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Nov 5, 2020



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Mark Batterson


Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah. He serves as lead pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., a church with eight campuses that meets in theaters throughout the D.C. metro area, and also happens to own and operate the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 20 books including The Circle Maker, In a Pit With a Lion on a Snowy Day, and Play the Man. 


Conversation Notes:


  • 2:06 - “At the end of the day, I want to be famous in my home, and it’s hard to be famous if you are not home.”
  • 2:28 - Son - 25, Daughter 23 newly married, Son 18
  • 3:28 - Her heart is yours as a dad until she is married.
  • 3:54 - “Fathering daughters and sons are like two different game plans.”
  • 4:08 - On raising daughters  - “I really believe that as a father, I have this responsibility to prototype what a man of God looks like, talks like, acts like, and how I treat her.”
  • 5:01 - Encouraging his daughter to keep her heart pure until he walks her down the aisle.
  • 5:28 - Mark’s books have been springboards for Jeff over the years: Circle Maker, Chase the Lion, Play the Man
  • 6:53 - “Borrowing” life experience as a young pastor by reading books. Statistics say that every author pours about 2 years of life experience into each book. He read 250 books/year in the early days as a pastor.
  • 8:01 - “The people I know and the books I read will determine the direction [I’m headed].” - Jeff
  • 8:32 - The last prophetic word says that God will “turn the hearts of the father to their children… and I’m believing this nation needs revival, but I believe it starts in the home, and I believe it starts with fathers when we take ownership of the responsibility that God’s given us. And that’s not to put undo pressure on us, we are going to fall short, and that’s where the Heavenly Father compensates for our shortcomings as earthly fathers.”
  • 9:18 - “How are your kids going to learn how to say sorry, unless they learn how to apologize from you? So your mistakes are actually one of the greatest opportunities to teach your children one of life’s most important lessons….I think it starts with prioritizing our children. Not idolizing. Prioritizing. Big difference there.”
  • 10:15 - Mark’s prayer for dads to incline their hearts toward their children.
  • 11:30 - Proactively pursue fatherhood with a game plan.
  • 12:36 - Lion Chaser’s Manifesto
  • 13:03 - Why stop worrying about the past and things we’ve done and ways we’ve been harmed?  “Because if you don’t own the past then the past is going to own you...we’ve gotta have self-awareness of those past hurts because hurt people hurt people.”
  • 13:48 - Story of Benaiah who chases a lion into a pit on a snowy day and kills it. “Most of us run away from a roar, we run away from what we’re afraid of instead of really running toward the roar and going after those 500,000 lb challenges we face. And fatherhood feels like that.”
  • 14:23 - “You never arrive as a dad.”
  • 14:48 - “You will always be their dad, and it changes, but the challenge is kind of unending, and honestly I think that’s pretty thrilling because I want to be the best dad I can be at every age and stage.”
  • 15:48 - Creating “reference points” with his kids. “I think it’s one of the most significant things I’ve ever done, more significant than being a pastor and writing books.”
  • 16:38 - Creating a “Discipleship game plan” with a weekly FSM (Father Son Meeting) and training his kids to cultivate a “holy curiosity” over the course of the year.
  • 18:38 - Book: Play the Man - a fatherhood book about being the man and raising the man
  • 19:23 - “Time is measured in minutes but life is measured in moments. So as fathers, I think it’s our responsibility to almost engineer or architect moments. You can’t totally manufacture it. You still need God to show up and show off. But I do think that there are things that you can do to set the table to have those sacred moments with your kids….it’s about creating these moments that then pay dividends down the road.”
  • 20:50 - dadAWESOME Steps Deeper
  • Step #1 = dadAWESOME Daily - receive a text with encouragement, ideas, prayers and Bible verses - text "dad" to 77222
  • Step #2 = dadAWESOME Foundations - starts on November 5th
  • 22:40 - Creating a poster of words of life for his daughter as prophetic words that would speak into her life.
  • 23:45 - Thoughts on praying for your kids: God’s word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11) - Boomerang prayers - keep standing on the promises of God for our children and “the answer to the prayer will boomerang back and God will answer that prayer in a really profound way.” 
  • 25:15 - Book that Mark wrote with his daughter, Summer: God Speaks in Whispers. A book about hearing the voice of God in everyday life.
  • 26:32 - “I think kids have a distinct advantage over adults when hearing the voice of God because they are better at learning second languages.”
  • 29:11 - Discussing his most recent book: Win the Day. Principle from the book - “You don’t find time, you make time for what’s important to you.”
  • 29:28 - There are two kinds of people in the world, those who want to win the lottery and leave it to chance, and those who win the day. Get up every day and practice daily disciplines, cultivate the habits that are going to produce the kind of results you want.”
  • 29:53 - “I don’t care what goal you’re going after, what problem you’re trying to solve, what habit you’re trying to break or build, I know exactly how it’s done - one day at a time.”
  • 30:32 - Habit #2 from Win the Day, “Kiss the Wave.” “You may not be responsible but you are response-ABLE.”
  • 30:50 - “You have to learn to kiss the wave that throws you against the Rock of Ages.” - Charles Spurgeon
  • 31:25 - Talking about his wife, Laura, and her cancer journey. “What have you come to teach me?” - A question to ask in hard times. “We need to embrace some of those challenges we face, in order to become who God’s called us to be.”
  • 33:05 - A final challenge for dads from Mark. “You’ll never be a perfect parent...but you can be a praying parent. And prayer turns parents into prophets who shape the destiny of their children.”
  • 34:29 - “Is there a blessing or a prayer that you can pray over and over and over again and it not become just repetitious or meaningless but would actually become more meaningful every time you pray it?”
  • 34:46 - Luke 2:52 - May you grow in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man.


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