Network News - June 9, 2017




Happy Father's Day!
It's only about a week away!
In celebration of dads and all that they carry, this edition of Network News will focus on some encouraging articles for dads and those who minister to them.
Did you know...
Father's Day in Taiwan is August 8th? Why? Because "bah" means "eight" and "bah-bah" means "daddy"...so when else to have Father's Day than on "Bah-Bah"!  


Fostering Fatherhood_Goals, Events, and Resources for Your Ministry by Alison Zeller
Fatherhood is changing and it’s changing in several complex ways. The Pew Research Center reports that 25 percent of fathers live apart from their children. Only 40 percent of these dads call or send e-mails to their children over the course of a week. On the other hand, dads who live with their kids are spending more time caring for the children’s needs, but nearly half of dads realize they still don’t spend enough time with their kids.

In both cases, the fathers are struggling. Premarital sex, affairs, divorce, addictions, 24/7 jobs, poverty, a lack of role models - the list of fatherhood-crushing criteria in our world could go on and on. Consider the fathers in your community - what kind of challenges do they face?

Christian fathers, devoted to God’s Word and devoted to their families, are rare today. And, it’s probably because fatherhood is extremely difficult. But what happens when men are surrounded by a ministry that stands by fathers and teaches them to trust their heavenly Father for guidance? Can you say that your church offers this kind of support to fathers? What would happen if you did? You can start now . . .

3 Goals for Ministering to Fathers

  • Fathers will know their heavenly Father

No earthly father can compare to God, but all men can turn to him for guidance and wisdom in fatherhood. God has taught us about grace, mercy, discipline, love, and many other fatherlike qualities in his Word. Most of all, he showed the power of a Father’s sacrifice and forgiveness by sending his Son to be our Savior. Above all else, make sure the fathers in your church know the love of their Father and the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

To get started on this goal, hand out a devotion book to every man in worship on Father’s Day (June 18). CTA offers several Bible-based books that will encourage and reaffirm every man’s faith. Look for these themes: Blueprints for Life, Man of God: Renewed for Life, and 5 Meaningful Minutes for Dads. You may even consider starting a father’s Bible study class or sermon series based on the devotions in these books.

  • Fathers will have opportunities to spend time with their children

This goal could play out in a variety of ways:

  • For fathers volunteering and serving in your ministry, be careful that it’s not at the expense of family time.
  • Offer support for fathers who do not live with their children. Put them in touch with other fathers in the same situation. Compile Christian resources to help these fathers make the most of the time they do spend with their children. Encourage fathers to bring their children to worship, Sunday school, and church events whenever they can.
  • Consider integrating your Sunday school classes. Once or twice each month, invite fathers to attend their children’s class. Or, if children usually stay in the church nursery during worship, invite them to sit with their fathers on occasion.
  • Create events specifically designed for fathers and their children. Your church can invite dads to build birdhouses with their kids, go fishing together, go out for a game of miniature golf, or spend a day at the pool together. End the event with a FREE kids’ devotion from CTA’s Resource & Idea Center.
     
  • Your church will provide respite for fathers

When fathers need help, your church can be number one on their list. You have treasure to offer. Jesus can heal broken relationships and forgive wrongs. Offer counseling through your pastors or care-ministry programs. Start small-group gatherings so that dads can get together and support one another in a social, no-pressure-to-be-perfect kind of way. Host a Saturday morning prayer breakfast for dads. Organize a men’s retreat to give dads some time away from home and teach them the skills they need to approach real-life fatherhood.

CTA wants to help your ministry encourage and equip Christian fathers. Visit www.ctainc.com to see several resources for men’s ministry programs - devotion books, Father’s Day gifts, outreach materials, and much more! Place your order online or call 800-999-1874 to complete your order with a customer service representative.

The external links included in this article are provided for informational purposes only. CTA makes every effort to ensure the information included in these links is accurate and relevant; however, CTA cannot guarantee the content, nor does CTA endorse any of the products or services offered on the external sites.
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2017 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.


6 Ways to Touch the Hearts of Parents by Jerry Vogel from LifeWay Kids Ministry 101
Second only to providing a rich environment where kids can fall in love with Jesus … is the importance of partnering with parents in this thing called Kids Ministry. Six simple observations that will help you achieve success in this category:

#1:  Minister to parents/families in times of need.
Try to stay current on family health issues and emotional crises.
“Be there” for families when they just need your presence, not necessarily your sermons.

#2:  Brag on their kid(s) to them.
Send written notes to parents congratulating them on their kids successes.
Show up at some of their kids activities.

#3:  Keep in touch.
Text/call parents for no reason other than just to “check on them.”
Communicate/communicate/communicate about church activities/opportunities of service for their kids and families.

#4:  Give them tools to help them be the spiritual leaders of their kids.
Provide training on what the Bible teaches about kids and conversion.
Make sure parents know about practical tools to help with daily discipleship opportunities with their kids.

#5:  Find ways for them to serve in your church’s kids ministry.
Never assume that parents don’t want to teach kids. Ask them!
Some will never teach, but, they will pray, build, bake or chaperone.

#6:  Provide ways for them to feel successful as a parent.
Once a week send a text with a brief/simple parenting tip.
Personally communicate with parents that you are praying for their child.


Encouraging Dads of Preschoolers by Keith Badgett, posted in Mr. Mark's Classroom

Generally speaking, guys are fixers.  Give us a problem like a leaky faucet, put a wrench in our hand, and we’ll fix it.  However, preschoolers are less of a science, and more of an art.  Our kids aren’t a problem in need of a quick fix, but rather a uniquely beautiful truth waiting to be discovered.  Dads of preschoolers might lose steam while parenting because of all the “immeasurables” or “intangibles.”  

To the dad in the midst of preschool parenting: 

1) You are their hero.  They think their dad can beat up any other dad.  Whether your little girl wants you to hold her before bedtime or your little boy wants to wrestle on the living room floor, in their eyes you are the best at everything. 

2) They are only young once.  You talk to anyone with grandkids and they will say, “Where did the time go?”  Cherish these early years!  Journal, take pictures, capture video, and retain memories about each of your kids.  They’ll want to know about these details when they have their own preschool-aged children. 

3) Simplicity is key.  Unplug the electronics and enjoy the basics.  Developmentally, technology can actually hinder creativity and ingenuity in preschoolers.  Don’t worry about providing high-tech gadgets where they can “build” their own “castles” in Minecraft©.  Instead, go outside and actually build a castle together. 

4) Follow your heavenly Father’s example.  Isaiah 63:16 says, “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Though we are sinful, our Heavenly Father is our perfect example. 

Parent with an eternal perspective.  Rather than a wrench, pick up a paintbrush and discover the beautiful truth in your child. 


In Search of the Perfect Dad by Landry R. Holmes from LifeWay

Whether you are a dad (or married to one), you may have been caught up in a search for the perfect dad. You probably have discovered that the perfect dad is a myth. However, many people continue to search and unknowingly find themselves believing in the stereotypical behavior of fathers.

These stereotypes can be as elusive as the perfect dad myth. The perfect dad does not exist, and stereotypes can be paralyzing; but there are some characteristics of fatherhood that all dads should strive to embody. I have observed my sons become dads themselves, and I have proudly watched them care and provide for their newborn children. My prayer is that they will avoid the stress that comes with the following stereotypes and be the dads God has created them to be.

The Athlete Dad

For the sports-minded dad, life centers around playing, watching, and attending sports events. When I was a boy, I tried playing sports, but I lacked the coordination needed to be successful. However, when my sons were younger, I played sports with them. I have taken my boys to professional sporting events, watched them play sports, and even coached them in soccer and basketball. One of my sons played high school varsity soccer, the other plays on a church softball league, and both have coached kids soccer and basketball teams at church. Both watch sports on television and enjoy quoting statistics. I simply sit back and listen. Society tells me that I am not a real man because I lack athletic skills and do not try to influence my children's sports careers. But I know better.

The Do-It-All Dad

This is the father who attempts to be all things to all of his children. He tries to be an athlete, sportsman, playmate, tutor, handyman, backyard grill champion, carpenter, and craftsman. For the first few years of fatherhood, I tried to be the do-it-all dad. After all, who does not want to be an involved dad and help his children succeed in everything? In reality, I frustrated myself and my sons. This dad is overprotective and tends to smother his children, rather than giving his children opportunities to succeed on their own and to learn from their mistakes.

The Sportsman Dad

This dad is the master hunter and fisherman. I have enjoyed times of hunting and fishing. However, I often feel as if I have failed my sons by not taking them hunting and fishing on a regular basis. But through my own personal experiences, as well as the experiences of other dads, I have come to realize that God often provides for boys who possess a natural desire to fish and hunt. That provision may come through a close friend or a relative. You do not have to be an excellent marksman or angler to be a good dad.

The Do-Nothing Dad

Otherwise known as the "couch potato" dad, this stereotype often is played out on television and in movies. This is the dad who is portrayed by the media as lazy and not as intelligent as his wife and children, who make fun of him either behind his back or to his face. He often is seen sitting in his recliner with a remote control in one hand and a soft drink in the other, oblivious to everything going on around him. I think most dads fight this behavior when they come home from work and want to doze in their favorite chair.

The Disengaged Dad

Unfortunately, the disengaged dad often is a true stereotype for many families. This dad does his duty by working 80 hours a week. He rarely attends piano recitals, school plays, and soccer games. He expects the school to educate his child, the church to train his child spiritually, and his wife to manage the household. I like to think of myself as an engaged dad and granddaddy, but there have been times where I put work ahead of my boys. With the advent of smartphones and tablets, the challenge to be both physically and mentally present at home is challenging. Children need to see their dads in the kitchen, and they need to see their dads at recitals and baseball games. More importantly, they need their dads to take them to church and talk with them about spiritual matters. The latest electronic toys for dads will vanish, but the legacy of an egaged dad lasts forever.

Fathers in the Bible

These five stereotypes are not contemporary inventions. A quick biblical survey offers several positive and negative examples of fatherhood. Adam and his wife, Eve, yielded to temptation and introduced sin to the entire world, not to mention to their future children (Genesis 3). Noah was righteous and taught his children to obey God, but he also succumbed to drunken behavior (Genesis 6:8-10; 9:18-27). Isaac showed favoritism to Esau, and Isaac's son Jacob showed favoritism to his son Joseph (Genesis 25:28; 37:3). Samson's dad caved under pressure, arranging for Samson to marry a Philistine (Judges 14:1-7,10). David lusted after another man's wife, committed adultery, and then murdered to cover up his sin (2 Samuel 11).
Read the full article here.


Care Enough about Your Instructions to Give Them Well by Dr. Jim Dempsey
Proverbs 19:16 says “He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die.” Following instructions is important to God—In fact, it’s a matter of life and death.

So why do parents invest so little in developing an effective instruction routine? From my own experience, it’s because we get busy and simply hope for the best.

A faulty routine looks like this: the parent gives an instruction, then gets busy and forgets about it. Remembering later, the parent checks on the child to find that nothing has been done. The parent speaks a little louder or with a threat like, “I’m not going to ask you again to…” or “How many times do I have to ask you to…?”

The parent goes away and doesn’t follow through, and the child waits for another cue. Children play a delay game until they finally observe a cue that causes them to think “Mom’s really serious now, so I better move!” Sometimes that cue is the redness in mom’s face, the veins popping out on dad’s neck or the anger in their voices. This routine sends the message that nothing need happen until a parent gets angry.

Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller from the National Center for Biblical Parenting advise parents to use a “tight action point.” A tight action point means that you act quickly to require your child to follow through with an instruction. In an effective instruction routine, there are five steps for parents and five for children. These are taught in a wonderful seminar authored by Turansky and Miller.*
Read the rest of the article here.


16 Lessons on How Fathers Should Raise Their Sons  compiled by Brian Dodd from Nate Galloway's message at Piedmont Church on May 28, 2017. Listen to the message here.

The following are 16 Lessons On How Fathers Should Raise Their Sons.  All quotes are from Nate himself.

Introduction

  • “Every family has a story and God can use any family’s story.”
  • Fathers Should Be There Sons’ Biggest Cheerleaders – “My son Noah is one of the finest human beings on the planet…Jonah, if you need a compliment, he’s your man…Michael, he is a force of nature.  I don’t know what he’s going to do but it’s going to be big.”
  • “There’s something special about a relationship between a father and a con.”
  • “My boys want to be just like me.  That may be the most powerful influence on the planet.”
  • “Their relationship with me will directly impact their relationship with God.”
  • “189 times (in Scripture) Jesus referred to God as Heavenly Father.”
  • “My boys want to be like me.  I need to be like Him.”
  • “I want to be the best example of my Heavenly Father I can be.”

6 Things My Boys Need

  • My Love – The need to know their father loves them.  It’s verbalized and it’s shown.
  • My Discipline – His discipline is proof we are His children.  You can’t discipline other people’s children.  It says, “I care about you.”
  • My Acceptance – My love is unconditional.  No strings attached.  We accept them no matter what.  I will never stop loving them.
  • My Approval – They need to hear me say, “I am proud of you.”
  • My Spoken Belief In Their Life – They need to hear me say, “You can do it.”
  • My Active Presence In Their Life – It says, “You matter.  You are important.”

Read the rest here.


Six Things a Godly Dad Does by Scott Slayton

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Ephesians 6:4

The words of Paul in Ephesians 6 remind Christian fathers that our parenting has a great end towards which we must aim. God gave us the task of teaching, correcting, disciplining, loving, and training our children so that they come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and walk in a way which pleases him. We often feel unequipped for this task, but looking to the Scriptures and seeing the example of other godly dads give us instruction for this great task.

Our oldest daughter just celebrated her eleventh birthday, so I have now been a parent for over a quarter of my life. There have been sins, mistakes, wins and growth as we seek to raise our four children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I have ransacked the Bible, read books, watched other godly men, and asked them lots of questions as I have sought to discover the answer to the question, “what does a godly dad do?”

A Godly Dad Keeps Growing

A man can only be an effective father as he continues to grow spiritually. Our marriage and parenting will be impacted by our sin and lack of maturity. We will be impatient, temperamental, rude, thoughtless, and respond sinfully to being sinned against, so our only option is to keep growing in holiness and sanctification. Putting to death the sin in our lives and growing in Christlike maturity will have a practical effect on the way we lead our homes.

This means that fathers must spend time in our Bibles, in prayer, and actively seeking to walk in obedience by the power of God’s Spirit. Since we believe that the Gospel not only justifies us before God, but also is the means by which we grow as believers, we ought to meditate on the truths of the Gospel and live remembering who we are because of Jesus. When we see sin in our lives, we must repent and seek to grow. Where we see immaturity and foolishness, we take steps to grow in maturity and wisdom. The work we have been called to as fathers and husbands is too important for us to take a lackadaisical approach to our walk with Jesus.

A Godly Dad Loves His Wife

Men, before the call to parent our children is the call to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. We can so center our homes on our children that we neglect our marriages, and a neglected marriage will become an unhappy marriage. All of our parenting efforts can be undone when resentments and hurts build up between our wives and ourselves.

We need time together with our wives without our children around. Date nights will prove to be important, especially when our children are young. It can be freeing to get out of the house and have a meal without having to feed another person, and also gives you something to look forward to together. However, as great as date night is, time together every day is of greater importance. Just as you can’t work out once a month and expect to be in shape, you shouldn’t expect one date night a month to be sufficient for growing your marriage. Get your kids in bed or in their rooms at a decent hour so you can talk, read together, watch a movie together, or simply hang out in the same room. This will give you the time together you so desperately need for your marriage to grow and give you joy.

A Godly Dad Teaches Consistently

Moses tells fathers to talk with their children about the commands and statutes of the Lord as they sit in their houses and walk by the way. He uses this rhetorical device to underscore the necessity of fathers teaching their children in every instance of life. The wise father will see all of life as an opportunity to teach his children about the Gospel, walking with Jesus, and practical wisdom.

Family devotions are not the only way for a father to teach his children, but they certainly can play a key role in the formation of our children. These times of worship as a family don’t require hours of preparation and a sermon, but are simple times to read, pray, and sing with our children. When your children are younger, you can read through The Big Picture Story Bible or The Jesus Storybook Bible with them. As they grow older, read a paragraph a night from one of the Gospels or a chapter from Proverbs. Then sing an age appropriate song that will teach them about the character of God and the Gospel. Close out by praying together. If you can set aside the time to have family devotions four nights a week, you will read, pray, and sing with your children over thirty-five hundred times before they leave for college. There won’t be a major breakthrough or “aha” moment every night, but the consistency over the course of years will make a major impact.
Read more here.


Make a Difference in Your Family by Aaron Householder from LifeWay

12 ideas for family time

What if you could lead your family differently? Teach biblical values in the moment as Deuteronomy 6:7 encourages, not later lamenting another missed chance? Make memories together rather than just getting through each day? This can be your year.

God desires to make that kind of difference in your family. Take a few of these suggestions, a little planning, and some creativity; schedule the ideas that work for your family; and add ample prayer.

Check out the following twelve simple ideas that each take about an hour as part of a dedicated weekly or monthly family time.

1. Total Recall.
Quick: Name a few random bits of trivia you know. See! You can memorize. Now name a few biblical principles you wish your family did a better job of living out. Find a Scripture that communicates each principle for the entire family to memorize together. Use games and activities to learn. Have fun. Start the New Year off right by starting with this habit. Check lifeway.com for specifics on Scripture memory and help with many suggestions to follow.

2. The Stuff of Legends.
Kids love to hear family stories. What a way to teach values, pass down family history, and enjoy simple pleasures. Share stories of life before they were born - Did Daddy really say, "My pulse might be kinda high" when he met Mama? Favorite memories - When Mama gave you one Nutty Bar, instead of "thank you" you said, "Give me the other one!" Photos and videos up the enjoyment. Include grandparents and others for even more fun.

3. Lights. Camera.
Action! Get out the popcorn and have a make-your-own movie night. Plan. Write. Rehearse. One take or more. Edited or raw. You might even post your video online and invite friends to view it. Everyone in the family should play a part on camera. Be original or re-enact something you know. Let the kids take the creative lead. Be as silly as you can.

4. Short Circuit.
This is a no-electronics-allowed occasion. A good, old-fashioned game night. Well, maybe you can allow Operation - that buzz startles everyone to chuckle. Cards, board games, dominoes, and the like teach rules, communication, fairness, and problem solving. Once the games begin, conversation and laughter always flow.

5. Junk Out.
How long have you been thinking, I need to get rid of some stuff? Spring cleaning doesn't have to wait for springtime. Make it fun. Offer prizes for: thought that was lost, hasn't been used in the longest time, most likely to be sold in a garage sale, item that Oscar the Grouch would refuse, and the like. Enjoy working together, and afterward bless others with the stuff you no longer need.

6. Learn a New Thing.
Family worship is really just leading age-appropriate and discussion to teach a biblical truth. It's not about three points and a quote. Check out HomeLife's "Family Discipleship" department on page 14 for ideas to get started. Or try visiting familymuscle.com for more suggestions.
Read the other 6 here.


The Single Greatest Thing a Dad Can Do for His Kids by Jackie Bledsoe from LifeWay

Once you have children, your life changes. 

You begin to do things differently in an effort to care for, provide and guide your children. Of all those things, a father can do one thing that will provide the greatest impact on his children’s lives.

The single greatest thing a dad can do for his children is to love their mother. Plain and simple!

But what are the results of this action? And what are the responsibilities that follow?

Kids Notice True Love in Action

When the kids see dad loving mom, they see what love looks like.

Your sons will know how to relate to women as they grow older. Your daughters will know how a man should talk to her and how a man should treat her. Nothing less will be acceptable.

Loving your children’s mother frees her to love and nurture them, and know their love languages too. Your love encourages and inspires her to do so in the best way she can. Nothing should be allowed to get in the way of this love being expressed to them. Now the love of your children is exponential, and you are having an impact well beyond your marriage.

How Peace Comes in Your Household

Peace comes in the household when dad loves mom.

When you love someone, you care that their needs are met as much as you care that your needs are met. You make a constant effort to meet the other person’s needs. Anytime mom’s and dad’s needs are met, the children’s needs usually are too.

We can do much more when we work with others striving for the same thing. Our children feel the bond of a team and know if they falter there is not just one person to pick them up but two people working together to get them back on track. That team is a wonderful foundation that much can be built from.

I encourage all my fellow fathers not just to love your children but to love your wives, love the mothers of your children. You will create a solid foundation for your children that will provide lifelong benefits, greater than anything else!

Be the Role Model

As a kid, I always had an athlete I wanted to be like. Somebody I looked up to. When I became an adult, I began looking up to successful entrepreneurs. Sports were my biggest interest as a kid and entrepreneurship one of my biggest as an adult. So naturally, I looked to those who did it best, who were successful and who really loved what they did.

But what about marriage? 

Vastly more people get married than go pro in a sport. The same can be said for entrepreneurs. Yet, have you seen or heard a child say, “When I grow up, I want to be a husband just like that”? You may argue that many young girls have a desire to get married, but do they have a “wife role model”?
Read the rest of the article here.


Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel from LifeWay

Raising children in today's world is much like a puzzle.

You labor for years to put the right pieces of your children's lives together, but when they grow up, they often do not resemble what you thought you were creating.

Do You Have a Plan for Parenting?

In spite of the disappointments that come with the job, raising a child is the greatest thing you will ever do. Parenting is greater than any milestone you can hit in your career. Among other things, you have been handed a piece of history in advance—a love letter to a time you will not see—and you play the biggest role in how that history will ultimately be recorded.

That is why, regardless of the challenges, you need to have a plan for parenting that works.

How to Avoid Harmful Parenting Styles

If you feel like you're running blind through unfamiliar territory, you're not alone. 

When you look at the way some parents raise their children and the way some experts advise them, it is no wonder that many parents feel they have lost their way.

When you look closely, you will notice that many approaches for parenting are missing God's grace as their central motivating factor. Before we get to grace based parenting, let's review the parenting styles you should avoid.

1. The Fearful Parent
This is when fear determines your strategy for parenting.

Oftentimes, parents who lead with fear are overprotective of their children. Biblically speaking, these parents live out of balance with the biblical concept of being in the world but not of the world. Instead, their motto is "be wary of everything."

What's the outcome? Fear-based parenting can create spiritually frail children. It can also create an environment for children who do not have passion for purpose, who are indifferent, fearful and even rebellious.

2. The Behavior Modifying Parent
This is a branch of fear-based parenting that assumes the proper environment, proper information, proper education and the absence of negative influences will increase the chances of a child turning out well.

This parenting style works from the assumptions that behavior shapes a child's heart, as if content can be transferred onto a child's heart much like information placed on a computer hard drive.

The behavior modeled by these families paints a beautiful picture of an ideal Christian home, but it is one-dimensional. These are homes where God rules in the head but that does not necessarily translate into God ruling the heart.

3. The Image Controlling Parent
This is a checklist method of parenting that is more or less legalism. This style of parenting assumes that people will know you are a good, Christian parent raising Christian children by keeping up with your image alone. For example:

Your church attendance 

The way your children dress (or do not dress) 

The way your children cut their hair (or do not cut their hair) 

The words and expressions your children use (or do not use) 

The schools your children attend (or do not attend) 

The movies your children watch (or do not watch).

So what's the problem? For the most part, these are well-meaning parents trying to make good choices. However, they make choices for wrong reasons. Sometimes they have no biblical reason whatsoever.

Ultimately, children can tell when they are being parented by a checklist rather than by a mom and dad who are trusting in God to lead them.

4. The Dictator Parent
There is a vast difference between parents who keep their children under control and parents who control them. High control parenting happens when parents leverage the strength of their personality or position against the children's weaknesses in order to get them to meet the parent's selfish agenda.

This style is the worst of the four types of parenting styles. Controlling parents ultimately get frustrated with the results of their parenting. However, they are usually the last to realize.

The Good News

There is a method of parenting that makes it easier and enjoyable to put together the puzzle of parenting. It has the borders and boundaries that frame the picture. It filters out the pieces of the puzzle that do not belong, and it knows exactly what your children are supposed to look like when the assembly of the puzzle is complete.

This model for parenting can be summarized in one word: grace!
Read the rest here.


Become the Dad You Were Made to Be by Aaron Householder by LifeWay
"I'm Aaron, and I'm a holler-oholic." Confession is freeing. And, being freeing, it's comforting to get the non-judgmental reply, "Hi, Aaron," from all the other dads with problems — which would be all of us. Let's be honest and start with the fact that we're all in need of assistance. We're broken sinners who desire to be more like Jesus, yet we all have our moments. All dads on the journey of fatherhood have had those parenting episodes we wish we could change — the times we knew better but just didn't seem to get right.

We can't change yesterday, but we can make choices today that change our families for a lifetime. We all want to be better dads, so here are four areas where we might improve.

Family Foreman

"I'm the man. Follow me." Sometimes we want to say that. Other times we could really care less, right? God has given us the role of headship, according to Ephesians 5:23. And it's not because we're tougher, stronger, or sharper. We should be man enough to admit that women have us topped in all three of those categories. God made us the head of the family because it's His will. So what are you going to do about it?

1. Lead in humility.

Ephesians 4:2-3 tells you how. When you mess up with your kids or wife, humble yourself and ask, Will you forgive me? I shouldn't have ... Humility shows strength.

2. Lead in prayer.

Not just at dinnertime and bedtime, but any time. Don't just say, "I'll pray for you." Actually do it. Right then and there with your wife or child say, "Let's pray about that," and voice a simple, single-purpose prayer. Prayers are powerful and effective (James 5:16), and prayers have a different power when you lead your kids by example.

3. Lead in Bible engagement.

I know a guy whose kids ask, "Dad, are you reading your Bible?" when he's using his iPad since that's what he most often does with his tablet. He's not on social media and doesn't use it for gaming. Like him, you should read, meditate on, and memorize Scripture.

Talk about passages with your kids. As Deuteronomy 6:6-7 teaches, make the Bible part of your daily life.

Minor Scholar

You're a dad. Inherently, you're a fixer. If you're like most men, you like to solve problems. Yet you can as easily lapse into to the if it ain't broke, don't fix it mentality with your kids. You might think to yourself, They have clothes. They're well fed. They're not screaming at one another. Everything must be all right. Right?

Compare those thoughts to the times you ask your wife, "What's wrong?" and she gives you that steely look that screams, As if you didn't know. You need to take the time to learn your children. Meet them where they are, and love them for who they are. And be a student of your children. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom as James 1:5 encourages. Let the Heavenly Father help you learn to be a better father.

4. Learn your kids by asking your wife.

Real men are big enough to ask for assistance. Face it, your wife knows your kids better than anyone else. And, news flash: She knows you best, too. Listen to her. Consider what she says. Plans fail when you don't ask for advice (Proverbs 15:22).

5. Learn your kids by asking your friends.

I know some of your buddies may not be the best dads, but they probably want to be better dads just like you do. Nothing brings guys together — no matter how tough or cool they may seem — like talking about their kids. You'll learn some new things (Proverbs 27:17). But I bet you'll also learn things not to do.

6. Learn your kids in stages.

Your kids change as they grow. Your parenting style must change through the stages of their youth. You may find that you're a rockstar dad with preschoolers, but little tykes grow up, and your parenting skills must grow up, too.

Open Ears

My wife hates it when I don't completely listen to her. I routinely jump in with an answer or ask questions to find a solution. You know what? My kids hate it, too. No one likes to be interrupted.

Everyone wants to be heard. So, dads, slow down your Mister Fix-It tendencies and listen to your children. They'll tell you almost everything you need to know about themselves if you'll listen. Listen when you don't want to. As Colossians 3:12 teaches, there may be no better way for you to love your kids than to listen patiently to everything they have to say. Everything. You may not be a fan of American Girl dolls, but if your daughter is, you'd better be attentive.

7. Listen to what isn't said.

You can interpret nonverbal communication: the way something is said or the way someone moves when he or she says it. Enter "detective dad" mode and observe more than words can say.

8. Listen with every part of yourself.

Put down the remote. Or the iPad. Or whatever steals your attention.

9. Listen to your kids with your ears, your eyes, and the Holy Spirit.

You'll be surprised what you understand.
Read the rest here.


In honor of our Perfect Heavenly Father...


Job & Ministry Opportunities
Pastor
St. James Holy Missionary Baptist Church (St. James HMBC), Sacramento
Seeking a full-time Pastor to provide spiritual guidance, outreach and administrative leadership to the church body. We are looking for a strong; sincere bible based leader that is led by the Holy Spirit. The Pastor must have an extensive understanding in biblical doctrine and must uphold the beliefs and standards of the Baptist faith and the St. James HMBC Church Covenant and By-Laws. In addition, the Pastor must be an excellent communicator, strong administrator; teacher, visionary; serve as a mentor and provide spiritual guidance to the body of Christ. The Pastor should also emphasize evangelism and the importance of lifestyle witnessing. In addition, the church is looking for a leader to guide us towards a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. A successful candidate needs the ability to relate biblical truths to everyday life and challenge all ages through their sermons. In addition, the Pastor must have vision for the youth and encourage and work with youth ministries. The ideal candidate will have a strong calling for pastoral ministry, and show willingness to reach out to our community wherever they might be in their relationship with Christ. We affirm both men and women in ministry and leadership roles.
The Pastor should hold a degree from an accredited seminary or divinity school and at least six years of experience preaching the word of God.
Interested candidates should review the Statement of Baptist faith at http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.asp and must submit the application, cover letter, resume and personal statement of faith by July 2, 2017 (applications postmarked after July 2, 2017 will not be considered) to:
St. James Holy Missionary Baptist Church
Attn: Pastors Search Committee (PSC)
3624 Stockton Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95820
For more information, email St.JamesHMBC@yahoo.com

Youth Leader Internship
First Baptist Church of Winters (FBCW) is seeking a Youth Leader Intern.
The job requires about 15 hours of work each week, offers a competitive salary along with a generous budget for Youth activities. The youth group consists of 10-20 students at the Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday gatherings.
For more information, contact the church at 530-795-2821 or fbcw@fbcwinters.org or you can contact SRBN.

Education Internship
Education internship with stipend, housing, and airfare at Lake Tahoe, California
August 9 through December 22, 2017
4 Preschool interns and 4 School age interns needed.
We are looking for energetic, diligent, and happy people to join our team. We need leaders who possess strong character, are teachable, and who have a heart for working with children.
We will train you and invest in your life. All our lead staff have been either summer or semester staff. You will work with a team of eight other college students.
For more information, contact Debbie Wohler Reasoner at 530-583-2925 or530448-9359 or www.tahoeministries.com or debbie@fbctahoe.com
Apply at:
https://fs25.formsite.com/firstbaptisttahoe/form3/index.html

Youth Director
New Hope Community Church (NHCC) in South Sacramento is searching for a part time (20 hr/wk) youth director. The position will report directly to the senior pastor and offers a competitive salary and some flexibility of work hours. The intent is to grow the position to full time and eventually a pastoral position. Some Bible college or seminary study is a plus, and candidate must be a self-starter.
For a full job description and other information, please contact NHCC board of deacons: deacons@newhopemeadowview.com
or
Board of Deacons
New Hope Community Church
1821 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA  95832

Camp Volunteers


Pastor Ben Lehmann from westside Baptist Church in Georgia is bringing a team from his church to hold evangelistic basketball clinics around the Sacramento area.
2 hour long clinic at your church
For more information: contact Daniel Wong
danwong@comcast.net or 916-837-2877
https://westsidebc.org/HOPE/


Calendar
June
10    2nd Saturday Outreach
        www.thegracenetwork.org
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

11    DadFest at The Church on Cypress
        9 am to 2 pm

         https://www.facebook.com/events/223932574767871/

18-22 Middle & High School Camp Session 1
         Camp Alta

27-29 Hope Renewed/Purpose Driven 2017
         Pastor/Church Leader Event, So. Cal.
         http://pd.church/ 

July
8      2nd Saturday Outreach

        www.thegracenetwork.org
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

9-12   Kids Camp, 4-6 grades, $155 

11   Pastor and Staff Lunch
       12:00-1:30, bring your lunch
       Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way

13-15 Kids Camp, 1-3 grades $140 

16-20 Middle/High School Wilderness Camp
          Session 2, Camp Alta, $225 

23-27 Middle/High School Wilderness Camp
          Session 3, Camp Alta, $225 

August
7-10 Special Ministries Camp
        18 & older, $280, (volunteers free)

8   Pastor and Staff Lunch
     12:00-1:30 pm, Bring your lunch
      Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way 

10-11 Global Leadership Summit simulcast
         $189, http://willowcreek.com/events/leadership/

12    2nd Saturday Outreach
        www.thegracenetwork.org
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

September
7-9   Disaster Relief Chaplain Retreat 
        $100 per person. Register online here.
        More information at http://www.csbc.com/events/dr-chaplains-retreat 

9      2nd Saturday Outreach
        www.thegracenetwork.org
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

12   Pastor and Staff Lunch
      12:00-1:30 pm, Bring your lunch
       Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way 

October
5-7   Beth Moore - Living Proof Live and You Lead Training
        
More information: lifeway.com/livingproof  or lifeway.com/youlead
         or call 800-254-2022

10   Pastor and Staff Lunch
      12:00-1:30 pm, Bring your lunch
       Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way

13-23  Malawi Mission Trip with Internatonal Commission
          
Contact Sonia Burnell  at soniab@IC-World.org or 916-784-2372

14    2nd Saturday Outreach
        www.thegracenetwork.org
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

24-25  CSBC Annual Meeting
           Magnolia Church, Riverside, CA
           For More information: http://www.csbc.com/events/csbc-annual-meeting-2017

November
7   Minister and Staff Lunch
     12 pm to 1:30 pm, bring your own lunch
     Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way

11    2nd Saturday Outreach
        www.thegracenetwork.org
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

December
1-2  Disaster Relief Roundtable for Cal Blue Caps
       
More details: http://www.csbc.com/events/dr-blue-caps

5   Minister and Staff Lunch
     12 pm to 1:30 pm, bring your own lunch
     Roseville Baptist Church, 1301 Coloma Way

6      Watoto African Children's Choir Concert 
        The Church on Cypress, Carmichael
         6:30 pm, free (love offering will be taken)

9      2nd Saturday Outreach
        www.thegracenetwork.org
        10 AM - 1st Time orientation

28-30  Ignition Student Conference
          Sacramento Convention Center
          Learn more: https://www.studentignition.com/
        

Just for fun:
Nice Try, Dad
I thought I’d save some money at the amusement park so I purchased a child’s ticket. The ticket-taker at the gate said, “Sir, I can’t let you in. You bought a child’s ticket.” He wasn’t amused when I replied, “I’m a child of God.”

 

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