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Nov 4, 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


Seth Barnes


Seth Barnes is founder and president of Adventures in Missions, a discipleship and missions ministry that has taken over 125,000 people on mission projects around the world since 1989. The mission of Adventures is to deeply connect people to Jesus and his movement. Their goal is to train 100,000 disciple makers focused on fulfilling the Great Commission. Adventures has ministry training centers around the world that are focused on making that goal a reality.

To move toward the fulfillment of the vision, Seth also founded the World Race in 2005. The World Race provides trained teams of young adults the opportunity to engage in 11 international mission contexts in 11 months using an experiential, missional discipleship model. Adventures emphasizes listening prayer, relationships, and servanthood in their work amongst the poor. Both through ministry/training centers and World Race ministry teams, Adventures maintains an active presence in a number of African countries. In addition to overseeing Adventures in Missions, Seth is a speaker, author, and prolific blogger. His blog, Radical Living, can be found at Seth is married to Karen. They have five children and seven grandchildren.

Seth's books on Amazon


Episode 200 Party:


  • Tuesday, January 9th from 8-10pm we are gathering 200 dadAWESOME friends for a couple hours of fun. Spikeball, Cornhole, Music, dadAWESOME Giveaways, Food and some Vision/Mission/Hopes for what's next.
  • We're hosting this party in NE Minneapolis at Ninth Street Soccer and Coffee: 801 SE 9th St, Minneapolis, MN 55414
  • Here's the RSVP Form:



Show Notes:


  • Episode 200 Party:
  • Join for dadAWESOME meetups around the south/southwest this winter!
  • 3:19 - Adventures in Missions: The World Race
  • 4:31 - Being a 9 year old with his dad in the Vietnam War
  • 8:20 - YouTube clip from 1988 - pulling kids around on palm tree leaves example - 53 min. mark on this video)
  • 8:40 - The continuum of softness to drivenness. Get feedback.
  • 9:12 - And innovation, not just at work, but also on the playground, so that palm branch, it looked like just, you know, something might have to throw away or it could be this magical ride that they could jump on and pretend it's a horse or something, you know, and that's I always tried to approach the playtime that way, you know, inventing games not just like pulling down a box and opening it and letting somebody else set the rules.
  • 10:44 - "So it's great to be soft when they're, you know, zero to five and they need boundaries, of course. But but you've got to start challenging them and people ask me, you know, when, when can I take my child on mission? Well I used to take them at age four and five on a mission. And man, that really tones down the entitlement, which is a huge issue these days for dads."
  • 13:24 - the importance of challenging entitlement in our kids
  • 13:59 - Somebody needs to be taking them out of entitlement, out of a self-focus, out of this place of just kind of, I don't know, they get to Yale and they're called snowflakes. I mean, we've got to stop this as a as a nation or we're just not going to have a generation to hand any kind of inheritance to"
  • 14:14 - How do we help our kids embrace pain?
  • 14:56 - Know the phase you are in: Ages 0-5 - Identity formation. Ages 6-12 - Body, Soul & Spirit formation. Ages 13-18 - Connection to the world of adults.
    • 1. From 0-5 Identity formation. Main job is loving them & attachment formation. Key activities: Focused attention, touch, eye contact. Play with them & teach them agency (example - me 33 yrs ago playing w/ the kids - 53 min. mark on this video)
    • 2. From 6-12 Body, soul & spirit formation: Main job is mentorship/discipleship. Stay deeply connected w/ them and help them move toward, not away from challenge so that curiosity guides them and kids become lifelong learners. This is where the battle for faith is won or lost. My secret weapon was to take/send them on mission.
    • 3. From 13-18 Connecting to the world of adults. Help them embrace the process of growing, especially by embracing the healthy pain of responsibility & discipline.
      In this last stage, I watch so many dads absolutely fail. They don't trust their kids and specifically, they don't trust them with what I call "healthy pain" - instead confusing it with the kind of caustic pain that they often have not adequately processed themselves.
  • 15:20 - Piaget and cognitive development 
  • 18:01 - "And we've got to lean into the future if we're ever going to raise greatness in our kids."
  • 18:09 - John Tyson's Primal Path -  The capstone was The World Race for his son.
  • 21:05 - "We're going to do fun and missions. And, you know, I'm just trying to bait the hook and and get everybody to see that there is a bigger picture by exposure."
  • 21:15 - Recognize there are four levels of covenant relationship
    • You and God
    • Good Family
    • Community
    • Affect the world
  • 21:53 - "You've got to recognize true religion. James, 127, says, is widows and orphans in their distress. Let's go take care of them. Let's go and recognize that we're not the center of the universe."
  • 22:50 - "that was the pivotal moment in my life. Maybe there's that, you know, when I ask my wife to marry me, but I asked that question and I was in a broken place. I mean, our marriage wasn't the best and we're at a marriage retreat and I needed to hear God. I mean, I was desperate. And God spoke to me in a voice that it was just incontrovertible. It was him. And he said, I love you, Seth and I. I just wept. I was just a puddle of tears. This is what I've been waiting all my life to hear, but didn't know that I could, that it was even available and it made all the difference"
  • 24:03 - Tips for hearing the voice of God
  • 24:12 - "I would get all five of them (his kids) and we get on our knees on the couch and we talked to God. And I just ask questions. And I was present and I was intentional. So I think you've got to find a way to carve out that space. And if you have that space, if you need to, if you need curriculum or just some prompts, there's a book I wrote called The Art of Listening Prayer. 
  • 25:30 - Story of Seth leaning in and pursuing healing with his dad
  • 28:30 - Story of Jeff's dad and the moment of Jeff coaching his dad on how to pray a prayer of double blessing
  • (Jeff) 29:19 - "There's something about choosing, even though there's pain for many of us who are dads, you know, I'm thirty nine. There's pain. Pain can separate us from our earthly father or pain. We can choose to press through it. Just like you said, pain is great. Pain is good. We choose to press in and the gift and the blessing of choosing a president versus be hardened and calloused."
  • 30:00 - Seth's Blog post with his Blessings For His Kids (linked here)
  • 30:23 - ..."intentionally praying this prayer a blessing and consecration over my kids. And so, you know, that's something I think everybody let me just challenge everybody here. If you haven't blessed your kids in a way that if I were to ask your child, you know, have you been blessed by your dad? And they would say, Oh, definitely, if they can't answer that, then go ahead and do it again."
  • 30:59 - "when you get to heaven, what I understand is it's Jesus that's waiting. And it's your family that's waiting. So your dad is like going to be waiting and there's not going to be this level of awkwardness there to just get over yourself. Have some courage, I vulnerability and courage or flip sides of the same coin. So just press into this stuff that's hard and do it."
  • 31:20 - "if anybody needs to email me, I'll walk you through it. I got nothing better to do and to help you get to a place of reconciliation with those that are closest.  sethbarnes (at) adventures (dot) org
  • 31:50 -  "there's two ways of blessing. One is with your actions, another is with your words. And if your actions don't match your words, then that's going to just look like hypocrisy.
  • 32:54 - John O'Donohue, book To bless the space between us
  • 34:25 - "liminal space is space in between thought and action. And so you got to have some thoughts and you've got to meditate on the implications. So I would carve out a half a day or at least an hour or two hours just to think about and I living at my potential."
  • 34:42 - "there's greatness in you. There's amazing potential in you that you probably have not tapped and that God wants to tap. And he often uses our weaknesses. And that's where we're, you know, his strength shines through our weaknesses."
  • 35:29 - "we ourselves should not be living in fear. We are more than conquerors. The words us and many of us don't live that way."
  • 35:59 - "I started off the year by going to Nigeria, and it was amazing how many people are going to do that. And I don't know, you go, What is it that you need to do? That would be amazing. And maybe it's going somewhere. Maybe it's a hard conversation. Show some courage. That's my challenge to find a place where you can be courageous today and use that as a place to impart the Lord's strength to those that desperately need to hear from you."
  • Specific Blog Posts for dadAWESOME:
    Connecting them to the Lord and answering key questions through discipleship and mission (see this blog)
    Connecting my girls to boys in a safe way (see this blog and this one)


Episode Links:



Conversation Transcript

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