Discussions on helping families move into a better life.
1. Be a friend. Quit delivering push down solutions and be a friend. Listen. Learn. Connect heart to heart. Change intake into connect.
2. Pull up not out. People have a community. It struggles. But, it is family. Don’t break up families. Do the long work.
3. Together Everyone Achieves More. A nice yuppie TEAM acronym we refuse to give away. Form supportive community inside of a wounded, struggling group of friends.
4. Think generational. Apply to
community transformation the way you fund retirement. Think next Gen.
Just some thoughts.
As an educator, Leader, and minister to many families and individuals the greatest ill I find is attachment disorder. We are a nation of orphans. We live in communities of distraction. We struggle to attach with any level of intimacy. Our relationships are volatile and violent. Our attachments are tempestuous and temporary.
The curse of fatherlessness bites at the heels of peace and order and growth. We might love our children. We do not love children. Our entertainment choices are adult choices. Our priorities are financial and fickle. When others do not bend to our will we isolate and do what we want.
This is how an orphan acts. Our communities live as orphans. The heart of the Father Leader has turned from the child. The heart of the child cannot find the father. We are cursed. It is no longer one person’s problem. our communities suffer for Father Leaders.
At a community gathering a young woman in her twenties came to me. She wanted my book Time to Lead. She has heard it was written to men and women in their twenties. It is more than a book she wants. It is a father leader to believe in her that she wants. Orphan eyes pled with me for approval and encouragement and affirmation. Every affirming word spoke, she responded, “That’s right.”
Pastors have retreated into their sermons and maintenance. Politicians have retreated into sound bites and don’t touch leadership. Business and community leaders hide behind legalities and rules. Our communities suffer for the lack of father leaders
My wife and I began working with a few couples recently. Again they cry for father leaders. They have many questions and are looking for love from leaders that is understanding and forthright. The kind a Father Leader would give.
Certainly there are wonderful exceptions. Daily I talk with quality Father Leader pastors, politicians, business, and community leaders. Father Leaders touch the ones they lead. Father Leaders spend windshield time. Father Leaders care.
We cannot give what we do not have. We must provide father leadership. Leaders with Father Hearts must rise come out and live in the streets.
My phone email text and Facebook are flooded. LinkedIn is busy. Parenting class is full of families. The number of simple questions a father should have answered is overwhelming. The questions do not need cheap answers they need Father Leader presence.
Wounded and crippled orphan leaders must heal and attach to Father Leaders.
Do something. Kneel before The Father and do not move until your heart is broken, remodeled, and healed. Study good concepts of fathering instead of shallow actions. Get up and change. Our nation’s return to balanced homes is more important than your 401k, your boat, your retirement, or your personal political preferences. It is an act of compassion from the heart of The Father. Embrace.
p.s. Start with a balanced vision for family. Jump over to this 12 lesson (each less than 3 minutes) series and be inspired. Fix A Family
Some years ago in prayer the mandate to “Father, My City” was impressed into my psyche. At the time, I was leading a group of men in prayer. For a year, I spent every Sunday morning and every Wednesday night with a team of men leading in prayer. There were 9 teams assigned over a month with 100 men total. It was an amazing year. Then one evening, “Father, My City” was impressed over and over into my heart and mind.
Quizzical thoughts shuttered through my mental moments. What did it mean? Why would God ask me to father His city? How do you do such a thing?
The next day I went to a luncheon at the invitation of a friend. All I knew was they had an idea for a conference and would like me to be involved. As I listened to the speaker, I laughed and gained understanding. Ken Canfield, founder and then director of the National Center for Fathering, was drawing the picture of fatherless America and calling us to action.
At the conclusion of the meeting, I agreed to assist in developing a citywide thrust for a fathering event. In short form, we trained over six hundred men from 150 congregations, and further trained 125 men to do small group studies in their community. From there, I became a certified trainer for the National Center for Fathering and have lead multiple citywide events across the community and denominations engaging government, education, non-profit, business, and congregations. I guess I began to understand a little about what “Father, My city” might mean.
This week, I watched as a group from our community in Gainesville, Texas graduate with family alongside. Wives of men thanked me for the change they have seen in their grads of Life Skills. Husbands and boyfriends did the same. The energy and excitement in the group and their families still causes me to weep. Joy has replaced hopelessness. Expectation of a Better Life Forward has replaced dull pain and discouragement. A Transformer (that’s how I address those I work around), drew an amazing picture of the process we see week after week. From thinking whether we are nuts to exploding out of pain and darkness, to becoming a Transformer of family and neighborhood is a process I see over and over. We are fathering a city through sending high action people into the streets with new thinking and social skills.
Now we are working at the next level of involvement and engagement. There is education and empowering and engagement. It takes all three actions to transform a community.
That luncheon was 13 years ago. Many rivers have been crossed. Many are ahead. Many mountains must be climbed. In OKC and Gainesville, we have seen transformation. How will you “Father, My city” when He calls? What will you do?