Most dads tell us they deal with guilt over the past. You say things like, "I feel like a failure." I swear—this is where the devil lives. If he can make you think you're not good enough to teach your child—then BOOM—you're right where Satan wants you.
So, how can we overcome our past, all the feelings of failure and gain the confidence to lead as we should? This is where Jonathan Hayashi and his Field Guide Making Lemonade are a God-send. The whole idea is that God can take your lemons of a past and make them lemonade—we're talkin' Chick-fil-a lemonade here guys.
Kent Evans recently sat down with Jonathan Hayashi via a zoom call. They talked about ministry and fatherhood and all about his Field Guide. In this post, not only will you learn more about Jonathan and his heart for dads, you'll get more of a feel for what's inside his digital Field Guide. Let's hit it.
Sit in on the conversation and be encouraged while learning more about how to overcome your past. Let's jump in and learn more about Jonathan, snag some key takeaways from his Field Guide and get additional resources to help you turn past failures into gospel opportunities.
About the author > Jonathan Hayashi, M. A.
Jonathan (B.A. and M.A., Moody Theological Seminary) is on pastoral staff at First Baptist Church in Troy, MO. He is a doctoral student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is married to Kennedi and has two daughters. Find him on Twitter and his blog Evangelica Sola. Grab his Field Guide Making Lemonade.
Sneak preview: Hayashi talks about Making Lemonade Field Guide (1:15)
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Full interview: Hayashi discusses overcoming past mistakes (19:05)
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3 key takeaways from Making Lemonade and the full interview
If you watch the above video, you'll hear Jonanthan's passion for dads. He's written several articles for Manhood Journey and his main goal in writing this book was to help you overcome your feelings of failure by turning those key moments into gospel opportunities with your child. You've probably made mistakes—but those mistakes don't have to own you.
"As dads go—so goes the church. As the church goes—so goes society," Hayashi says in his interview with Kent. If you feel overwhelmed by your failures, you don't have to. You can love your wife and kids as God desires. The above video, this post and the Making Lemonade Field Guide is a call to overcome your mistakes and point to God. You can do this.
#1 Do your failures disqualify you?
Jonathan opens his field guide with doing exactly what he encourages us dads to do—take your failures and point to God. Jonathan writes openly about his life before coming to Christ, how Christ changed him and how his life hasn't been the same since!
Do your failures disqualify you? The short answer is: no! : ) But Jonathan digs in to this idea and encourages you even as he tells his personal failures.
Question: What areas of your past life do you struggle to let go?
#2 Your failures are lenses
This section is powerful from Jonathan. He writes, "Jesus came for sinners who no one ever expected." He walks us through the life of Jesus and how God seems to call out and use folks in the Bible—despite them being human.
I love this line from Jonathan, he writes: "Now, not every man is called to leadership in the church, but every man is called to spiritual leadership." Wow—so true! Imagine if we began to see our past mistakes as lenses with which we can see God at work in our lives—and then point people to God with our stories.
Question: What are some failures you’ve had in the past that you can use as an avenue to turn your everyday conversation to gospel conversation?
#3 Sharing the gospel through failures
Depending on the age and stage of your child, you should consider talking with him or her about your past mistakes. Not randomly—but certainly as situations arise in your child's life. The time of being fake is over. Odds are your child sees through it anyway!
It's time to be authentic in a world that is not. Hayashi writes:
I believe one reason why the church at this time has so little influence in the world is because the world has so much influence over the church. God calls us in the midst of a crooked nation to use men like you and me.
Jonathan points out a three-step framework for turning your past mistakes into gospel conversations—he calls it telling three stories:
#1 Listen to their story
#2 Tell your story
#3 Tell God's story
Hayashi digs in to each phase of the three-step framework. I love the simplicity. We can remember this as we talk to our sons and daughters. He explains how we should race to how God worked and changed our lives. That we shouldn't waste our failures. That we should use our failures as opportunities to point to God.
Question: What are the “three stories” you can use to introduce Jesus to your children?
Here's the deal. The past can make you bitter or it can make you better. Trust God. Look to Him. He cares and takes care of you. This is the kind of truth and encouragement you'll hear when you read Jonathan's book.
Thank you, Jonathan, for your time and investing in the writing of this Field Guide and for doing this interview. We're grateful for your time and heart for dads discipling their children. Thank you for serving the church, for serving your family and for serving other dads with your Field Guide.
- Blog post: How to handle past failures
- Blog post: The call to be an ordinary radical dad
- Making Lemonade Field Guide
Ryan Sanders is the Director of Outreach at Manhood Journey. He is married to Tonia and they have three children. He has a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a Fellow at The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Ryan serves as Lay Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, DC and is a diehard Redskins fan. Learn about Ryan here, follow @RyanSanders, grab 7 Deadly Sins of a Disengaged Dad or the Field Guides for dads.