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Feb 18, 2021



We’re on a mission to add LIFE to the dad life. We’re passionate about helping dads live fully alive as they lead their kids to God’s awesomeness.  | YouTube |  Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


Dr. Efrem Smith


Efrem Smith is a pastor, consultant, speaker, and author. He is passionate about life transformation, multi-ethnic development, thriving churches, and community development. As a product of the African-American Church, he also serves as a collaborative catalyst for African-American Church Planting, Disciple Making, and Urban Empowerment Movements.

Efrem was the founding pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church, a multi-ethnic church in Minneapolis, MN, He served as the Superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. He also served as the President of World Impact, an urban missions organization. Currently, Efrem is the Co-lead Pastor of Bayside Church Midtown, a thriving and multi-ethnic community in Sacramento, California. He is also Co-Owner of Influential LLC, a speaking, consulting, and coaching ministry. Efrem is also a Catalyst for African-American Networks for City to City North America. Efrem has been married to his wife Donecia for 28-years and they have two daughters.


Show Notes:


  • 3:22 - Movie "Black Panther" - "he simultaneously shows such great reverence and honor for his dad, but he disagrees with his dad at the same time. And I think that shows a real tension of the way in which we honor our parents. But then there are these moments where we may have a sense of calling in our life that that is so different that we decide there's a different way in which we're called to serve, a different way in which we're called to look at a career or a decision in life. And we're trying to simultaneously go a different way from our parents, but yet love them and honor them at the same time."
  • 4:24 - Examples of ways Efrem stepped outside of the path his parents expected
  • 6:42 - Examples of fathering characteristics that Efrem has tried to copy from his dad
  • 10:13 - "Our lives can be a sneak peek to the Kingdom of Heaven" and I rewrote it, "our lives as dads can be a sneak peek to our kids, but way beyond just our own households."
  • 10:23 - How to be dads who lead our families into courageous conversations about justice, racism and reconciliation
  • 11:37 - A story of his dad treating others well even when he was treated poorly - "One of the things that my dad modeled in front of me was in spite of racial divisions and racial unrest, he was somebody that treated everybody respectfully and fairly... I had a chance to see my dad, even in the midst of times not being treated as well as he should have been treated in society, still treated other people - especially the people that were the skin color of others that weren't treating him so well, he didn't do that back."
  • 12:26 - "I've tried to model racial reconciliation and unity and diversity in front of my daughters. And I know that that's impacted their relationships."
  • 13:56 - "Maybe that's one sign that I'm modeling something well in front of my kids, that they see my intentionality showing reconciled, beloved community in front of them. And so that's one way we can be a sneak preview of heaven is in our relationships... allowing our kids to see that we're intentional about cross-cultural relationships."
  • 14:50 - Additional practical ideas to help raise kids who can see the beauty in all people. "Even the dolls, even the toys that they had were intentional about their diversity. So they could see beauty and all kinds of people. They could see intelligence, they could see problem solving. They could not only see that they themselves could be anything, but they could see that other cultures, other people groups could be anything just by the kinds of storybooks and coloring books and toys."
  • 15:35 - Time Machine Advice - Wishing that he would have listened more to his daughters
  • 16:44 - Spending more time praying for our kids
  • 17:35 - Efrem coaching us on the theme of raising daughters with INFLUENCE
  • 17:40 - Documentary on Venus and Serena Williams -
  • "As long as they could remember their dad told them they would be champions. There was this part of the documentary where when they were being asked, when did you know you were going to be great? And they were like, we always knew we were going to be great because our dad always told us we were going to be champions. Our dad always said, you're going to win Wimbledon. You're going to win the US Open. You're going to win the French Open and you're going to win it multiple times. Both of you will be champions. Both of you will be great tennis players."
  • 18:35 - "When I would pray with my daughters at night, when I would put them in bed, I would say, 'repeat after me, I'm a queen. I'm beautiful. I'm God's daughter, I'm a champion.'"
  • 21:00 - The decision to be more vulnerable and show emotions in front of his daughters
  • 22:35 - "Now my dad and I talk and we can't have a phone conversation without my dad saying, 'I love you. I'm proud of you. I love you'....and even at 52 years old, hearing my 77 year old dad say that to me even now is so empowering [and] so transformative. And so, I think for me, one thing I would say is dads need to not be afraid, not be hesitant in a healthy way of being vulnerable in front of your kids, because what that shows is that you're not stronger than the creator of the universe." 
  • 23:06 - "We do a disservice to our kids if we lead them to believe that we can live well without God, that we can navigate life's challenges in our own power, in our own strength."
  • 23:41 - "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" [Dr Martin Luther King Jr.]
  • 24:16 - What are some ways that I'm missing it and being a "White Moderate?"
  • 26:10 - "Sometimes what it's about is the things you should do that you aren't doing, not the things that you're not doing that are blatantly and evil. It's about the things that you're passively avoiding, the things that you refuse to step into."
  • 27:08 - "I think we need to look beyond the sins that we didn't commit and look at the actions that we refused to live into."
  • 28:52 - "A meal where I would ask everybody to bring something that represented their upbringing, their culture... I would say during dinner, the same way we're digesting one another's foods, we have to be willing to digest one another stories, one another's pain, one another's dreams without our first reaction being judgment or denial... We have to digest these stories, receive them without initial denial or judgment. And I think that if we're willing to do that, that makes us better parents to our kids. And it makes us better dads when we're still learning and listening and receiving."
  • 32:26 - "Don't take the moments you have right now for granted and allow God to reinvent you as a dad at the different stages of your kids' lives."
  • 32:30 - CLOSING PRAYER


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