Impact a father’s investment has in the lives of others

I ran across this video (from TD Ameritrade) that shares a healthy twist to the classic Harry Chapin song “Cats In The Cradle.” 

It provides a vivid picture of the impact a father’s investment has in the lives of others. I also want to send this out to some friends as a reminder to them being new dads, that there is no greater investment outside of your personal investment into your relationship with Christ or with your spouse that you will make that is more important than that in which you make into your kids.

“My child arrived just the other day.  He came to the world in a usual way but they’re were planes to catch and bills to pay so I moved my meeting (and) saw him walk that day.

He was talking before I knew it and as he grew he said, “I going to be like you dad.  You know I’m going be like you.”

My son turned 10 just the other day.  He said, “Thanks for the ball dad.  C’mon let’s play.  Can you teach me to throw?”  I said, “Right away.  I’ve got stuff to do but that can wait today.”  And he ran outside and smiled ear-to-ear and said, “I’m going to be like you dad.  You know I’m going to be like you.”

Well he came home from college just the other day, He said, “I can’t thank you enough for paying my way.  What I’d really like dad is to borrow the car keys (and) take you to dinner and discuss my dreams.”

I’m soon retired (and) my son’s well on his way.  He came by with a question just the day, “I need your advice dad with what to do when I become a father just like you.  Become a father just like you.”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy blue and the man in the moon.  “When you coming home dad?”  “I’ll be home at 10:00 and we’ll get together then.  You know we’ll have a good time then.”

Time to P.P. in your ministry

Time to “Partner with Parents” in your ministry!

Those of us who say we minister to the family need to really stand back and ask ourselves, “Do we really minister to the family or are we more about being successful on just the weekend?”

Look at our prep times. Are we prepping to mainly show off the wonderful and creative ideas that flow from our choice of a curriculum? Or, are prepping resources to go beyond just the weekend?

Do we know what the needs are of not just the kids or the students, but what about the needs of those guardians who spend more time carrying the weekend experience further? What tools do they need? Guardians of those kids and students are looking to the church to help them do a better job at being the priest of their families. They need more than just a take-home paper (or should we call it a floor mat?).

Time to ask some real questions. Here are just a few to get you started.

  1. What are the parents “real” needs?
  2. What do we offer at this time that really address these needs?
  3. What do I have in my tool box of ministry goodies that I could easily bring out and make available for families?

Sometimes we try to offer up just an explanation of what we taught on a certain day and call it good. We expect that the parents will take that 1-2 minute explanation given at the door on their way out and build on that throughout the week. Wrong!!

  • Are you providing daily ways through social media, email, snail mail, quick videos etc. to continue to set the parents up with quick ideas that would be age appropriate for them to use?
  • Have you created a Facebook group or some connection spot for parents to network with other parents and receive encouragement and creative ideas to being the priest of their families throughout the week? Through a group like this, you also have access to their thoughts, troubles, struggles, and questions. You also have access daily to pour into families vision of what it can look like to live a Deuteronomy 6 family lifestyle.
  • Providing information over age appropriate children’s phases. I do this through Kidology Coaching.
  • Have you ever hosted an open house to show off your leaders who pour into the families but also opens up a communication time to hear what families are needing?

This post is to only serve as a starting point. The important thing is that you will start to ask the questions and then design your churches plan to execute on the ideas and needs of your families.

Families want to be successful, will you truly help them do exactly this?

Parenting is more modeling than anything else

Jenelle in viking shirt

Parenting is more about modeling than anything else. It’s a really scary thought for most parents that the values, core beliefs, and more come from our children watching what we model and copying us! There may be a handful of parents who are relaxed about this having a clean conscience about their language, their attitudes, their manners and other behaviors. But for many this can be a very heavy thought. Especially if you consider all the possible areas our children are subconsciously absorbing values that we didn’t intend to pass on to them.

When my children were little, I will admit that I tried to influence them into liking the Minnesota Vikings and my wife tried to get them to sway toward the chiefs. But there are so many other areas that are not as easy of topics or values that we will model for our kids through our behaviors that will come out in many ways that they will pick up on. For example, what attitudes do we model? When something is hard do we give up? When our football team wins how do we handle winning? If they lose how do we handle that? What about our regular attendance at church? Our Bible reading or prayer?

How do we handle our feelings? When I’m sad, do I do we turn to the ice cream in the freezer and then wonder why kids obesity is on the rise? When I’m angry, do I put others down or criticize or resort to sarcasm? What do I do when my self-esteem is low? Do I go shopping or give up and withdraw?

When someone has upset me do I speak rationally to the person concerned or do I bottle up my feelings or explode? Do they see you resolving conflict well? Do they know you’ve made up with your spouse after a fight and do they learn how you resolved things?

If you’re feeling a bit sick by now, keep reading as it gets better.

If I want my children to develop good social skills, how am I modeling that? Do we all eat together at the table having conversations? Do they see me with my friends? Do they hear me talking positively about friends and family or do they hear a list of complaints? How you talk about your parents is how they’ll talk about you in adulthood!

What about lifestyle? We all know how important it is to encourage our children to eat well and take exercise and get enough sleep, but what do they see us doing in these areas? Is your breakfast a cup of strong coffee and do they hear that you were up half the night? Do you exercise with your kids or on your own where they don’t see it?

I have not arrived myself and this post comes from being as large of a challenge for me as it is for some of you, but it is one I must work on. Our families depend on it.

Will you join me? What are some ways you will change what you are modeling?

D6Days Open Live stream notes 2015

D6 Days logo

Here are some of my brief notes from just the two opening speakers of the D6Days. I must admit that I am so thrilled to see so many ministries starting to give some type of free goodies like this. Thanks to D6 and their generosity toward many of us who may not have been able to get to you. I can tell you that your generosity has potentially helped you in securing my attendance Sept. 16-18, 2015

Here is the run down of speakers for the next day on May 7th, 2015:

Session 3: 9 AM (CST)

“Fighting Disillusionment in the Church”
– Sarah Cunningham

“Social Media, Technology, & the Family”
– Brian Housman

“Avoiding the 6 Major Dysfunctions Parents Face”
– Michelle Anthony

“How to Train Your Volunteers to Serve Parents”
– Ryan Frank

“The Gift of Ritual”
– Sarah Cunningham

“A ‘Pitcher’ of the Source in Marriage”
– Ted Cunningham

Session 4: 1 PM (CST)

“Breaking out of the Family Crazy Cycle”
– Emerson Eggerichs

“Creating a Safe Environment Parents Can Trust”
– Heidi Hensley

“The Younger Generation in the History of Revival”
– Richard Ross

“The Doctrine Behind Family Ministry”
– Timothy Paul Jones

“The Value of Real-Life Connection”
– Lydia Randall

“The Power of Parents”
– Yancey Arrington

Again, D6 thanks, here is looking forward to seeing everyone jump on tomorrow for the last day.

3 Things Every Boy Needs To Hear

three

A lot of time has been spent in my ministry on recruiting men, fathers especially, to volunteer with children’s ministry. Our church has been blessed with a great group of guys who work the nursery, pass out snacks, go on camping trips, drive vans, and lead worship for our kids. It’s a great privilege to see men and women serve alongside each other to reach boys and girls for Christ.
But there is another reason I have for bringing men into our ministry to children. In the community around us and all over the country it seems there is an absence of fathers. A boy may grow up in a two parent household, but the true paternal role is rarely ever seen. Boys have a list of essential needs that only a father or male role model can supply. We need to make sure that they hear:

“I love you”
It’s a basic human need to be loved. We were created to be love and be loved by God. Despite this fact, it can sometimes be a huge hurdle as a man to express love to your sons and an even larger one to the boys that aren’t a part of your household. Yet, the need is still there. Find ways to say it, to show it in the way you live, to be an example of love to even the greatest discipline problems that you face. It will make such a difference and you will begin to see trust form in the eyes of the young men that you serve.

“I’m proud of you”
Often times, it’s easy for the men in children’s Sunday school classes to become the “enforcer of rules” and the major disciplinarian in the class. This is absolutely fine, but we miss out on an opportunity to serve and show Christ-like love by not telling kids the good things that they’re doing. Point out when boys are well-behaved. Take time to mention how good they did during the relay or scripture memory game. Give praise when praise is due. All too often, our boys don’t get the praise they deserve from dads and men in ministry.

“You’re good.”
This is a little different than “I’m proud of you”. I think everyone can benefit from knowing that we have the potential to be virtuous. The statement “You’re good” transcends pride and acknowledges that a boy can have and does have value in your eyes. I’ve seen this simple phrase melt the hearts of the most hardened elementary bullies.

I hope that this list of things that boys need is helpful to you. It’s certainly not exhaustive. Can you think of other ways to reach out and touch the lives of the young men in your church or community? Maybe there are some things that you felt you didn’t have that you needed growing up? Maybe there was a memorable moment in your development that you can look back on and bring to the table as you minister to your sons and the boys under your care.

This was brought to you by a good friend, new blogger named Andy Partington. Andy is the Minister to Preschoolers and Children at First Baptist Minden, Louisiana. You can find out more about him at andypartingtonblog.com

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