Monday, August 22, 2011

Raising Young Champions Conference




Earlier this year, my Dad felt God leading him to begin a conference that would equip and speak wisdom into the lives of young Fathers, so he decided to host the "Raising Young Champions Conference" at his church.


I was honored to be a part of the event and humbled at the opportunity to speak to this incredible group of men. My brother, Jonah, flew from China and also spoke at the event. It was a blast hanging out with them for a couple days. There's never a dull moment: someone is always laughing when we get together.


For my message, I gave 5 basic thoughts:


1. YOU'RE GOING TO LEAVE A LEGACY, IF YOU MEAN TO OR NOT, SO BE INTENTIONAL!


Everybody leaves a legacy. Bin Laden left a legacy. Billy Graham will leave a legacy. Presidents leave legacies... Pastors leave legacies... but even more importantly, Parents leave legacies!


Prov. 13:22 says, "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children..."


With that in mind, what inheritance will you leave your kids? I'm obviously not talking about 'stuff' here... I'm talking about something that will actually last. What will your kids say about you when you're gone? What will you relatives for generations to come remember about you?


2. YOUR PRIORITIES AS A PARENT WILL DETERMINE THE DIRECTION IN WHICH YOU POINT YOUR CHILDREN


Colossians 3:4 says "When Christ, who is your life appears, then aslo will you appear with him in Glory." That tells me that Jesus doesn't want to be a part of your life or important in your life... He wants to BE your life.


I believe that if you, as a Dad, are serious about raising children that are champions for Christ, you first must decide if you're willing to be All-In with Jesus.


Once He is the priority, everything else gets a lot easier.


3. AS A PARENT, MODEL THE THINGS THAT YOU MANDATE!


Proverbs 22:6 tells us to "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."


The best trainers are those who model the expectation for the trainees.


Dads... don't tell your kids not to drink alcohol if you're running to the fridge and grabbing a cold one every day when you get home from work. Don't tell your kids not to use 4 letter words if you're using them yourself. Don't expect your kids to stay away from pornography if you're looking at that junk yourself. And don't expect your kids to go to church and love Jesus if you, as their hero don't give a rip about Him.


Model the things that you mandate... your kids are watching.


You know how I learned how to throw a baseball and shoot a basketball? I watched my Dad. You know how I learned how to be a husband... or a Dad... or a Man...? I watched my Dad.


Your kids are watching.


4. SPEND YOUR TIME WITH A GOAL IN MIND


Psalm 39:4 says, "Show me, O Lord, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life."


Life is short, but if you're still breathing, it's not over yet. Think about the forecast of your family. Think about your kids 20 years from today... Do you have a certain place you would like them to be? Do you have principles you would like to have taught them? Do you desire them to be in a place where they're making good decisions and living godly lives?


If the answer is YES, then make that a goal. Once you make that a goal, then figure out the path that leads to that goal. Every decision they make from this point forward will either lead to the goal or away from the goal, and with kids making over 50,000 choices every single day, it's going to require some attention on your part to ensure they stay on the right path.


2 ways of keeping them on the path: Discipline & Encouragement. Keep these tools in your tool belt and be committed to sticking with them as they continue in their journey.


5. BE MORE THAN A PARENT... BE A PASTOR


The worst assumption you can make in just about any leadership position is this: Someone else will take care of it.


Many times, we as Dads, delegate the most important things to other people and just assume that everything will work out. As the Dad, understand that your kids are looking to you for leadership and want you to direct them in the important things in life.


You say, "I'm not a Bible scholar... I don't know all the answers... I'm not sure where to begin." That's natural for Dads. If we do something, we want to be an expert and do it well. This is something you just need to start. Your kids don't expect you to be an expert. Learn together.


Suggestion: Study a text in the morning. Think about it. Research it a little bit. Then, in the evening before bed, discuss it with your kids. That way you feel comfortable with the principles discussed in the text and you're ready to lead your kids.


Be more than a parent... be a pastor.

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