This month, as another special movie event sponsored by Koorong, 'Courageous' screens in selected movie theatres throughout Australia. (See trailer below) Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller are confident and focused. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they're quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark. When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God ... and to their children?
Breakpoint reviews and comments on this movie and its impact: 'One of the biggest reasons why I started BreakPoint 20 years ago, was to sound the alarm to the culture. Worldview matters -- as families break down, prisons fill up. Biblical fatherhood deals with crime at its source.' These men fight crime, maintain justice and protect the most vulnerable in society. No, they don’t patrol the streets in squad cars or wear uniforms or badges (at least not the majority). But their job isn’t all that different from the job of law enforcement.
I’m talking about fathers and the roles they’re called to fulfill. The comparison is the theme of a new movie from Sherwood Pictures, the makers of Fireproof and Facing the Giants – actually a Baptist church doing a great getting these kinds of films into popular culture. It’s called Courageous, getting a real buzz in the Christian world deservedly, but what really strikes me about it is the lesson it teaches about something I’ve been working on for 35 years: Those with the most power to prevent crime are dads. The film is about four cops in Albany, Georgia, who do what cops do best: They deal on a daily basis with carjackings, gang violence, drug-running and shootings. They put on their badges, protect and serve. It takes courage, and they uphold their duty no matter what.
But when it comes time to head home, these same men find themselves lacking as fathers. Two have lost touch with their teenage children, one is divorced and hardly sees his son, and the other secretly abandoned his pregnant girlfriend after college.These men don’t seem to notice their failures until tragedy strikes one of them. Realizing how little time they truly have with their children, these fathers decide to set it straight: They pledge to embrace the principles of biblical fatherhood and live as courageously at home as they do at work.
The producers’ emphasis is the connection between the failure of the fathers and crime. In a particularly chilling scene, a young man, as part of his initiation into the gang, allows his fellow members to beat him senseless before hugging them and calling them “family.”
“If fathers just did what they were supposed to do,” says one of the cops, “half the junk we face on the streets wouldn’t exist.” Right! For 35 years working in the prisons, I’ve come to realized that the standard liberal theories about what causes crime — poverty, racism, environment — they’re dead wrong. Our prison systems are full of people who never had the example of a courageous father — or any father at all. More than 70 percent of long-term prison inmates come from broken homes, and young men raised in fatherless households are at least twice as likely to be incarcerated as those from intact families.
In the movie, this teaching takes the form of 12 commitments within a resolution for fathers. You can read them by clicking on today’s commentary at BreakPoint.org. Then, I hope you’ll go see Courageous, and — if you’re a father — sign the resolution within own your family. Take it from someone who has witnessed the destruction of failed fathers for over three decades: You’ve got a duty to your children. And you can change the course of their lives and society. And if you haven’t been the father you’ve wanted to be, it’s not too late to start. Sign that resolution today and change your ways. (Crosswalk)
Church planting and growth has been a focus for most of my ministry. I frequently lecture and speak on church planting and have been actively involved in many church plants. Under God's hand and direction, my wife, Kaye, and I planted the