Posts tagged courageous dads

Courageous Dads event coming soon: Q&A with Mitch Temple



With the upcoming Courageous Dads simulcast coming up on the Friday of Father’s Day weekend (June 14, 2013) we decided to chat with Mitch Temple, the director of the Fatherhood CoMission and the one tasked with spearheading this major fatherhood event.  Here’s our interview with Mitch Temple:

Courageous Dads Fathers Day Event | Fatherhood CoMIssion | Men Stepping Up

Stepping Up:  Mitch, tell us a little about yourself and how you got involved with this event?

Mitch TempleMitch Temple:  I am married to the world’s greatest wife (and she’s so blessed! 🙂  Thirty years of wonderful marriage. Three grown children. One granddaughter. And yes, she gets away with murder. I think God shows extra grace for granddads who let things slide. We deserve the favor. 😉 Been in ministry for 30 years, over 20 years in full-time church work helping families and marriages. Spent 14 years at the same church. Served as co-founder and director of Focus on the Family‘s marriage department.  Served as a family and strategic partnership consultant on films like: Fireproof, Grace Card, Not Today, October Baby, and Courageous. Co-founder and executive director of the Fatherhood CoMission. 

SU:  As the director of the Fatherhood CoMission, tell us how the idea of a big blowout Father’s Day event came about.

MT:  The Fatherhood CoMission was birthed out of the movie, Courageous. Several large Christian nonprofits who helped make the movie successful began praying and discussing how they might continue to work together to champion fathers in the church and our culture. The decision was made to birth this organization which is nothing more than a collaboration platform where God’s church and leaders can shout together that dads are important.  

Last November, over 60 key fathering leaders, influencers, and pastors came together at The Fatherhood CoMission Summit at Winshape Retreat in Rome, GA. This was a time for God’s leaders to pray, build relationships, learn, and dream together.  For many, it was one of the highlights of the year. God worked in an extraordinary way to unify and encourage leaders who are in the ditches everyday, championing fathers.  

One of the dreams that came out of this prayer and discussion was the idea of embarking on a significant Father’s Day undertaking – together – as the unified body of Christ.  This idea supported the overall purpose of The Fatherhood CoMission and its members.  After several months of ongoing assessment, meetings, and fervent prayer, we felt God leading us to offer churches and individuals a national Father’s Day weekend simulcast, June 14-16, 2013. Though many ideas were discussed about how we could champion fathers together, this idea seemed to be the most promising.   The vision God gave us was to offer a low-cost, high-quality event which would:

1.     Engage, Encourage, and Edify Dads in their vital roles as Fathers.

2.     Equip churches to champion the cause of Fatherhood locally.

3.     Instill a new vision for what Father’s Day could be in our homes and churches – a time to honor Dads.

4.     To create a yearly platform where the Fatherhood Commission and its partners could champion fatherhood together.

Like the Fatherhood Summit, our desire is for this event to be a collaborative effort where we all work to champion fathers together. And, God is extremely pleased when His people work together on issues as close to His heart as Fatherhood.  

SU: When you asked the men who will be a part of this great event to participate what was their response?  Why were they so willing to be a part of something like this?   

MT: Fathers need encouragement, inspiration, and empowerment. They need someone to champion who they are, telling them they are important, that they are not simply a “second person” in the house and the guy who brings home money. They need to hear that their role as a dad is God-ordained, honorable, respectful, and beautiful and that it can’t be replaced or substituted for. No one can do for a child what a dad can do. Kids need dads in their lives from day one. When Dads are involved, engaged and present, the risks of being involved in things like crime, drugs, pre marital sex – you name it – are greatly reduced. Dads are important. But our culture often sends the opposite message:  “You are a not important, don’t deserve respect, you are not needed, you can be replaced, and your role is not dignified.” Events like Courageous Dads seek to turn that perception around by God’s people shouting together that you are important and we are not only cheering you on but here to equip you and SHOW you what a good dad looks like and how to do this thing called fatherhood.  Courageous Dad is not designed to beat men up, but to empower, inspire and encourage them in their role as father. We’ve brought together some of the greatest leaders of the fatherhood movement: Dennis Rainey – Founder and President of Family Life, Stephen and Alex Kendrick (pastors and producers of COURAGEOUS the movie, Sammy Rodriquez, one of the nation’s most influential Hispanic Christian leaders. Throw in: Comedian Michael Jr., Grammy Award winner Josh Turner, Bobby and Tommy Bowden, Legendary boxer George Foreman, and more. And you have a line up which will inspire men in a way that they have possibly never experienced.  This low cost event can be a tool that churches and pastors can use to really build up and honor the men in the church and their community.  Plus we’ve built practical tools designed to build on the simulcast and provide churches with year-round “father building tools.” Pastors and dads can go right now to Courageous Dads and start downloading incredible resources like phone apps, games to play with your kids, small group materials, fathers day sermons, and more.  

SU:  How will the event be broadcast?  Where can I see it?

MT:   The event will be broadcast via internet. Go to Courageousdads.com to register and to get more information about how individuals and groups of men, even churches, can download the event Friday night June 14 (the Friday before Fathers day). If a church is not hosting the event in your area, no worries – ask your church to simply offer a room or auditorium, gather a group of men, throw in a little popcorn or trail mix and you have an incredible event! Some guys will tune in while traveling home from business trips on a plane, others will gather a few friends and watch it at a coffee shop. The opportunities are endless. Dont miss this great event.

Also, there is something for moms. Courageous Dads has resources for moms to help encourage and inspire their husbands to be involved in the event and their daily role as a father. Moms can view videos on how to encourage and lift up their men and even download free prayer guides which lead them step by step on how to pray for their husbands as fathers. 

SU:  Is this an event for older men?  Younger men?  Father’s and sons?  Who should consider going?

MT:  The event is really for anyone. This is an event you can bring your older children to or watch together in your living room. Young men all the way up to granddads will be blessed by this event. What a great opportunity for older men to “gift” younger men with this experience and encouragement. What a great Fathers Day gift for churches to provide a way to “surprise” dad. 

SU:  What do you hope men come away from the evening doing, feeling and experiencing?

MT:  We want men to walk knowing and feeling that “I can do this!” I am tired of listening to the lies of failure and the enemy. My role is honorable and I intend to live that out every day. Not without mistakes and failures but with the full assurance that God, my family, the church, and my fellow brothers are cheering me on.  

SU:  Where can I find out if my church or others in my area are going to be viewing this?  How easy is it to get this into my church?  

MT:  You can contact Lifeway support through the internet or by phone. Contact information is available through courageousdads.com and when you click on the registration page. 

Its easy to get this in your church. All you have to do is get your pastor or church to give the ok to use the building, register online, have an internet connection, a TV or projector. For a smaller group, a laptop on an apple crate works great!  That’s it.  Any church can do this. Its priced low and easy to access by one dad or a large group of dads. 

SU:  Where do I find all the information I need to register, promote, and share this information online with my friends and other men?

MT:  Go to Courageousdads.com to get general information about the event and even download free promotional tools like Facebook and twitter posts, web banners, marketing posters, postcards, you name it – its there for the taking. 

SU:  Thank you for taking the time to get us up to speed on this great event.  We are proud to join you in partnering with Courageous Dads and know it will be a memorable event for everyone who chooses to take part in it.  So, don’t delay.  Find out if your church is hosting it on June 14.  If not, why not STEP UP and take care of the details so your pastor doesn’t have to, and get everyone in your church to participate.  Imagine what might happen if every man in your church and community was watching this together.  Wow.

Courageous men and dads are warriors who protect



As a husband and father, you are the warrior who has been charged with the duty of pushing back against the evil that seeks to prey on your wife, daughters, and sons. If you don’t step up, who will?

Courageous Men Step Up

FatherProtectFromMontageIt began as a shopping date with my daughter, Laura, who was 13 at the time. I never dreamed it would end the way it did.

Laura decided that she wanted to go where her older brothers and sisters went to shop at the time—

In the store, Laura found a beautiful baby blue sweater, and she went to the dressing room to try it on. While I was waiting I noticed a life-sized poster of a young man completely nude, leaning up on a boat dock knee deep in water. The shot was from behind, but I had not asked to see that guy chilling in his birthday suit.

I stood there looking at that poster, thinking that this was a clothing store, and how inappropriate that poster was for my daughter and other girls to see. Finally, I asked if I could please talk with the manager. The young man, who couldn’t have been over 30, came over and I greeted him with a smile. I shared with him that I had six children and was a good customer; then I said very kindly, “This picture … I’m sorry, but it’s just indecent.”  I thought I’d get agreement. Abercrombie and Fitch.

Instead he quipped, “I beg to differ with you, sir. By whose standards?”

A little stunned by his response, I replied with measured firmness, “By any standard of real morality.”

By that time, Laura had wandered back with her sweater. I pointed to the picture of the chiseled, buff-buddy’s buns, looked the manager squarely in the eyes, and said, “Sir, if that picture is not indecent, then I’d like you to drop your pants and get in a similar pose to that guy in the picture.”

He looked at the picture, then my daughter, and back at me. He looked like a deer in the headlights. There was a moment of silence, full of anticipation. Then he shook his head and said, “Huh-uh.”

I probably shouldn’t have pressed the point, but I added, “Come on, you said that picture is not indecent. Come on, drop ’em.”

“Huh-uh.”

I smiled and said, “You know, it’s a good thing you didn’t drop your pants, because you could have been arrested for indecent exposure.”

Then he replied, “Well, if you think that’s bad, you should see our catalog.”

So I went over and opened the catalog. One photo showed four teenage girls in bed with a boy; I’m not sure what they were advertising — maybe bedsheets — because none of them had clothes on. I pushed the catalog back and said, “I’d like you to take my name and phone number. I’d like someone from your corporate office to give me a call.”

To which he politely said, “Sir, I can take your name and address but they’re not interested. They really don’t care what you think.”

My response was kind, but firm: “I just want you to know I’m just one customer. I’m just a daddy of six kids, but I’ve got a lot of friends. And I want you to know that wherever I go, I’m going to use this episode as an illustration of a company that doesn’t care about the future of our young people, their morality, or the future of our nation.”

I figure I’ve shared the story with about five million people on various radio broadcasts, speaking at conferences, and in writing.

Courageous men protect

One of my favorite quotes, attributed to British politician Edmund Burke, is

“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” 

When evil invades a man’s life and marriage, his children’s lives, his work, and his community, the easiest thing for him to do is nothing.

As a husband and father, you are the warrior who has been charged with the duty of pushing back against the evil that seeks to prey on your wife, daughters, and sons. If you don’t step up, who will?

When you think of protecting your family, perhaps the first things that come to mind are keeping your house locked, or holding on to your child’s hand on a crowded sidewalk, investigating a strange sound downstairs in the middle of the night, or teaching your children about what to do if the house is on fire. But as I’ve looked at my responsibilities as protector at home, I’ve realized that they go further. For example:

  • I have established boundaries to protect my marriage. I’m doing battle for my marriage when I don’t meet with a woman by myself unless the door is open or there is a window so that others can observe. I do not have lunch with other women alone. I do not travel alone in a car with other women. I copy my wife, Barbara, on e-mails written to women, and I don’t have private conversations with women on social websites without her knowing. At the same time, I do battle for my marriage by helping Barbara with household chores, taking her on dates and getaways, and spoiling her with an occasional gift to her liking.
  • I protected my children by training them in the choices they would make. I organized weekend getaways with both sons in their early teens to discuss peer pressure, dating, sex, pornography, alcohol, and more stuff the culture was throwing at them. I continued these conversations with my sons through the years — we even talked about things like dealing with girls who pursue them sexually, and what to do if they see a fight breaking out at school. In addition, Barbara and I made a big effort to get to know our kids’ friends — especially once they reached junior high and peer pressure kicked into high gear. We wanted to be aware of the good influences and the potential bad ones.
  • I protected my daughters by dating them and, later, by interviewing their dates. On these dates I showed them how a young man was to take care of them, what they should expect from a guy, and how to deal with sexual overtures. I explained why it was important to dress modestly, and I did it at an early age before they experienced much peer pressure on the issue. I met with their dates and made it clear to each young man that I expected him to keep his hands off my daughter.
  • I protected my family by working with Barbara to set up boundaries about media. We set standards on the types of films and television programs we would watch. We made rules about when and where they could access the internet, and talked about how to protect their privacy and how to guard against sexual predators. If I was a father with children at home today, I’d also be setting boundaries on cell phones, texting, and video games, and I’d install porn filters on all computers.

A trained warrior also has battlefield vision that anticipates the future.  He scans the horizon and assesses dangers that are coming so that he can prepare for them. And he realizes he is never off duty.

Courageous men are warriors in the community and boardroom

Not only does America need warriors at home, but it also needs men willing to use their influence to protect their communities and even the nation.

Like my friend, Scott Ford, former CEO of a large wireless phone network, who told me of the pressure he felt from stockholders who wanted to increase the company’s profits by putting pornography on the mobile phones they sell. Scott stood firm and many times stood alone.

Robert Rowling, whose holding company owns Omni Hotels, is another corporate warrior. He pulled all the pornography out of his hotels at a cost of more than $6 million, reasoning that if he didn’t want his sons to view that stuff, why should he make it possible for other men or their sons to stumble?

The Scriptures contain a simple admonition that men of all ages need to take to heart today:

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Men, we are in the midst of a cosmic conflict of good versus evil. Wars are made up of battles, and battles demand a few good men who assume the responsibility of warriors and fight.

Many of you are not corporate leaders, but you may have the opportunity to step up in other ways. Perhaps it will be taking a stand against deceptive practices in the company where you work, or speaking out against sexual harassment, or talking with your child’s teacher if he or she shows an inappropriate film during class.

It takes courage for a man to step out and push back against evil. It will mean that you don’t go with the flow. You can’t fight every battle, but you can get involved when opportunities come your way.

When men don’t step up, the cost of doing nothing means that indecency, immorality, and other aberrant behaviors become the new norm in the culture. Our children and grandchildren will pay the ultimate price if we turn our heads. When men are not warriors, when men don’t push back against evil with good, the evil we were meant to conquer turns around and preys upon us and our descendants (see Isaiah 59:11-15).

In all these various engagements with the culture and others, real men are firm, but gracious. Having convictions does not give a man the license to be rude or pummel another person with his beliefs. Truth and love must be kept in proper tension with one another.

Courageous men step out and into the battle

Be ready!  You never know when you will come face-to-face with an issue that demands courage and stepping up.

A number of years ago a couple of our teens attended a junior high dance. Barbara and I decided we’d drop in unexpectedly and check it out. As we entered the darkened dance floor we saw about 30 kids off in the darkest corner, doing a dance called “freaking.” Now if you haven’t seen this, trust me, it’s an imitation of intercourse, but with clothes on.

A handful of parents were huddled near a light in a corner watching, grousing and complaining about what they saw, but generally doing nothing.

I walked past the parents and went over and stood near the swaying crowd. I watched as two boys drew a young lady in between them. As I stood there deciding what to do, my palms grew clammy, sweating with anticipation. I thought, Here I am, a 45-year-old man, and I’m afraid of what a couple of pimple faced, 14-year-old boys think about me? 

I finally concluded, What they’re doing is absolutely indecent. It’s ridiculous for me to cave in to fear!

So I stepped into the crowd of “freaking” dancers and tapped one of the young men on the shoulder. I smiled sternly and told him to knock it off. I challenged him to treat the young lady with dignity and respect.

He had a very blank look on his face. I could see him thinking, Whatever… 

His response didn’t matter, because one small step had brought victory. Feeling more courageous, I approached another trio of gyrating teens and busted them up. I looked over my shoulder and a bunch of dads were now joining me.

Here’s the point, guys: God made us to pierce the darkness. He didn’t make us to fight every battle, but He did make us to stand for truth, to embrace standards. And when men don’t embrace beliefs they are paralyzed and neutralized by the culture. They won’t step forward and can’t step up because they don’t have the mandate of truth resonating in their souls. In the absence of real men pushing back against evil, the culture continues its downward spiral and becomes increasingly shameless and vulgar.

Do not be overcome by evil. Step up and kindly overcome evil with good.

Share a time when you stepped up, out, or into a situation as a man of courage and it made a difference …

 

You can hear Dennis Rainey on our radio program, FamilyLife Today.

Adapted by permission from Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood, ©2011 Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishing.

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