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

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

We All Need a Little P D C

A new friend and member of the Fatherhood CoMission family, Jamie Bohnett, shared some quotes from a book written by Henri Nouwen back in 1979 entitled, “The Wounded Healer.” They are worth sharing:

“The man of prayer is a leader precisely because through his articulation of God’s work within himself he can lead others out of confusion to clarification; through his compassion he can guide them out of the closed circuits of their in-groups to the wide world of humanity.” (p. 47)

“The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.” (p.72)

“The man who has spent many hours trying to understand, feel, and clarify the alienation and confusion of one of his fellow men might be the best equipped to speak to the needs of the many, because all men are one at the wellspring of  pain and joy.” (p. 73)

As a father and leader, these quotes struck me deeply. They caused me to really reflect asking these questions:

  • Am I a leader of my family and others who is led by prayer? Honestly, not always. Often prayer comes behind my own thinking, desires and failed attempts. I’m still learning to ask God before trying to solve the challenge at hand.
  • What “deserts” have I been through in my life that I have not yet shared “the path out of” with others? What difficult times have I been through as a father, leaders and what have I learned that I have not yet allowed others to know about? Do I have the courage to share them or will I keep them hidden and lost by my passing? I am praying that God will give me the insight and courage to do so.
  • How compassionate am I really to “the one” person that God puts in front of me? Often as fathers and leaders of others, “the one person” gets lost in “the many”.  “Lord, help me to focus on “the one’s” in my family and those I lead. Help me to understand, feel and clarify their pain and joy’s and in turn do the same for “the many.”

My thoughts have been swirling around these questions today. I believe they have helped me to be take one step to being a better leader, father and granddad. My prayer is that these quotes will challenge you similarly.

The Low Down on The Fatherhood Summit 2012

Fatherhood Leadership Summit team

Over sixty leaders and spouses came together last week at Winshape Retreat in Rome, Georgia to support the 2012 FCM Summit Vision: to train, equip, and unify local and national ministry leaders so they can strategically work together to champion the cause of Biblical fatherhood across the nation.  Practically our desire was to rejoice and laugh, grieve and pray, listen and learn, educate and encourage each other, network and fellowship, and then dream and collaborate so that we can be united in advancing God’s design and heart for strong fatherhood.  We feel these goals were met by God’s good grace. Be encouraged by reading testimonies submitted by Fathering Leaders who attended (below).

There are two prominent questions being asked stemming from the 2012 Summit:

1.      What’s next?      This is a question that we are all asking and seeking the favor of God about.  Currently here’s what  we have been shown:

  • Ongoing encouragement for Fatherhood leaders to work together in unity, laying aside ego’s and logo’s for the common good of the big K (kingdom) cause.
  • To embark on a significant Father’s Day undertaking together.  The FCM Board is convening in Dallas in January to solidify ideas and strategy.
  • To offer the Fatherhood Leaders Summit again in 2013 at Winshape.
  • Keep relationships moving forward through conference calls, web-n-r’s, social media

2.      What can I do?    Though we are still very much in the formation stage, below are specific tasks which will help FCM continue its work into 2013 and beyond:

  • Pray regularly that God will bless this movement with unprecedented guidance, protection and favor.
  • Help us spread the word about FCM by posting on our Facebook page , “like” us and post links to FCM on your social media channels.
  • Sign up for our blog and forward link to your email contacts
  • Follow FCM on twitter and re-tweet FCM tweets
  • Share “best of” resources on our FB page– help put tools in fathering champion’s “tool boxes”
  • Share what is happening through FCM with your pastor, church leaders and community leaders
  • FCM board members have committed to make a personal donation to FCM by end of month. If you believe in the direction we are heading, prayerfully consider a personal donation or ask friends, colleagues, influencers to make a year end gift to our 2013 efforts.  Details about online donations coming soon. Send donation questions or intents to: mitchtempleonline@gmail.com

Follow this link for a Summit slideshow. Enjoy!

Thank you again and May God bless us as we stand together and champion the noble calling of fatherhood. I am truly honored to help lead this effort into the year 2013.

Just Enough Light

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do as a dad

I don’t know about you but there’s no way I could ever attempt to tally the number of times I have desperately asked “God, why don’t you just tell me what to do as a father?” “I have your word but please just show me the big picture so I can make the right choice here” “Why do you keep me in the dark?”  “Lord, what’s a little more light on the subject?”  Like Job I cry out in my humanity to a God who often makes decisions I have no comprehension of and who rarely asks for my input.

When my responsibility as a Father stumps me, more often than not silence speaks, but not much else. Sometimes I get angry, sometimes I shrug my shoulders because it’s the same response as I got before. Sometimes I just want to curl up in a fetal position and listen to the Bee-Gee’s warble out “How can you mend a broken heart?”

Since we are human fathers / people we ask people questions. It seems to be in our fallen DNA doesn’t it? Yet when silence is all we hear we often are led to be satisfied with ringing silence and darkness blurring our eyes.

Where is God during these times?

Despite those seasons, I have learned through the years God speaks to me through silence. Through the thickest darkness God has promised to provide enough light to keep on the right path and keeping us from stepping into dangerous holes.

When I was struggling with whether to leave a steady “pay check” job two years ago or come home to care for my elderly parents and which projects to take and which ones to not take, an older friend of mine named Anne put her arm around me and gave me advice I will always treasure:  “Mitch, you know through the years I have learned to remember something I read in a book – God has promised to light our next step, nothing more. That means just enough light to take one more carefully placed step. He has never promised to light up the entire highway. Don’t keep looking for something He has not promised. Trust that He knows what’s best for you and wait on that.” That statement continues to stick with me and has carried me through rough times and even during the tough spot I am currently going through as a father and provider for my family. Anne’s wisdom re-frames my thinking from hopelessness to hopefulness, from despair to “maybe, just maybe…”

The Bible puts it this way:  “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”(Psalms 119:105)

When I was a kid we used to hunt at night from time to time for whatever was legal (and sometimes not) but usually Raccoons and Possums. Though my older brother and his hunter friends had sophisticated headlamps that looked like football stadiums strapped to their heads, I always lagged behind the Possum dream team mainly because I seemed to get the beat up oil lamp or dented metal flashlight with leaky batteries. It was the price I had to pay to get to play with the big boys. My brother often hung a whistle around my neck so I could blow SOS when I got so far behind he couldn’t hear me yelling at the top of my lungs. I was a pitiful excuse for a hunter. The oil lamp and the flash light (which I beat on every tree I passed by to keep it shinning) was usually only enough light to take one carefully placed step at a time, putting me further and further behind the other guys. But if I got a little too scared in the dark swamp and walked faster I took some dangerous risks. Thorny bamboo’s, briars as thick as your thumb, fallen logs would bruise and slice up my legs and arms to the point of having blood-wet socks.  On a few occasions I would step on a Cotton Mouth Snake which could have put me in the hospital with one bite.  So many times I remember feeling so afraid or impatient that I started taking faster more dangerous steps. Here’s what I learned:  I almost always got into trouble when I stepped outside the light that was given me. 

I don’t think like God…THANK GOD.

The quote from Psalms comforts and reminds me that God doesn’t think the same way I do and that I should be OK with that. He knows just a little more than I do (or any human for that matter) about life, fathering, who I am and what dangers lie ahead. So though I still want the big boy light, I accept the dim warm glow he puts in my hand at any given time. Though much slower than my humanity screams for and demands, taking one small lighted step with the most Powerful force and Creator of the World and Universe is not a bad trail to follow, even in complete darkness and ringing silence.

 

About Mitch Temple:

Mitch Temple brings over 25 years experience full-time in the Church and Non Profit Christian world. He also brings many years of experience in the Family and professional therapy community. He is the author/ coauthor of 5 books. He speaks nationally and internationally. He serves as a consultant to the Christian film industry as well as churches, non profits and secular organizations. Holds two graduate degrees in ministry and family therapy. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Former Director of Marriage and Family at Focus on the Family. Mitch is well connected in the Christian community and specializes in Partnerships and Strategic Alliances. Mitch was one of the co-founders of The Fatherhood CoMission and is extremely passionate about helping churches and communities build up fathers.