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Click "Read More" for today’s Transcript.
Happy New Year, friends.
I’m super excited about what today’s episode represents, and I hope you’ll stick with us through to the end to hear all the news.
If this is the first time you’ve tuned in to an episode of Truth.Love.Parent., we welcome you and are happy to have you. Just know that this will not be a typical episode.
Normally we open God’s Word to learn how He would have us parent.
However, today is an extremely important, beginning-of-year announcement about the future of TLP, so we’re taking a break from our normal format.
The nice thing is, if you’re knew to the show, today will be a great way for you to get to know us better.
My name is Aaron. I was born again at the age of 9, and I dedicated my life to full-time christian service at the age of 12.
At the time, I thought the Lord may call me to foreign missions work, but I wasn’t certain, and I remember being excited about discovering what the Lord had for me.
By the way, I’m going to include in the description of today’s episode a list of previous shows that provide you more information about my story and some of the unique parenting themes we discuss today. For example, episode 45 discusses how I — with the indispensable help of my mother — came to be a follower of Christ. And episode 158 starts a short series that teaches parents how to help their children discover God’s will for their lives.
Well, with my parents help, I eventually chose to major in Camp Ministries with an acting minor. I then earned my Masters of Science in Biblical Counseling. The following January I married my wife and started my own family. We have two children, Micah and Ivy.
Since we were married in ‘06, we’ve been members of five different churches and worked in three ministries.
God used each of those ministries to equip us to serve Him better in our family, in our church, in our full-time ministry, and in our community. And each of those moves were clearly ordained by the Lord. It wasn’t as if we were leaving the former place so much as we were moving on to the next.
And we’re grateful to God for every church and ministry with which we’ve served over the past fourteen years . . .
And today marks another of those transitions.
But before I get into that, I want to take a moment to remember from where Truth.Love.Parent. has come and how the Lord allowed us to become a valuable source for all things Biblical Parenting.
In September of 2016, I started the Truth.Love.Parent. podcast as an extension of the family program I was creating for Victory Academy for Boys.
That following February the Lord allowed us to start a free website which expanded our reach and the number of resources and and tools we could share. You can hear more about that amazing experience in TLP Snippet #4.
Since then — according to Google — we have become one of the “best Christian parenting podcasts” in the world. And I believe the reason is clear . . . it has nothing to do with me.
We strive to make sure our content has high Biblical fidelity. We work extra hard to immerse all we say and do in the Scriptures.
A consequence of this is that our content does not become outdated by changing fads like pop-culture hot takes. All of our episodes — of which there are now over 325 — are evergreen. That means that they continue to be relevant and practical because God’s Word will forever be relevant and practical.
The degree to which our shows align with Scripture is the degree to which they remain applicable every day. And the more Bible we cover the more replay value each episode has. And we also love creating free episode notes and transcripts for all of our regular shows. It makes it easier for you to go back and study the Scriptures we’ve discussed.
So, if you have not yet subscribed to our podcast, you can find us almost everywhere podcasts are found. We’re even one of the smaller number of podcasts now available on Pandora.
Another reason we’ve become one of the premier sources for all things biblical parenting is our professionally curated parenting resources.
Now, I’m neither the oldest nor the most experienced guy in the room, but I have been studying and serving in family-ministry since 1998. I have advanced degrees in this field, and I have experience with not only my own family, but also from working in churches, Christian schools, and boarding homes for at-risk teens. And I’ve been counseling families for over a decade.
Of course, I’m not saying that to pat myself on the back, I’m saying that to put your mind at ease. The parenting content that TeamTLP and I curate is top-notch.
There is a ton of content with which we are not yet familiar — and we welcome suggestions at TeamTLP@TruthLoveParent.com — but the resources we do share can be trusted to have the greatest loyalty to God and His Word.
So, whether it’s on social media or our website, you can know there is one, go-to hub for all things biblical parenting that is always growing and expanding as we find more worthwhile resources. And the really great thing is we’re not all-consumed with pushing just our material.
While most ministries and websites are busy promoting their own resources and their own resources alone, TeamTLP and I want to promote the best resources for biblical parenting. Will that include our own books and curriculum and videos and articles? It better — or we need to stop doing what we’re doing. But it will also include the plethora of quality materials being created by others. We want you to have access to the best and . . . to be able to find them all in one place.
So, let’s take a moment to introduce you to the two places where we curate information for your family.
The first is TruthLoveParent.com. We have lists upon ever-growing lists of other podcasts, books, blogs, ministries, and quotes from various authors (who have no connection with TLP) because they have significant value for you and your family.
I encourage you to peruse the site and check back often as we update our lists and categories.
But we also have professionally curated resources on our social media accounts.
We post very regularly on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. And we post more things from other quality individuals than we often do our own.
I would strongly encourage you to like and follow TLP on one or all of those social media sites.
I hear people complain all the time about how depressing their newsfeeds are. And I simply respond, “Then you’re following all the wrong people.” You need to like and follow people and ministries that will build you up in Christ.
And TLP is one of those ministries. Multiple times a day we’re sharing some of the best biblical parenting insights, quotes, images, tools, and articles.
In fact, in 2020 we’re increasing the flow of awesome info. So make sure you subscribe and follow and like so you don’t miss an opportunity to be built up in your parenting.
Now, I just said a lot about how we share and cite other people’s content, but — other than the podcast — we do have one original — and totally free — resource called “25 Days to Becoming a Premeditated Parent.”
It’s an email-based parenting course designed to help you grow specifically in the area of planning your parenting. I’ve always said that none of us improvise our parenting well. If we want to be able to speak God’s Word in the moment, we need to know God’s Words and practice them. But it’s more than merely memorizing a script. It’s creating a mindset that intentionally and premeditatedly plans to glorify God in our parenting.
That course is free and available at TruthLoveParent.com.
In review, the Lord has allowed TLP to become a premier source of biblical parenting content because we’ve done our best to remain faithful to His Truth and we’re passionate about equipping you with all the best resources.
But there’s also one more extremely important factor.
We couldn’t have done any of this without the faithful giving of God’s people.
Truth.Love.Parent. is a faith-based ministry that relies on donations in order to continue ministering.
Whether it’s a one time gift or monthly donations, every dollar helps us continue creating this free parenting content which the Lord sends all over the world.
In the past three years we have been listened to in over 90 different countries!
Regardless of whether you’ve given hundreds of dollars or a five dollar bill, you have played a part in the lives of families in Somalia and the United Arab Emirates and Russia and Singapore because you made it possible for them to hear how God called and created us to parent.
I don’t know about you, but that is extremely exciting. And God has done all of that in only three short years all while I’ve been working full-time at Victory Academy for Boys.
Now, before I get back to my story, and I unveil the amazing opportunities that will make Truth.Love.Parent. an even more robust source for Biblical Parenting, I want to tell a side story.
My daughter came to me before Christmas while I was lying on my bed. She assumed her usual place by lying on top of me and proceeded to ask me what I wanted for Christmas. This year she seems very excited and personally motivated to invest in others.
I responded, what do you think I want for Christmas. I thought it would be a valuable exercise for me to determine how she’s thinking through this process.
Her response floored me.
She said, “Well, I know how important TLP is to you. Maybe I could buy you DVD’s so you can learn more about parenting.”
Can you believe that?!
I told her how incredibly spot-on her observation and how proud I was that she really took a moment to look at life through someone else’s eyes.
This little girl has seen the significance and value of what TLP is doing. And she’s also benefiting from it. We listen to many of the episodes as a family, but I’m also trying to live out all the study and prep I do to prepare each episode.
And she connected the dots.
She realized that the best way to bless me was to invest in TLP and thereby invest in countless families all over the world.
Now, let’s continue with my story.
When I left off, I was talking about how God has lead my family step by step and how He’s used each step to prepare us for the next.
So, for the past 5 1/2 years my family and I have been serving at Victory Academy for Boys. My personal relationship with God, my marriage, and my parenting have all been put through the fiery crucible and come out more refined because of it. I praise God for not only using that time to further equip me for leading my family, but also for equipping me to serve your families.
But through a series of clearly providential events, the Lord made it clear to me and my family that it’s time to transition to a new phase of our lives. So, on November 20th of 2019, my family and I said goodbye to Victory Academy for Boys and all the amazing people we met there, and we moved to Brevard, North Carolina.
Now, for the past month and a half my family and I have been regrouping and praying and preparing for our next stage of life and ministry, and today we’re going to unveil the plan to you.
Here it is . . . the moment for which we’ve been waiting . . .
Starting on January 1st, I am the full-time, Executive Director of Truth.Love.Parent.
Now, what does that mean?
Honestly, it means I’m going to continue doing what I’ve already been doing, but since I’m full-time . . . I can do even more.
Now, I want to talk about what will make TLP the ever growing premier source for all things Biblical Parenting, but we have get real first.
TLP has always been a volunteer labor of love. It was my hobby. It was the thing I did with my free time. Victory Academy was my full-time ministry and, thereby, it paid the bills.
Now that I am working full-time at TLP, I no longer have a paycheck.
My family and I have stepped out on faith firmly believing that this is the Lord’s will for our lives. It’s similar to the way a missionary or an evangelist lives from week to week on faith that the Lord will provide their needs through the faithful giving of His church.
“But, Aaron, don’t people already give to TLP?”
That’s a great question. Yes, for a couple years now there has been a core group of amazing people who have regularly given to TLP. However, we’ve never used those resources to pay anyone on TeamTLP. Those monies have been fully dedicated to keeping the ministry running and being a blessing to others.
Well, now I believe we need to start budgeting a payroll.
In Luke 10 Jesus sent the apostles out into the world, and — among other things — he told them to find people who would give them food and lodging and “remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages.”
In I Timothy 5 Paul quotes Jesus when he tells Timothy, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer deserves his wages.’”
My daughter wanted to donate her “widow’s mite” as act of worship to God, but also because she understands the importance of what TLP is doing, and because she knows that our family is in need of support.
Now, I honestly hate asking for money.
I really wish I didn’t have to do it, but the Lord is well pleased when we’re dependent on Him. In Proverbs 30:7-9 we read, “Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die: 8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, 9 lest I be full and deny you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.”
This is not about being rich. This is about providing for my family as I serve other families. That’s it.
So Truth.Love.Parent. is what it’s always been. It’s a listener-supported, faith-based ministry . . . it’s just now the faith part is a little more significant than it was.
Allow me to continue the transparency for a moment.
Our Patron’s monthly giving is about $500. Now, that is amazing. It’s been exactly what we’ve needed for the past 5 years. It’s enabled us to become one of the premier sources of all things biblical parenting.
But, imagine running a full-time ministry on that budget. Now imagine providing for your family on just a fraction of that budget.
I know you understand what I’m talking about.
So, think about this. If only 500 people (and we have far more subscribers than that), if all of them gave only $10 a month, that would be $5,000. That would be an amazing start. I could support my family off less than half of that and pour the rest into producing more and more content.
And that’s only if 500 people faithfully gave $10 a month. Ten dollars a month is two cheap cups of coffee. It’s a pizza. It’s a fancy stick of chapstick. And I know there are many of you who have and can easily do more than that.
And please don’t think that “If it’s that easy, they don’t need my help.” We do need your help, and I believe the Lord would be pleased by you giving to this ministry in 2020.
So, whether it’s a dollar or the price of a coffee a week or a hundred dollars a month or more . . . you’re faithful gifts will enable this ministry to continue growing.
And since faithful consistency will be super important moving forward, we want to do something special for our monthly givers. But I’ll talk more about that later.
So, let’s discuss what I plan to do as the director of TLP and what your gifts will finance.
Now that I’m full-time, I am going to devote more time to prayer for the TLP Family. I have developed relationships with many of you, and I love to pray for you and your families. If you go to our website and join the TLP Family, you’ll receive a password that will give you access to our TLP Family closed Facebook group where we talk about life and parenting and pray for each other.
I would love to start praying for you and your souse and your kids. It’s completely free to join the TLP Family and get into the closed Facebook group. So, sign up and let us know how we can pray for you,
But I also plan to devote more time to studying biblical parenting. There is much I have to learn, and until I’ve gone through every passage of Scripture and applied it to our families . . . multiple times . . . there will be more learn. None of us will be able to learn everything there is to know about God, so we can all keep studying until the day we die.
And for those of you whom God has called to minister in other fields, I can do the study and pass it on to you. Of course, that doesn’t remove your responsibility to personally read and study the Word, but I and TeamTLP can help you take those additional steps you couldn’t otherwise take without leaving your job.
And, as I do all of that study, that will enable me to create more original content. This will include regular podcast episodes, TLP Snippets, books, training materials, and more.
It is my plan to finally finish up my book, “Quit: God’s cure for family strife” and release it free to anyone who wants it . . . this year.
I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to that. It’s been years in the making.
But I also hope to do more traveling. I would absolutely love to preach to your church, small group, or ministry. I’d love to teach at your parenting workshop, couples’ conference, teacher’s seminar, or family camp.
In fact, I’m a huge advocate of God-honoring Christian camps. I’d love to have the opportunity to open God’s Word to children of all ages at camp.
We could also do TLP Meetups wherever I have a speaking engagement.
You can go to TruthLoveParent.com and click on “Conferences” to learn more.
I truly believe it’s these speaking opportunities that will be most valuable for all of us. When you are there, face-to-face, with a ready-to-learn posture, it’s so much easier for real change to happen. Let’s be honest. You’re probably listening to this podcast while you’re doing something else. I get it. That’s how I listen to podcasts. And we read books in small chunks as we move from distracting element to life challenge.
But when we gather together with other believers for the intent purpose of dedicating a few hours to intentional learning and growth . . . we generally experience more dynamic growth.
I can say that because that’s how God intends the church to work. TLP’s theme verse is Ephesians 4:15. Verses 15 and 16 lay out this vision “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
It’s as we are speaking the Truth in love to each other that we become more like Christ and — in the same process — strengthen not only the individuals but the whole Body of Christ.
I would strongly encourage you to talk to your pastors. Lay out for them a vision of a couple’s conference or parenting weekend. Offer to host it. If you are the pastor, will you please consider how the Lord may use TLP to strengthen your flock.
Let’s get these meetings going all over the states . . . and the world. Let’s dedicate to the intentional, premeditated discipleship of parents.
Now, we’re coming to the end of our show, but there are a few more things I hope to do with all my new time.
I want to grow TeamTLP’s group of volunteers. There’s always more to be done, and the more of us who are equipped to do it, the more powerful TLP can be in serving families. I have one lady to whom I want to introduce you; she’s a fierce friend, a loving wife and mother, a fantastic author, and a passionate voice for God in the family.
She wants to join TeamTLP. She wants to volunteer her time to see God glorified in our families. The more people like her who join TeamTLP, the more we’ll be able to accomplish. And, as giving increases, I want to actually hire people. I think it would be amazing if this ministry could have a whole team working full-time to equip you and parents like you.
Also, with the help of TeamTLP, I’m going to lead in website-development and growth. Our online resources can always get better.
I also plan to do more biblical counseling and family coaching. You can email Counselor@TruthLoveParent.com or visit TruthLoveParent.com to learn more. I’m excited about a number of mentoring and discipleship opportunities I have in the new year.
And there’s so much more.
I want to schedule more Special Guests. I want to pull in people who are smarter and more experienced than I. I want to use the voices and wisdom of others to broaden the scope and value of this program.
I also hope to grow community opportunities in our new city. If you live in or near Brevard, I’d love to talk to you about the needs and opportunities in the area. If we can’t help those in our Jerusalem, we shouldn’t be too focused on those at the uttermost parts of the earth. Being full-time with TLP will provide me more opportunities for community service.
And your increased giving will help us accomplish each and every one of those points
If you’d be interested in joining our team — whether through the giving of money or the giving of talents and time — please click on the “5 Ways to Support TLP" link in the description of this episode.
We also beg you to pray for TeamTLP and the Brewster family.
And we ask that you share TLP with the people God puts into your path. You can tell people about us by word of mouth and on social media by sharing our episodes. And you can rate and review this show so that even complete strangers can benefit from your testimony.
You can also support us by shopping on Amazon using our affiliate links and buying exclusive TLP merchandise from the TLP store.
And you can give.
You can give a one time gift. That would be amazing. But you can also give monthly. In fact, I would argue that consistent monthly gifts at lower amounts would be much more helpful in our budgeting and planning than large one-time gifts.
Now, don’t get me wrong. We will happily put your large, one-time gift to good use, but we want to really encourage faithful and consistent monthly givers. TeamTLP and I have plans in mind as to how we can specially thank those of you who give monthly.
All of this to say, I can’t wait to jump back into our regular twice-a-week teaching schedule.
We’re starting a two-part episode next time about “The Choice All Parents Have to Make.” It will be a great, biblically-entrenched way to start off the New Year.
I hope you’re as excited as I am. I hope you’re already thinking about how you can get involved.
You can tell your friends about TLP. You can encourage your pastor to invite us to speak. We don’t even need to meet in a church; you can host a TLP Meetup wherever you want.
I hope you’ll pray for us, and I hope you’ll give.
I love you guys. I love your families, and I’m overwhelmingly honored to have the chance to serve you like this.
Happy New Year!
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