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Terence Chatmon: Challenges of Today’s Families (3 C’S)

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
August 17, 2022 2:00 am

Terence Chatmon: Challenges of Today’s Families (3 C’S)

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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August 17, 2022 2:00 am

Feeling overwhelmed? Author Terence Chatmon offers three challenges for parents to raise spiritually alive kids.

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So, here's a stat for you that I just saw. I always like stats.

Here we go. See if you agree with this. 78% of Christian parents leave the spiritual development of their children to the church and or the Christian school. 78%. What do you think?

That's actually lower than I thought it would be. That's because I just made it up. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson.

And I'm Dave Wilson. And you can find us at or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today.

Based on the reality of, you know, talking to parents, being a pastor 30 years, do you think it's higher than that? That, you know, sort of leave it to the church or the school? I think parents feel overwhelmed. They don't know what to do. The schedules are so busy.

Work schedules are crazy. And so I think as parents, we think what's the best thing we can do? And so, yeah, we think the church can do it.

Schools can do it. So what's the stat? I don't know.

I think it's above 80. I have no idea. Well, I think we have someone in the studio that can help us with that. We've got Terrence Chapman back in the studio at Family Life Today. I don't know how many times you've been on Family Life, but welcome back.

Thank you, Dave. I think I'm going for the record. I think this is my fourth time. You guys keep inviting me back. I'm coming back for the food and, of course, for Ann. That's what it is.

I know it's not me. Yeah, well, last time we had you on, you know, you were talking about this moment in your life. Now, let me give a little bit of background, or you can tell us a little bit. I mean, I don't know exactly what you did with Coke and Johnson & Johnson, but you had quite a career in the business world.

Talk about that a little bit. Yeah, I was just blessed enough to have opportunities with Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Citibank. And for the last 22 years, I've been in Atlanta, and what brought me there was the Coca-Cola Company. And basically, if you think about Coca-Cola, there's different divisions. One is the fountain company.

So any time you go to a quick service restaurant or anything like that, there's a fountain drink dispenser. Well, I oversaw all of that for quick service restaurants, McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King, et cetera, which is about two-thirds of Coca-Cola business. At that time, about $50 billion. How old were your kids when you moved to Atlanta?

They were probably between 7 and 10 years of age. And you had been married how long? Now you're testing my whole mental state here. We need your wife here to answer that. So if I think about it, right, so married in 82, and we moved there in 95. Okay.

So we'll need some math geniuses to do that, but it's somewhere around that time. But you were climbing the corporate ladder. We were climbing a corporate ladder, and in fact, there's a time where you kind of reach this moment in life that you feel like you've accomplished everything that you desire to do in corporate America. Well, I was at that moment. I was in that phase of my career.

As a young man at 36 years old, leading the Coca-Cola Company, number one beverage company in the world, $50 billion. It was just a dream come true. But the Lord had other plans. Yeah, and if I remember, you go on a little retreat with your wife somewhere around the 15-year mark. Yeah, take us back there. Some of our listeners that are really avid listeners will remember this, but she said something that changed the future of your family, didn't she? Well, it kind of tells you, you know, be careful when you go on these vacations, right, these little retreats. On our anniversary trip, we decided to go away and just have a conversation on where we've been, where are we today, where we're heading to, where we're going, you know, thinking about our kids, our life, and so forth.

And through a lot of discussions, a lot of things, we had a great time, but a question came up that really challenged our life and really kind of set us in motion, even for today. And that is, are the kids prepared to defend their faith after high school? And we've heard all the stats, you know, 75% of our youth is faith flight and leaving the church after high school and so forth and so on. And the stat you talked about earlier is actually 95%. Ah, come on! So I was low. Well, a little low.

Yeah. 95% of parents are really abdicating the responsibility to disciple their children to the church, to camps, Christian camps, or Christian schools. We were in that 95%. Although I was a youth director in the church, I was very active in the church. I was training up a lot of kids, but we were leaving that up to the church and to my wife. And so what we decided as we looked at that question, the response was, no, they're not prepared to defend their faith after high school.

They were between 8 and 15 years of age at that time. So her response was just so perfect. Well, what are you going to do about it? I'm like, what am I going to do about it? What are you going to do about it? What's the church going to do about it?

Right? And she says, no, that's your responsibility. That's our responsibility.

She's doing it on you. But you're the spiritual leader of this home and it's time for you to step up. And the reflection was really, you know what, I need to take that step forward and be intentional. It's not that we weren't doing the things that most parents would say are intentional.

And you loved your kids. I mean, you're leading a youth group. Absolutely. And they knew the Lord.

Right. And the question is, are we being intentional in raising them up to deal with certain questions and certain issues? So as they go through circumstances in their life, whether it's good, bad, or whatever, that they run back to the cross and they know how to do that. And so that's the responsibility we took on and began to be very intentional in our disciplining of our kids.

Yeah, so what did that look like? Because it sounds like before you were like most, well, 95 percent of us, getting your kids in church, maybe a Christian school or camps. You develop a plan. Did you start a whole different family thing?

I mean, you just added that on or what happened? Well, we've learned that practicing Christians, if they're intentional, that 75 percent faith flight reduces down to 30 percent. It's a significant reduction. So we started with basics, right? I kind of knew how to plan from places like Coca-Cola Company and Citibank. In fact, at Coca-Cola, we had a thing called the Blue Sheet Process by Miller Hyman. And they taught us how to write billion dollar programs, fully funded, fully staffed, fully operational in 45 minutes.

I mean, the components was there, right? So I started to think about those type of things. Do I have a vision for my family? Where am I going?

Where am I taking them? Where's the Lord leading us, right? Because, see, the Lord doesn't want our best. He wants His best for my family. Terrence, what do you think most families, their goal would be that my kids would be what? A lot of what we do in terms of distractions, performance, right? So we want our kids to go to the best schools, get the best jobs, you know, et cetera, right? Secondly, we want our kids to either be some type of athlete or some type of great performer. Successful.

Successful, right? And so when we think about success and what satisfies us, we think about what I call worldly things that make us success. And we brag about it, right? Because our kids are doing well in school. Our kids are succeeding at sports or whatever. But they're failing as the spiritual person in the household. And they're struggling, and they don't know what to do and where to go. Yeah, and I think you just described almost every family, whether it's in the church or not. So they need a greater vision, which is obviously what happened in your life as well.

How about now? Because even if you think about the family, you know, when you were doing that in the 90s, we're in a different world right now. There's all kinds of pressures on families and especially on us as parents. So what's that look like for a family in 2022? Yeah, what are families facing?

You know, Dave, it hasn't changed. In fact, the beauty is we're seeing the fruit of our labor now because our kids now are in the 20s and 30s. And they're having kids, right? So now we're grandparents, and we're watching them parent. And we're watching the fruit of that labor to be intentional.

It doesn't change whether it's in the 90s or whether it's in the 2000s. We still need to be purposeful and intentional in interacting and engaging with our children. How do we pray with our kids? How do we teach them intercessory prayer? How do we read God's Word and study it together?

Just this basic, you know, how do we worship together and have conversations, et cetera? That doesn't change. It never will change because His Word is always faithful and true.

But what we're seeing is our kids go through struggles today or just parenting today. They're reflecting back on our devotional sessions that may have taken place over the last 5, 10, 15 years. And we've been doing this, by the way, for 21 years. Which I remember the last time you were on, you said you were still doing it remotely. We're still doing it remotely.

You know, we have a little thing called Zoom, you know, virtual. And every other Sunday, because, you know, we don't see them at home. You know, they're all out of the house. Thank God for that, right?

You know, home and food, I do rob their refrigerator from time to time when I visit. But now, every other Sunday, 8 o'clock, we're having our family devotional sessions. And we haven't missed in 21 years. And as you may recall, we're on a theme. Each year, we're on a theme.

It's called the three Cs. The first year is about connection. We study what we believe and the foundations of our faith and the tenets of our faith, et cetera. The second year is all about commitment. Well, how do we live out what we say we believe?

And the third year is around commission. It's not just about us. How do we serve?

How do we teach them how to share the gospel message about the Great Commission? And so, this year, we're back into the year of connection. And this is our seventh rotation of connection, commitment, commission. And, you know, it's interesting, connection in a world that's disconnected right now. So, what a perfect theme for, obviously, you're talking about connection with God, but talking about connection with one another. We are probably in this most disconnected place in society today.

Here's a stat from the latest Barnard study. Seventy-seven percent of our youth are dealing with some type of mental anxiety, depression, et cetera. But what they're really doing is searching for meaning, identity, and they don't know where to find it. And they're looking at all the wrong places, i.e.

social media, the world, et cetera, when the Lord has already defined it and given us that purpose and meaning is to glorify Him. But how do we do that if we've never been taught? And as a parent, oh, do I want to do the right thing? If I'm not equipped to know how to do that and I'm dealing with kids who are feeling depressed and can't get out of bed and can't go through situations, well, how do I begin to have conversations with them now when they're dealing with such anxiety? I have so many friends that their kids are struggling right now with those issues, and they're praying like crazy, they're calling, they're trying to get help. I mean, I'm thinking of the listeners that are facing that and they're on the edge of the seat like, yes, tell me, what should I do?

Well, you know, the answer's always Jesus, right? But, you know, we've got to go a little deeper than that. It's real, and we need to face that it is real. It does not depict you as some type of parent, good, bad, or indifferent, or not capable, you didn't do your job.

No, not at all. The mind is a very powerful thing. It's a very powerful tool that we have. And the mind, in some cases, can tell a child that they're not worthy, or they're not capable, or it brings them into somewhat a depressive state. Now, sometimes chemicals have to deal with that, but on other times, it's not chemical imbalance. It's just a mental depression that people have to be awakened out of.

So for me, as we talk to parents around the country, be intentional to affirm your child, to speak with them, to give them positive feedback, also to give them real feedback, and to have conversations. So real case scenario, my son was unfortunately a victim of the pandemic. He faced a situation where he was laid off, just his company consolidated. And as the company was bought out, he had done a fantastic job for them for four years. And he felt like he was betrayed. He felt like the company didn't honor their side of the agreement. And so they sold the company, which is normal, and the company moved to another state.

And so they released everyone in Atlanta. That's normal. But all of a sudden, he falls into this deep level of depression, and it's subtle. And all of a sudden, he can't get out of bed. He can't even begin to do his resume, because every time he does his resume or attempts to, it triggers a state of depression in him that he can't get out of. And so what happens, we need to come around him. And of course, we're going to pray for him. But I love the way the family has come around and had conversation and encouragement, even helps him with his resume, and then say, hey, let's connect you with people that can get you out there and going again. And so we can't do the job for him, but what we can do is encourage him. You're cheering him on.

To cheer him on. So how did it go with him? Well, he's in that process right now.

Really? And the idea is he's coming out of it, and he's beginning to have conversations. He's beginning to get his confidence back. He's beginning to believe in himself again, because his skills are there. He's an amazing design communication director. But yet, he's struggling.

It's how do I get started? Yeah, you know, here's what hits me. It's interesting to think that a son that came out of your home, where you as parents were intentional about we want to spiritually develop our kids, still they'll struggle. It doesn't ensure a perfect kid that's not going to go through a hard time and end up having a hard time getting out of bed. I mean, sometimes I think we think if we do everything right, they're just going to turn out perfect and everything's going to be fine. He still needs people in his life, connection.

Well, that's what I was thinking is that other C is that connection. You guys have surrounded him. And imagine if we hadn't been intentional over the last 21 years, we may not ever know of his situation. But now what is done is unite us in the Spirit so we can have these trusted conversations, that it's okay to show weakness. It's okay to say, I'm not capable. In fact, I believe he's in a great place.

And let me tell you why. Because there's a difference in brokenness and being wounded. And I believe he's in this state of brokenness, which is a great position to be in.

Now, he may not agree with that right now. But when you're broken, there's only one place to really find true healing. And that place is at the cross. Because at the cross, we see an amazing picture, an image of Christ hanging there, suffering.

I mean, nothing he was really guilty of. But yet he suffered. He bore our sins on that cross. And as a result, we find hope. Because now we understand he sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. So we always say, hey, we're praying for you.

We're thinking about you, et cetera. Those are good Christian things to say. But to be present, to help him reflect on God's Word. What he's seeing now is that God is truly faithful.

And he's true. So as much as we see it, because as parents, we want to jump in and save him. We want to jump in and make a difference. But as I said to my wife, sometimes we just need to let God do his work. It's so hard.

I just said this to Dave and our kids. Because I love them so much. I hate them being in pain. And I want to fix them. I want to get them out of it.

So many situations where you hate for your kids to go through pain. But you're praying that God will use it. That's where you guys are. That's exactly where we are.

It's a good place. And many will say, oh, well, it's me. But we say, yeah, God, right? Because we're seeing him work. Now here's the thing I'm saying to my son.

Make sure you're journaling during this time. Because what I want you to see is the mighty finger of God moving and acting. And really, he's becoming real to you in a way you've never experienced him before. See, I believe we go through these phases of maturity.

Because I don't think he can give it to us all at once. We start out at these babes in Christ. We're on fire.

We've just been saved. Holy Spirit and all of that, right? Maturity. It's like marriage. Just the feelings are high. Feelings are high. We're feeling good about it.

We've just walked down the aisle and said, I do. And boy, this is it. And then life gets in the way.

Those little guys start running around. Your life becomes a whole different. But then in here we see just amazing love of Christ Jesus.

And he's real. So you've taken us from having this conversation with your wife as a successful businessman. You decide, I'm going to pour into my kids. You start discipling them, being very intentional, pouring into your kids. And then you took it even further in your career. Share that, what you ended up doing.

That's David Ann Wilson with Terrence Chapman on Family Life Today. We'll hear how he changed his prayer in just a minute. But first, have you ever found yourself doom scrolling?

You know, where you just keep seeing post after post of a world losing its mind. It can feel frustrating to feel like someone needs to do something. Well, when you partner financially with Family Life, you're doing something. You're joining the mission. You're helping parents and families grow in God's word and his plan for their lives. You're doing something by making a difference one home at a time. And today, when you give to Family Life, as our thanks, we'll send you a copy of Jennie Allen's book, Find Your People.

It's our gift to you when you give at or by calling 800-358-6329. That's 1-800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. All right, now back to David Ann's conversation with Terrence Chapman and how he needed to make a slight but significant change to his prayer. Well, it never ends, right? Because this is the process, right?

Sanctification, this is the process. So, you know, one of my prayers early on was, God, how can you use me in a mighty way? And I realized- It's a great prayer.

It is. But you know, Ann, I've learned that I need to change a word in there. Because, see, he doesn't need me at all. So instead of me saying, how can you use me in a mighty way, I've changed that slightly to say, God, how can you trust me and how can I trust you in a mighty way? For me, it just changes things. Because right now we're trusting God with our children, with our life, with our ministry, et cetera. And that next phase is how do we come alongside parents who want to do the right thing?

I'm an optimist now. So they want to do the right thing, but sometimes they just don't know how and they feel helpless. They feel hopeless. We have the answer in front of us, but it's hard to grasp it as you're going through these situations, right? And so now we're coming alongside parents with a new discipleship process to help them deal with these struggles and to let them know they're not alone. And that is called our Master Family Champion Program. Parents, there's help for you. You don't have to go through this alone. We have people that can come into your life because I believe that one-on-one discipleship is the answer for many of the parents who are struggling with these type of situations and in every situation. So how do you come alongside?

What's that look like? You know about our workshops? Our workshops where parents come in and they learn about this written planning process and they begin to be intentional, but we found that once they complete that plan and it's not about the plan, well, about 36% of those parents, which is really a great number, implement the plan.

Well, years ago we discovered something. When you put a discipler along with a parent and coach them along the way, that 30% number goes to 96%. Wow. And so now we're seeing out of the 100,000 parents that's been trained, 96% are implementing the plan at home. So now discipleship is truly taking place. However, they need something more. So each month we come alongside and provide a virtual coaching opportunity for them where they now can ask the questions. They can hear different scenarios from different parents and they know they're not alone. So basically a virtual parenting coach. Exactly.

Ongoing, but they surround the years of connection, commitment, and commission. So the progression is happening, maturity, if you will, is happening in real time in a real way with real parents and real coaches. But the solution is biblically based. I'm sitting here thinking every parent that has kids under their roof should do this. Why wouldn't they do it?

And how do they do it? Every parent who loves their child should do this. Actually a large group of the parents that come through our workshops are grandparents.

Really? They are concerned about their spiritual legacy and their children may have fallen short or maybe they just need that extra help and support. And so everyone who has a child, we want to see every home a godly home. Where their focus is really at the cross. And let me make sure this is not a checklist. I need to do these things to be a good Christian.

I need to worship and pray in God's word. That's great. What this is about is a life experience where every day we're living this type of life. We're going to the cross and that's the difference in what we're doing. Instead of that help list, our self-righteousness type of list, this is a Christ righteousness list. And so every day we're saying, I'm not capable. I am broken. But at the cross, I find my strength. It's an online program.

It's about 20, 30 hours. We certify them. And then they can become trainers and coaches for parents that we spoke about to make a difference in their life. You're talking about an impactful ministry that's generational. That's what this ministry is about. One of the things we've lost is our patriarchs in the church. And this is the way to reactivate those patriarchs in the church to make a difference, because they're not done yet. They're just getting started. And pastors, you and I know, because I've been a pastor, we can't do it all.

It can't fall on us, right? We need support. We need to produce leaders and multiply those leaders. And this is an opportunity to multiply the leadership in your church.

But more importantly, parents, it's an opportunity for you to be that spiritual leader in your home. Thanks, Terrence, for all you're doing. What an impact you're making. Thank you. You've been listening to David Ann Wilson with Terrence Chapman on Family Life Today. We've got a link to Terrence's website, victoriousfamily, at

You can find it there. You ever wonder about where that line is between what's constructive criticism and what's actually tearing someone down? Well, Ann Wilson's words seem so relatable to me. She says, How many times have I used my words to tear Dave down and to destroy him, thinking I was helping him and doing good, when all the time I had this power to influence to be able to speak life into him?

So good. Could your relationship use a shift toward using words to respect and cherish each other? Well, check out our marriage studies at and use the code 25OFF, that's 250FF, to save today and beef up your communication so your marriage becomes more life-giving for both of you. Again, that's at Tomorrow, David Ann Wilson will be talking with Josh and Jen Mulvihill about the true value of being intentional with your kids, the things that they need to know before leaving the home. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-12 13:03:06 / 2023-01-12 13:14:33 / 11

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