane, Christ expressed a childlike trust yet was willingly obedient when he prayed.  “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36).  You see Christ was basically saying…”you are a good and faithful Father and I will trust you with this…”

As we celebrate Easter, may we celebrate Easter within the context of being a dad.  “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”  (Galatians 4:4-7)

Easter is an adoption ceremony that allows us to become His sons and daughters.  And as dads…do our children see us modeling and living out our sonship?    As Christ was found faithful, may we be found faithful to our callings as fathers so that one day we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant…”  That’s a life that’s no longer on the cross but now living in freedom!

Happy Easter.  I hope you know the power of being one of his children.  If you don’t, you can.  Check out “Restoring Our Relationship With God.”

Blessings
Roy

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.“

Championing Fathers – There’s More To This Than Meets The Eye

Often when we look at an organization or big initiatives from “the outside” we typically have little “insight” as to what it takes to keep the “wheels in motion.”  I learned this first hand when I went to work for Focus on the Family back in 2004. At that time Focus had over 1400 fulltime employees and operated out of three massive buildings at their headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Coming from a local church I was really clueless about the incredible processes that have to occur on a daily basis in order to offer hundreds of resources to millions of people all over the world. As I began to bury myself in planning meetings day after day, I soon began to realize how much work really goes on “behind the scenes.”

I have experienced the same thing by being involved in the launch of the Fatherhood CoMission. It takes hours upon hours of planning, phone calls, emails, building and managing social media, web site production, event planning and days of travel to pull together an organization which is designed to be a collaboration platform for numerous organizations to come together for one cause- the cause of championing fathers and fatherhood.

Fatherhood CoMission

Then, there is the Fatherhood CoMission board. This is a group of men who have willingly, selfishly volunteered hours upon hours to provide leadership to FCM in order that we might work in unity to champion fathers to the church and culture. This is in addition to the fact that each of these men are senior level executives at some of our nation’s top Christian family and fathering organizations (Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, Iron Sharpens Iron, National Center for Fathering, Sherwood Pictures). Add to this the fact each of them are devoted husbands and fathers to their children. One of our board members has eight girls all under the age of 16!  Bottom line- these men are true servants. They sacrifice above and beyond their day to day responsibilities for others and for the cause of building up fathers across this country.

Fatherhood CoMission team

The verse that comes to mind regarding this group of servant leaders is: Matthew 23:11: The greatest among you shall be your servant. (ESV). They are incredible examples of great men who live out their daily lives by serving others.  May each of us be inspired to do the same in our homes, with our kids, spouses, neighbors and on the job.

P.S.: Please pray for our leadership as we move forward with executing the mission of the Fatherhood CoMission.  God is really blessing this initiative and we will be making a very exciting announcement soon about an initiative for the Father’s Day 2013 weekend, which you, you’re organization and church can participate in. Stay tuned!