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