Men love adventure. And men love their families. How do we step into adventure and at the same time invite and lead our families to join us?
Join Jerrad Lopes on this live stream as he talks about:
– how to lead your children to be passionate followers of Jesus
– the benefits of serving as a family, with dad leading the way
– some examples of opportunities and ways your family can serve together
- Dad Tired Podcast
- Jerrad’s book: Dad Tired and Loving It: Stumbling Your Way to Spiritual Leadership
Below is a full transcript of the video:
Mauricio: Welcome everyone and welcome to our Impactus online live event where we ignite and equip men for a life of – to have a godly impact. So tonight is another beautiful event that we have. We have the privilege today to discuss and learn how men can find family adventure with purpose and we’re going to have our guest, our guest is Jerrad Lopes.
Jerrad Lopes is a Christian author, speaker, and founder of DadTired, a non-profit ministry focused on equipping men to lead their family well. So, Jerrad, welcome to our Impactus online event. We are so happy that you got a chance to join us here tonight.
Jerrad: Man, well just watching that introduction video got me all pumped up, man, I love it. I am fully about what you guys are about, it’s fun to partner with you in this.
Mauricio: Yeah. So we didn’t talk about this before we went live but I have to bring this up. Kelsey just emailed me a few minutes before the event saying that you were home with your four kids waiting on your wife to come home and I was like this is a guy, you know, that walks the talk, right.
Jerrad: Man, yeah.
Mauricio: So this is awesome.
Jerrad: I’m living it in the moment. I was literally trying to figure out what to do with my three-month-old and my two-year-old two minutes before we started this whole thing [laughs].
Mauricio: So anyway, I had to bring that up, you know. But anyway, I appreciate you being here with us. And so, Jerrad, maybe before you get started on what you have to share with us, I’m sure the men watching this they’re going to be extremely blessed and I’m sure that anyone that knows you, that follows your podcast knows what is coming just shortly. But before we get there, just tell us a little bit about yourself and, you know, where you are and a little bit of that.
Jerrad: Yeah. Well, first and foremost, I’m a follower of Jesus and trying to figure out what that looks like every day, what it looks like to be a man who surrenders his life to Christ and to call him my king instead of myself being king. And so I’m stumbling my way in that journey as I’m being discipled by Christ. And then I’m a husband to my wife Leila, I’ve been married for 11 years. And then we have four kids, as you mentioned, all the way from aged 10 down to three months. So we got –
Mauricio: [Laughs] That’s a busy household.
Jerrad: Yeah, we’re tired.
Mauricio: Yes, you’re tired. Exactly, exactly. Like, yeah, I came to know – I have three kids, I’ve been married for 12 years now and I have a seven-year-old and a pair of twins.
Mauricio: Yeah, so twins, you know, it’s the make or break it. So, you know, if you can go through twins, you can go through anything. So anyway, they are four years old and this is awesome and I am also tired. So it’s good stuff, that’s good. All right. Well, Jerrad, thank you again, you know, for being here and sharing what God is doing through your ministry and what you have to share to the guys. So I’ll pass the baton to you right now and so we’re going to hear what you have for us, all right. OK.
Jerrad: Yeah. Well, I appreciate it and I appreciate you guys who are watching either live or, you know, going back and watching this later. Man, I just convinced the – I travel around the country and I get to talk to a lot of guys who are trying to figure this stuff out and I’m convinced that, you know, it’s fun and we get to learn some stuff and hopefully we come on and we learn some strategies on how to be better husbands and fathers and disciples. But I also know and I’ve seen this first hand that the enemy is at work when men step up and try to lead their family well.
We have a family leadership program where guys try to figure out what it looks like to lead their families well. It’s really intensive and without fail every single time a guy signs up and says, “I’m going to commit to this. I’m going to take this stuff seriously”, he starts strong and then something happens in his marriage, in his personal life, at work, in relationships.
And so I say all that because for you as a man who’s watching this and you are taking the time out of your day and all the other things that you could be doing to try to figure out what it looks for you to be the man God’s called you to be, I just know – man, I don’t want to over-spiritualize it and, you know, but I also don’t want to under-spiritualize it – I know that you have put a target on your back simply by just watching this and engaging in this right now.
And so I don’t take that lightly, I hope you don’t take that lightly and I hope that you know that many guys have been surrounding you in prayer even as you’ve jumped on to watch this event. Just knowing that you’re stepping out there and you’re now on the frontlines of the battle and the enemy has plans for you just as much as God has plans for you. And so just be aware of that, man.
And the other reason I would bring that up is because oftentimes we will forget that you have an enemy that’s trying to attack you and you will turn other things into the enemy. That could be your wife, that could be your boss, that could be the guy who cuts you off as you’re driving, all the other things that you want to be the enemy but ultimately you have to remember this battle is not against flesh and blood, it’s against all kinds of spiritual stuff that’s happening beyond what we can see right now.
And so remember who the enemy is. It’s not the loved ones, it’s not the people closest to you, it’s Satan himself who wants to bring you down. So keep fighting the good fight.
Yeah, man, I’m so grateful that I’m here and get to talk to you guys about this. We’re going to talk a little bit about what it looks like to find adventure in the kingdom of God and to see ourselves as men who are on an adventure for Christ and to lead our families into that.
I went to Egypt a few years ago. I was on an airplane last night and I was scrolling through some pictures and I saw some pictures from my time in Egypt. I went there actually for work and we were filming a project for a non-profit there. And when we got there – I didn’t realize this was going to happen – but when we got there, there was an entire team of security guards that were going to be with us the whole time.
I didn’t know that that was going to be the case. I didn’t know that we would have police escorts with us the whole time we were in the country but when we landed, we go through the immigration, the passports and all that stuff, then all of a sudden we’re greeted by this team of security police officers who are going to be with us the whole time.
And I guess our government in the United States made an agreement with their government that in order to send tourists in groups they had to have some kind of security presence. And so they were with us the entire time. That’s not true by the way for an individual, that’s just a group and we were a group.
So as we’re going around, whether you’re at the restaurant or you are – you know, you go to the bathroom, you go to the store, at your hotel, wherever you’re at we had a security escort, police escort with us the whole time. And so as we’re going about our trip I kind of get used to them, I even became friends with some of these guys and got to know them pretty well.
But as we’re going throughout the trip my wife has always told me, “Jerrad, if you’re going to leave and you’re going to leave me home with the kids one thing that you have to do is you have to bring me home some kind of treat or a gift”. And my wife doesn’t like, you know, trinkets, she doesn’t like magnets or mugs or more knickknack stuff, she always says, “Jerrad, I just want treats. I want sweet treats”. My wife has a sweet tooth and so she always says, “Bring me home like whatever the Egyptians eat for sweets when they have coffee or tea or whatever, I want that stuff”.
So the whole trip I’m collecting all these treats the whole time and my backpack and my luggage is starting to get more and more full. Well we got to the last night and we’re four hours south of Cairo and we’re about to fall asleep, then wake up and go to the airport and fly out. I’m sitting there and I’m packing all my stuff and I realized, I don’t have enough room in my backpack and in my suitcase to carry all these treats that I’d been collecting this whole trip.
And so it’s late, it’s probably midnight and we’re in a city way outside of the capital. I don’t know where we are but I can hear the city is like bustling around me. And so I think to myself, all right, I’m going to go out of the hotel and I’m going to find a backpack or a piece of luggage where I can put all these treats in. I think to myself, I don’t want to ask these security guys or these police escorts if they will walk me around as I look for a backpack for cookies, you know, that felt embarrassing, I was just going to go and do it by myself.
So I go down into the lobby of the hotel and I’m playing on my phone, kind of acting like I’m playing on wi-fi, just waiting for my opportunity to escape. And I see this Egyptian group, it was a wedding party, they were coming down and I think this is my perfect opportunity, I’m going to sneak in, kind of shimmy my way into their group and I’m going to exit the hotel and get past the security guards that I knew were right out front the hotel.
So I get in there. I had a baseball hat on, I put my baseball hat on and I kind of shimmy my way into the crowd and I exit the hotel and I get about two or three blocks away from the hotel and I realize, man, I didn’t get caught, like I’m free, I’m a free man.
And then almost immediately my heart sank and I realized like, man, I am in a city, I’m in a country where I don’t know the language, I don’t know anything about – I don’t even know where I’m going. I don’t even know how to navigate my way around this place and my heart started to race, high adrenalin, I started to get – I felt a little bit scared but I was excited.
And so I’m going around the town and I’m looking. I eventually meet up with some – I found some college students who speak English and these guys were able to help me find a backpack and I snuck back into the hotel and back up into my room. It probably took 30-45 minutes the whole ordeal.
And I’m laying in bed that night in this town four hours south of Egypt and I’m lying in bed and my heart is still racing. I remember just looking up at the ceiling and my heart is just beating really fast and it was such an adrenalin rush for me. And I remember the Holy Spirit, almost – you know how when you just get a thought or you get this promoting in your spirit that you’re like this doesn’t feel like it’s me thinking, it feels like there’s something beyond me. Again, it wasn’t some loud audible voice but it just felt like God was trying to speak something to me.
And so as I’m laying there in bed and I’m looking up and my heart is racing I just got this thought and I thought was I really looking for a backpack tonight or was I looking for an adventure. And the truth is, I think if I’m honest with myself, I think I was just looking for an adventure that night. I could’ve found a backpack at the hotel or at the airport the next day, I could’ve figured out a way to make it work but there was a part of me that kind of liked the idea of sneaking out and running around and being in a place I don’t know.
I didn’t think to myself I’m going to go on an adventure, but in hindsight maybe subconsciously I was longing for something to, you know, just as a man get my adrenalin up a little bit. And that thought as I lay there, that thought led to a series of thoughts where I started to think about does that longing for adventure as a man, does that ever go away. Do we as men constantly look for adventure.
And, you know, I’m sitting here in my office and right to my right here is my window and I can – is my front yard and so I often will see my son playing outside with his friends and I watch them. This actually just happened earlier this week, my son got a pocketknife and he’s been working on making swords out of sticks.
And he’ll run around and he’s got these swords and he and his friends they’re playing and they’re battling each other and I’m watching as they’re making adventure literally from sticks. And I’ve thought to myself before as I’ve watched them play does that go away. Does there become a time in a boy’s life where he matures into adulthood and he stops longing for adventure?
I think if you just look at the way many of our cultures are set up, there’s kind of a series of adventures one thing after another that we go after. When you’re young you’re using sticks and pocketknives and, you know, BB guns or whatever you have to kind of make adventure. But then you grow up a little bit, maybe you get your driver’s license.
I remember the first time I drove by myself after I got my driver’s license on the freeway, I was terrified, my heart rate was extremely high, I thought I don’t know if I’m qualified to do this right now but it was a sense of adventure. That’s a big deal for a young man to get his license for the first time.
Or maybe you go off to college or university for the first time and you’re alone, you’re away from your parents. Maybe you meet a girl, you fall in love for the first time. You get married, you have kids, you land your first big adult job. All of these are kind of a series of adventures that the world tells us one thing after another that we should be longing for, these benchmarks as a human or as a man that we should be chasing after.
But then you get to them and you get to maybe your mid-thirties or maybe early forties – maybe late twenties for some of you – and you get to all these things and you’ve done everything the world told you, you were supposed to do as a man.
You graduated school or you got the job or maybe you got married and you had the kids, maybe you bought your house for the first time or a place that you’re going to set up shop for a while, a place that you call home and then you think to yourself, “Now what, now what do I do? I’ve done everything that society tells me I’m supposed to do as a man, now what do I do. I just kind of behave and treat my family well and I go to work and I try to make as much money as I can, maybe some save some and take care of my family and I show up” and you’re just in this cycle.
Every single day you’re in the same cycle, in this rut and here’s what I think happens. I don’t think you ever lost that sense of adventure, what I think often happens for many, many men is that we get into this rut where it’s just day in day out the mundane of just doing the same thing every day. You go to work, you come home, you try your best to be a husband and a father, you pay your bills and you just do this mundane every day.
Then all of a sudden I think there’s something that sinks into a man’s heart where you think, “I’m actually really bored. I’m bored with life. This isn’t the adventure that I thought I would be having. Maybe I missed the adventures that I used to have as a single guy or even as a kid or in my early or late teens or early twenties”. And what I think happens is you have a bunch of men, particularly Christian men who actually are really, really bored, and bored men are dangerous men, man.
When you have bored men you have dangerous men and what you find is bored men will often look for adventure in sometimes dumb places or sometimes just really dangerous places and you know this. Like this is why we turn on our TVs, whatever sport you’re into whether it’s, you know, baseball, soccer, hockey, football, whatever the thing is, you turn on the TV and you see 40,000, 60,000 grown men in a stadium and they’re cheering and maybe they’ve got their faces painted.
Just today I was watching, there was a fight in the stands of a basketball, professional basketball game. Two grown men fighting each other because their teams were rivals. I mean think about that. They’re watching a bunch of 20-year-olds play a game and they’re wearing opposite jerseys and these two grown men are willing to fight. They’re willing to fight each other; they were punching each other because they were cheering for opposing teams.
I mean these are grown men doing this and what I can’t help but think is they are – their soul is longing for adventure. They want something to get their heart rate, to get excited about, to cheer on. And so maybe it’s you’re really into sport or maybe it’s your investments or work or if you can climb the corporate ladder, or maybe it’s a hobby that you’re getting into or maybe you like fixing up cars, I don’t know what it is but many of us are looking for adventure in someplace.
Some of it is just frankly, you know, the word I would use is maybe just dumb, it’s silly stuff. It doesn’t really have an impact for eternity. It’s not necessarily sinful. It’s not like you’re doing sinful things but just it doesn’t really have an impact for eternity. Some of it though, for some of you, you are looking for adventure in dangerous places.
And if we’re real and, you know, I’ve been doing this church thing a long time, I’ve been pastoring for a long time, I’ve talked to a lot of guys and I know we dress the part and we show up to church and we shake each other’s hands, “Hey brother, how are you. I’m good, how are you”, but I know, man, when nobody is looking there are many guys who are looking for adventure in really dangerous places.
And that could be women, it could be other women outside of your wife, it could be the things that you’re looking at on the computer, it could be the way that you’re handling money maybe inappropriately. It could be maybe drugs, it could be how much alcohol you’re drinking, I don’t know, but some of you are actually looking for adventure, you’re looking to get your heart rate up, some adrenalin going and it’s actually not just a dumb thing, it’s a really dangerous thing. Bored men are dangerous men.
And so what does it look like for us as men to see adventure in the kingdom of God. Now here’s the thing, many of our churches invite us into adventure but it feels kind of like it falls short. So you go to church and maybe your heart – and you might not even ever have thought this before, maybe you’ve never had a conscious thought that you’re bored or that you’re longing for adventure. Maybe you’re just making a series of choices that if you were to step back and look objectively at your life you might be able to say, “Oh man, maybe I am actually looking for adventure in XYZ and I didn’t even know it”.
So you show up to church and your soul is subconsciously longing for something bigger than yourself and then your pastor might say something like, “Hey, God is redeeming the world. He’s taking all this brokenness and he’s bringing it back to himself and you’re invited to be part of this redemption story”. And maybe there’s part of you, maybe you’ve listened to a message or a motivational – or even something like this video that we showed at the beginning of this event, maybe you hear something like that and you’re like, “OK, yes. That’s starting to resonate with what I’m feeling inside of me”.
And so your pastor might say or your church leaders might say, “All right, do you want to be a part of this adventure” and you say, “Yes, I’m in. My soul longs for it, I want to be part of something that God’s calling me to that’s bigger than myself. What do I need to do”. And then our churches say things like, “Thank you for signing up for the adventure. Would you mind shaking people’s hands on Sunday morning as they walk in” or, “Could you help set up the chairs or make the coffee or volunteer to lead a Bible study”.
Listen, I’ve been in church for a long time, we need men and women to do this, to serve your local church. Set up chairs definitely, you know, make the coffee, show up early, volunteer to watch the kids, whatever. You know, all of our churches need that so keep doing that. But let’s be honest, your heart longs for more than that, like when you’re thinking through the adventure that you want to be part of, that your soul is longing for it’s bigger than that.
And so I will even admit as a church leader who’s been in the church world for a long time, I don’t think we’ve called men up to the adventure that our souls are longing for.
I remember there was a season of my life where I was just praying like, “God, there’s got to be more here. There’s got to be more. Like, man, if you’re” – sometimes I think we look at God like he’s a subject, you know, that we can master. If I could just study it enough or if I can look at it from a different angle or maybe read Greek or this Bible study or this devotional maybe I’ll master this subject.
Listen, brother, like God is not a subject to be mastered. He’s the living and active God. He’s mysterious. He’s at work in this very moment in your hearts, in your family’s heart and in your community’s heart. It’s like God is all-powerful. This isn’t a subject that we’re trying to figure out, like this is God. God of the universe. He’s placed every star in the sky, he knows them all by their name. I mean this is God we’re talking about.
And so I remember just feeling the weight of that and I was praying, I was saying, “God, if that’s you, I mean if this is you, if you’re the kind of God that, you know, is redeeming hearts. If you’re the God who’s a warrior who’s chasing after evil and breaking down walls and doing whatever you can to redeem hearts back to yourself. Like, God, would you just show off, would you show off your glory. Would you do big things, would you just show me”.
Like I wasn’t needing God to prove himself, I fully believed in who he was but I just wanted to see God’s glory more tangibly than what I was currently seeing in my life. So I’m praying this day in and day out, “God, would you reveal yourself to me. Would you show off your glory”.
And it was during that time we were moving from an apartment into a new house and we were on the third storey apartment and there was no elevator. And so I pretty much by myself was having to carry down all our belongings down these three flights of stairs and into the new home.
And so I clear out the apartment and all we have left is this giant bed frame made out of solid wood. The thing was a beast, it was so heavy and I remember asking my wife, in a little bit of manipulation I said, “Babe, would it be OK if we sold the bed frame”. Really my motivation was I just don’t want to carry it down these flights of stairs by myself.
So I said, “Babe, can we sell the bed frame? Maybe we’ll just get a new one, upgrade” and I knew God was working because she immediately said yes, which we never agree on anything that quickly. But she said, “Yeah sure, we can sell the bed frame”. So I thought praise God we’re going to sell this bed frame, we’ll get a little bit of extra money, we’ll upgrade our bed frame and I won’t have to carry this heavy thing down three flights of stairs by myself.
So I pull out my phone and I take some pictures of the bed frame and I post it online and I say, you know, “Bed frame for sale”. And in the description, I specifically say, “Very heavy, make sure you bring a truck and a friend to help you load it”.
So the post is on there. Some guy immediately calls me and says, “Hey man, I’d like to come pick up your bed frame”. I tell him again, “Awesome, just make sure you bring somebody to help you load it up in your truck because it’s really heavy”, he said, “OK, got it”. Well he shows up by himself and I’m like, dude, what are you doing.
So immediately at the very beginning of this transaction I’m already frustrated because I’m like I’m trying to sell this thing because I don’t want to carry it down these three flights of stairs and now you’re going to show up by yourself. So I’m already a little bit flustered as I meet the guy and we’re starting our transaction here.
We get up to the third floor and I’m describing to him the bed frame like, “Hey man, here’s how you take it apart. Here’s how this screw goes here”, you know, I’m just telling him all the specifics. Well as I’m telling him all this stuff, again I just feel like the Holy Spirit kind of prompts in my soul and it’s just like, you know, again not a thought. It wasn’t this like audible voice but just this something that was beyond myself, I got this presence. I felt like God was speaking to me and saying, “Jerrad, give this guy the bed frame” and I immediately said no [laughs].
Internally I was like no, no way am I going to give this guy the bed frame. Well again, I just kept feeling this sense that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me, “Give the guy the bed frame”. I say no, of course I’m not going to give him the bed frame. The whole reason I put the bed frame for sale is so that I don’t have to carry it. Now I have to carry it down and certainly, if I’m going to have to carry it down, I’m going to get paid to do it – and I’m having this war.
So I’m explaining to him how to put this bed frame together but internally I’m having this deep spiritual battle about whether or not I should give him this bed frame. So over and over, “Give him the bed frame. Give him the bed”. Finally, I just relented and I said – you know how the Bible says be a cheerful giver, I was not at all a cheerful giver. Not even close. I was really mad, I was frustrated.
So I just blurted out, out of nowhere I’m like, “Hey man, you can have this bed frame”, like angrily. I wasn’t even nice, I was like, “Hey man, you can just have the bed frame”. And he was like taken aback and he said, “What”, I said, “You can just have the bed frame”. He’s like, “What do you mean I can have the bed frame”, I said, “I don’t know, you can just – you know, you can take it, it’s yours. You don’t have to pay me for it. It was so out of left field though the whole environment was awkward. He’s like, “Are you sure”, I’m like, “I guess. Yeah, I guess I’m sure. You know, I guess you can take it”.
And then I started to feel guilty and I was like man, I should probably make this a little bit more spiritual, you know, so God’s not mad at me. So I said, “You know what, we’re blessed to be a blessing and so you can have the bed frame”, which it felt so weird. It was really awkward, I was all clumsy with it and he didn’t even understand what that meant but he was like, you know, “OK, thank you. Thanks so much”.
So now I’m just frustrated, I’m like really upset. Like he’s going to get this bed frame, I’m not getting paid for it and here I am hauling it down three flights of stairs.
So we get down to the second floor and we’re awkwardly holding this heavy wooden bed frame and the guy stops. He stops on the stairs and he looks at me and he says, “Hey man, I just want you to know that my wife actually served me divorce papers this week and it hit me out of nowhere. Man, I knew we were in a bad spot but I didn’t know we were in that bad of a spot and she’s divorcing me and I don’t have anything. And so I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do with my life”.
Immediately, man, my heart sank and I was like jeez. You know, all that anger that I was building up just started to melt away immediately. I said, “Man, I’m really, really sorry”. He said, “Yeah, I’ve got two little girls”. When he said that, he said, “I’ve got two little girls and my heart is just breaking. Man, I don’t know what I’m going to do or how I’m going to fix this”, he started to get tears in his eyes. I thought man, this is way bigger than me right now.
We carried the bed frame down these flights of stairs and we got to his truck, we loaded up his truck. I said, “Dude, I don’t know if this is weird or not but would it be OK if I prayed for you”, and he started to cry again, he said, “That would mean so much to me”. And we sat on the tailgate of his truck and I put my arm on him, around him and I prayed that God would do work in his life. I prayed that God would protect his little girls and that God would even restore his marriage and in that moment I felt like the kingdom of heaven was invading earth because of a bed frame.
You know, I had been praying, “God, show off your glory. Show off your glory, God. I want to see you work” and God used a bed frame to show off his glory. God used a bed frame to make his kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven and the crazy thing is, man, God didn’t have to do that. The Bible says that if we don’t worship God the rocks and the trees would cry out to him. Like God will be worshiped, God can do whatever he wants to do to draw men’s hearts back to himself but he used a bed frame and he was just inviting me into that story of redemption for this guy’s life.
When I went to bed that night, as I got back into bed and that guy left, my heart was racing the same way that it was racing back in Egypt. There was this adrenalin rush, there was this sense that I’m being used by God for something much bigger than myself.
And here’s the thing, man. All the things that I had been thinking about in my life prior to that, you know, all the career thoughts that I had, all the dreams that I had in my life, all my worries about money and climbing a career ladder and all these things, I wasn’t thinking about any of those things. The only thing I was thinking was, man, I want to experience more of that. I want to experience more of what God has for me. There was that kind of adrenalin rush, that kind of like being on this high of being used by God for his glory and the advancement of his kingdom, that was like something I hadn’t felt before and so I remember thinking I want more of that.
And the truth is if I’m totally honest, that faded for a while and, you know, I got excited about being used by God but then I went back to all these other things that, you know, really are cheap. They’re cheap thrills, they’re cheap things that really don’t get you excited but you hope to find adventure.
And so again I started to pray, “God, what would it look like to be used by you. I want to find adventure in you, I don’t want to find adventure in the world”. And so my wife and I started to pray together and we felt like God was leading us to become foster parents. And so we went through the whole process, it’s months’ long to become a foster parent and, you know, they inspect your house and they do background checks and they’re calling your friends and family.
It’s a really invasive process, it’s hard and then all of a sudden we got our foster daughter and she was with us and, man, I grew to love that little girl. She was with us and she started to call me daddy and I begin to fall in love with her like she was my own child and I got to the point where I thought, man, I think I’m going to adopt this little girl.
I remember it was the fourth of July here in the United States so we were celebrating and we had fireworks and all this stuff. She’s sitting on my lap, I was holding her like this, she was two and I could feel her body, you know, leaning against me as the fireworks went off and she tensed up and I would hug her and she would say, “Look daddy, look daddy”. And I remember thinking in that moment – it was so vivid for me, I remember thinking in that moment I’m going to adopt this little girl, I love this little girl.
The very next day the social worker came to us and said she’s actually going home and man, my heart was ripped out. But you know what, like in the middle of that, in the middle of being used by God, even though it was hard, even though it ripped my heart out, even though if I talk about it too long I’ll start crying, like even in the middle of that I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything else because there was this sense that I’m being used by God.
And here’s what else, the things that me and my wife maybe argued about or the disagreements we had or the things that we were so focused on, you know, the kids schooling or where we’re going to live, our jobs and all that stuff, it just seemed to sink down on the priority list. It didn’t seem that important or as important as it was to be used by God to affect somebody else’s life.
Now in our neighbourhood, we just moved to a new town and we’ve told our family, “We are missionaries sent to this neighbourhood to be used by God to see salt and light, to make this neighbourhood better for the glory of God” and so now we’ve got kids in my house all the time. I kid you not, there’s a kid on his way to our house. You’ll probably hear all the commotion in the background in just a few minutes.
And, man, it’s hard; they mess up the house and it’s messy and they eat all of our food. We made a giant run to the grocery store; I feel like in 24 hours all the food was gone. You know, it’s expensive, all this stuff but, man, all of that starts to feel worth it when I sit down at dinner and one of these kids from the neighbourhood sits down at my table and tells me his dad’s not around and that his dad actually beat him. And he’s starting to get a model and an understanding of what does it look like to see a healthy Godly family.
He’s getting introduced to the God of the universe who is pursuing his heart and he’s using our groceries and our bikes and our house to do it. God will use you and everything around you to be part of this kingdom adventure if you’d let him. If you’d be bold enough to say, “God, I want to be used by you”.
Here’s the thing, man. All of us are chasing after something and we are going towards things that get our heart rate up, Maybe it’s little things on a daily basis, maybe it’s bigger things, maybe it’s dumb things, maybe it’s dangerous things, I don’t know, but I guess I would ask you when is the last time that you’ve been scared for the glory of God.
When’s the last time you prayed and you said, “God, I want to be used by you in something that’s bigger than me. Something that scares me”. Did you know all throughout the scriptures God tells his people, “Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid. Fear not, fear not. Do not be afraid”. Hundreds of times some variation of, “Do not be afraid” comes up in the scripture. You know why? Because God is always calling people to something that’s bigger than themselves, something that scares them for the glory of God. God wants to use you in something that’s way bigger than you.
And so I want you just to ask yourself right now, where are you looking for adventure? Where are you looking for adventure, is it a dumb thing, is it a dangerous thing, is it a silly thing or are you looking for adventure in the kingdom of God. When’s the last time you prayed, “God, I want to be used by you for something much bigger than myself”.
Here’s the thing, man, maybe tonight, maybe today is the day that you repent and you say, “God, I’ve been looking for adventure in this and this and this and my soul is still not satisfied. God, I want to be a man who finds adventure in you. I want to be a man who leads my family on kingdom adventures”. Maybe the first place that you start is that where you repent and you apologize and you tell God, “I want to turn away from my ways of finding thrills in really cheap areas. I want to find adventure for your glory in your kingdom”.
Maybe you need to hold the hands of your wife and say, “Babe, I don’t think I’ve done a good job at leading us in adventure and I want us to pray about the ways that God would use us as a couple and use us as a family to see his kingdom come and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Man, if there’s anything – you’ve taken the time to listen this far – if there’s anything you can do, take it seriously. Ask God right now, “God, what would you want to call me into that’s beyond me, that scares me a little bit”. I want to pray for you and then we’ll dive into some questions here.
Jesus. I am amazed, God, at all the things that I often look for adventure in that are outside of you and your kingdom and, Lord, there are I imagine many men who are watching this right now that can probably relate to that. Guys who are looking for adventure in money or work or status or hobbies. They got some things that are dumb, some things that are dangerous.
God, would we repent as men, as godly men, as men who want to be followers of you. Would we turn from those ways and, Lord, would we be humble enough and courageous enough to say, “Lord, would you call us into the adventures that you have for us in your kingdom”.
God, I pray that you would give these men clarity. Lord, that you would make it really, really clear for them what you’re calling them to. Lord, I pray that you give them and their spouse clarity. That they would be united on ways that you are going to use them for your mission and your redemption and your glory here on earth as it is in heaven. God, empower them with your Holy Spirit to be used by you beyond what they’re capable of doing by themselves. It’s in your name we pray, Lord. Amen.
Mauricio: All right. Well, Jerrad, thank you so much for sharing not only your heart with us but I always appreciate when for us men it’s so important sometimes to step back and get a bigger picture not only of who God is but what God is doing. And I really appreciate that, that there’s this invitation into God’s work and I think this is so vital for us because it is indeed something greater than us that has the potential for an everlasting impact.
Mauricio: So, thank you so much for sharing your heart and all this. So let me ask you a question. So would you mind sharing a little bit how did DadTired get started?
Jerrad: Yeah. Well, you know, I wish I could say that it started with me just feeling like God really laid on my heart this big vision to reach men. That was not at all how it started. It actually started out of a deep season of pain for me, man.
I was in ministry for 10 years as a pastor – over 10 years actually and I found myself actually hurt by the church and church leadership and I had made a commitment; I’m never going to be in church leadership again, I’m never going to be in ministry again and at that point in my life I probably would’ve said I don’t even want to go to church anymore, I don’t think I’ll ever be a part of church.
And I was in a dark place, man, in my own relationship with the Lord and my own identity and I pulled away from my wife, I pulled away from my kids. I was not a good husband, not a good dad and if I’m totally honest I thought I was actually going toward a divorce. I thought that that’s where we were headed.
And my wife, we were in the middle of a fight and my wife said something to me and I could feel my adrenalin getting up, not for kingdom stuff but adrenalin like, “Oh, we’re about to fight”. And so I said something back to her to be hurtful, something on purpose to hurt her. And she got tears in her eyes and then I thought to myself, in my stupidity I thought to myself I’m winning. I’m winning this fight; I’m winning this argument”.
And she said, “Jerrad, I just want you to know I’ve been waking up at two in the morning every morning, I’ve been setting my alarm and I go into the living room and I pray that God would capture your heart again”, and I was like what do you say to that, you know, you can’t slam the door or stomp away. You know, and so I think the Holy Spirit used that – I know the Holy Spirit used that as a way to start chipping away at the hardness of my heart.
And so I started to process that. Sometimes, you know, like a good millennial I processed what I was feeling online – which I don’t recommend that you do – but I just started to like share, “Hey guys, I feel like I’m not a good husband, not a good dad but I don’t want this to be my track record. I don’t want this to be my story or my kids’ story”. And as I started to share that more and more, guys said, “Man, I relate. I feel like I’m not the man I was. I had a vision of what I thought I would be as a husband and as a man and I’m not there”.
And so that started just a community of men who were talking to each other and it kind of grew and grew and grew and here we are all these years later. I always say God tricked me back into ministry, you know.
Mauricio: Yeah, yeah. So how long has it been now, Jerrad?
Jerrad: That was seven years ago.
Mauricio: Seven years ago, hey.
Mauricio: Wow, it’s amazing how God kept, you know, drawing you into the adventure. So you can’t get away [laughs].
Mauricio: Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So let me ask you something else. Like I find it very fascinating to kind of how much man struggles, you know, to this everyday life, right. We have this deep desire, as you well explained tonight, this desire of being part of something bigger, adventurous and all that, hey, and yet we struggle. We struggle in the everyday life. Why do you think men struggle to lead well?
Jerrad: Yeah, well probably for all kinds of reasons that we could take days talking about, but I think there’s two main reasons if we could boil them down or at least two big ones. Number one is I think ignorance, meaning they don’t know what to do. So spiritual leadership is a really intimidating phrase, right.
Leadership is an intimidating phrase. If you ask guys, if you just got a bunch of guys in a room and you say, “Hey, who wants to be the leader”, most guys would say no and the guy who volunteers to say yes, you probably don’t want him to be leading, right, because –
Mauricio: [Laughs] Exactly.
Jerrad: – anybody who’s smart enough knows, “I don’t want to be a leader, that’s a lot of responsibility”, right. So just the word leadership is intimidating. Then you throw the word spiritual in front of it and now you’re going to say, “Do you want to be a spiritual leader”, well most guys are like, “I don’t even know what that means, man. Like I don’t know what it means to be a spiritual leader”, and a lot of guys didn’t have a dad to show them what it means, you know.
I didn’t have a dad around, a lot of guys – even if your dad was a great dad, it’s still very rare that a dad teaches their son, “Here’s what it looks like to lead your family to Christ”, very, very rare. If you had that you should pause this right now and go call them and thank them and say, “Thank you, dad, for doing that”, it’s so rare. So ignorance would be one.
The second part would be shame I think. I think guys feel a deep sense of shame, “I’m not living right” or, “I wasn’t living right” or, “I know my past and so I know the things that I’ve sinned in the past and I know the things I’m currently entangled with and if I’m not even that close to Jesus because of my own shame, how in the world am I going to lead my family to Christ”. And so I think those are the two things that really stop men from leading well.
Mauricio: So just kind of a segue on this question. What would you tell the guys right now that are facing that, that feel that shame, that they know the responsibility, they have the desire and they feel inadequate? Like one thing that we know for sure is this, in this last year and a bit with COVID, the pandemics and all this, a lot of guys they faced their own realities and their own sins and in the family the struggle, so much struggles and a lot of the guys are feeling that kind of a shame, right.
So what would you tell the guy like right now like hey, if you are this person struggling with, you know, this battle between what you know you have to do, the responsibility and the desire that you have and the same that you are dealing with?
Jerrad: Well the shame there’s kind of two parts to it. One is what I’m personally feeling, right, what I’m putting onto myself. And so I feel shame because I know that I’ve fallen short of the glory of God and I’ve messed up. The other part of shame though is the assumption of what you think God thinks about you based on your sin.
So I know what I think about myself, but I’m also projecting what I think God thinks about me based on myself and many guys think, “God probably doesn’t want to use me. I mean he knows me. He knows my thoughts, they’re messed up, they’re twisted. He knows the things I’ve done, you know, and I’m not the guy” [laughs].
So on that piece here’s what I would tell the guy. I want to reintroduce you to the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is the God who uses a bunch of broken people to do crazy things for his kingdom and so you just have to know that’s his reputation. In fact, God never once used a perfect person outside of Jesus. Jesus was the only perfect person that he used for the advancement of his kingdom, right. Every single other character in the scripture who was doing anything for the glory of God was a broken person.
Most of the people in the scriptures were saying, “Please don’t use me. I’m not qualified, I don’t talk very well, I got a stutter. I murdered some dude, like remember”, you know, “ Remember”, it’s like, “I shouldn’t be leading these people, I murdered somebody”, right. Like everyone’s trying to – Jonah, “I’m disqualified. I don’t want to do this, I don’t even like those people”, right. Like everyone is messed up in scripture and yet being used by God.
And so if you feel like you’re too messed up to be used by God, you don’t fully understand who God is because God is always using broken and messy people to do his work.
Mauricio: That’s good. That is so true because that is essentially the essence of the gospel, that at the foot of the cross we’re all level, we’re all the same. There is one perfect person and this person is Jesus and he’s gracious enough to redeem and restore us. That’s good.
Jerrad, like one other question that we have here that I want to take the opportunity to ask is, so what are your thoughts on how men can actually in a practical way lead their family in devotions, right? Like this is one area that a lot of men struggle. You know, like a lot of men don’t know what to do, don’t know how to do it and, you know, they feel shame about it they don’t do it and so on and so forth. Some very practical ways, so what do you tell them?
Jerrad: So the first thing – well oftentimes we have conversations like this and guys will think to themselves, “I should probably lead my kids in some Bible time, some family devotional time” and you most definitely should, absolutely. If that’s like your first thought, you know, if you’ve got young kids, the Jesus Storybook Bible is a wonderful resource. Just read one chapter, one story a night with your kids before they go to bed. That’s a really easy way.
But I want to for a second if we could pull back and I want guys to think bigger than just family time devotionals because here’s what actually could be really dangerous about devotionals. When you think through, “OK, I’m going to be the spiritual leader so I’m going to have Bible time”, what could happen is you start to put God into a category or a box. And so your kids will think, “Daddy talks to me about Jesus 15 minutes before I go to bed, that’s Jesus time. The rest of life is not necessarily Jesus time but we have a 15-minute Jesus time before bed” and so it could be dangerous.
Now listen, study the scriptures with your kids. We need to, we have to do that. But if that’s all we’re doing and we’re not giving devotions all throughout the day it actually could be more dangerous. And so I always tell guys, “Think less about a 15-minute devotional and more about as many 15 second devotionals as you can throughout the day, when you’re at the grocery store, when you’re driving, when you’re on the sports field”.
This just happened to me. I coach my son’s soccer team, we were out on the field, a beautiful sunset. It’s as simple as me, I literally grabbed him, whispered into his ear and I said, “Look at the sunset right now, son. Look at how creative God is. Isn’t God so creative”. It took six seconds and then you move on but what I’m doing is all day pointing their eyes back to Jesus, back to Jesus.
Mauricio: That’s good.
Jerrad: We were at the grocery store and you could hear a couple fighting one time and so, you know, you would just think OK I need to get my kids out of this situation [laughs]. But what I did is I leaned down and I told my son, I said – because the wife actually or the woman said to the man, “I’ll never forgive you for this”, you could hear it throughout like the store, “I’ll never forgive you for this”. It was awkward.
So, you know, I leaned down – I thought OK 15-second discipleship opportunity, I leaned down to my son and I said, “Son, just know we always forgive because Jesus always forgives us. So we don’t stop forgiving because Jesus never stops forgiving us”.
A funny thing about that story is he got tears in his eyes in that moment and I thought my gosh, like God is using this in really big ways, like this is what I hope for as a spiritual leader. And he literally responded to me in that moment, he said, “Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom so bad” [laughs]. So that was my spiritual moment but you know what I mean, like just stumble your way.
Mauricio: Yeah. Then you could’ve gone, “Son, God also created this moment”.
Jerrad: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So but that’s what I mean, 15-second devotionals, as many as you can.
Mauricio: That’s good. That’s good, that’s really good. So in your talk, you talk a lot about how men, Christian men they can get bored. You know, like we live in society right now – I have a friend, she was a missionary and she used to tell me, you know, when she was a missionary like in Africa and all this she used to pray for a headache because they didn’t have access to medicine and simple things that we take for granted in our lives.
So and I think in our days today, right, like we take so much for granted, we have so much resources that it’s easy for us to get bored. So, you know, why do you say that man is getting bored in our society today even though we have access to so much of Christianity and Christian life and all of this?
Jerrad: That’s a really interesting perspective that you brought up from the missionary and what I would go back to is all the cheap thrills. We have access to so many things, right, and you remember Jesus only compared himself to one thing in scripture, it was money. That’s the only thing he compared himself to, he said, “You can’t worship both me and money”. He never said that about anything else, it was just money and money has a funny way of trying to act like God.
It tries to convince you that it can give you satisfaction, it can give you security, it can give you identity. And so we in affluent places we have money, we have resources, we can chase after all these things and we can convince ourselves subconsciously that’s a good God, that’s a good God. But in all these other places that maybe don’t have as much access to resources that we have or even just money that we have, they’re praying in ways that we’re not praying, right. They’re desperate for God to show up.
And so I guess my prayer – man, we could go on a whole subject here because this is a really powerful subject – the things that you as a man might be considering are a blessing, you might be saying, “I’m blessed because I have this house, I’m blessed because I have a good job, I’m blessed because I have a car”, could they be things that are actually pulling you further away from God. Which is why Jesus might say in Matthew 5, “Blessed are those who mourn. Blessed are those who are meek. Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness”.
When you search the hashtag blessed online, you’re not going to find hungry people, right, you’re not going to find people who are mourning, right. And so full circle to go back to what you just said, maybe for a man you look at all the things that you think are adventurous or blessings or whatever and maybe you have the courage to say, “God, would you actually strip some things away from me”, you know, how you said your missionary friend prayed for a headache.
You know, it’s just these basic things, maybe just say, “God, would you break me a little bit”. That’s a hard prayer to pray but, “God, would you break me a little bit so that I can experience you in deeper ways”.
Mauricio: Wow, this is so good, Jerrad, and I really appreciate it. So one last question here. So I’m sure that a lot of guys that heard today, that tuned in today or guys that will watch this later, I’m sure they will resonate to your message and this deep desire that I believe is a God-given desire as you pointed out.
So what will you tell to this guy, you know, that is the tired kind of a dad right now listening to us, that watch this thing or listening to you, what would you say as kind of the last kind of advice or the last recommendation you would tell him, kind of, “Hey, this is what I have for you. If you are listening to this and you are tired and you want something more, this is what I was going to say”?
Jerrad: I would for the guy who’s listening right now and you feel tired, I would ask you to have the courage to ask yourself this question, “Is my soul tired or is my body tired”. Body tired is normal and expected. I mean you can see the bags under my eyes right now. If we stopped for five minutes I’d probably fall asleep here at the desk, right. We’re all tired and that’s normal but is your body tired or is your soul tired.
If your soul is tired then ask yourself, have the courage to ask yourself why, what’s happening underneath. Most of the time you’ll recognize that as you’re trying to fall asleep and God will speak to you in quiet moments and you distract yourself with social media, turning on a show, watching a movie, watching the news or some sports. But in the quietness instead of just running to a distraction, just ask yourself, “What’s going on in my soul”.
Maybe even ask the Holy Spirit to reveal that to you, “God, what’s going on in my soul. I’m just going to sit in this quietness for a little bit”, and then have the courage to say, “Where have I been searching for hope and adventure and longing” and then just give yourself a self-assessment, how is it working. Is your job satisfying you the way you thought it would, is that thing that you’re chasing after satisfying you the way you thought it would?
Here’s the reality, it’s probably actually draining your soul. It’s probably causing your soul to be exhausted. And so, man, for you if your soul is tired set down all the things that you’ve been trying to chase after to give your soul rest and come to Jesus, the one who actually promises to give your soul rest.
Mauricio: Wow, that’s good. That’s very good. Well, Jerrad, I just want to once again say thank you for, you know, making the time. And for you guys listening and watching right now, feel free to go and check dadtired.com, you know, and so you can get more information about Jerrad and more information about this ministry.
Like right now if you go to their website you can sign up and receive a free copy of his book, Fully Engaged. I have a copy here, it’s a great practical resource that will help you lead your family in its fullness if you will. Some practical ideas that it will help you lead your family in the everyday life like he was sharing earlier. So go on the website dadtired.com and, you know, get more details, information there.
Well, Jerrad, thank you so much again. We appreciate your time. Thank you for, you know, setting time aside to join us, we really appreciate it. We desire and wish that God will continue to bless you, continue to –
Jerrad: Thank you.
Mauricio: – use you and we are looking forward to seeing many things that God is going to do through you, through your ministry and, who knows, other opportunities for us at Impactus to connect with you and do some other things together. So thank you very much, I really appreciate it. And then for you guys right now, so this is going to stay online. You guys can continue to watch this later, share this event with your friends.
And so this is it. All right, OK guys, thank you so much. Have a good night. Thank you for joining us. God bless you guys. Check out our website at impactus.org for more information, more details, resources that can help you, that can bless you, that can help you grow in your walk with Jesus, in finding this adventure that Jesus has for you. All right, God bless you. Goodnight.