Dallas, TX — In the spring of 1996 I was looking for new work while officing out of a friend’s conference room. One morning I was walking through the parking lot on my way up to his office when Scott Shuford pulled up beside me, rolled down his window and asked if I would talk with him about an idea he had.
I knew Scott from church, but we had never had a sit-down conversation. But when we sat down to talk here’s what Scott said, “I think there’s something we can do to help kids make good decisions when they’re on their own out in the world, and I want to know if you’ll come up with a way to make it happen. If you do, I’ll help you get it up and running.” Later that afternoon, my wife, Karen, asked how my day was and if I had any interesting conversations. After listening to me tell her about my talk with Scott, she asked what I thought it was. When I told her I had no idea, she said, “Well — whatever it is I think it is what God wants you to do.” So, at the end of the day I had a new job, a promise of financial backing, and Karen’s blessing to begin something neither of us had any idea of what it was or if it would even work.
The next day I began talking with men around the community about what they thought was needed to help kids make good decisions. Among the list of needs given, two answers came up more than any other:
1) As Dads, we don’t get to spend enough time with our children, and
2) We want God’s words impressed upon their hearts.
When asked how we could do this, a couple of guys answered, “If there was a Bible Study that we could do with our kids…” Practice Ministries was born.
That fall, we started 6 Bible Studies with 40 Dads and kids groups. I wrote 3 lessons a week, handed them to the Dads to teach, and we’ve kept going ever since. Today, 23 years later, there are more than 16 lesson series that are being translated into 18 languages with more on the way.
Here is what I want you to know:
This whole Dads and Kids Bible Study thing was God’s idea from the very start. God answered a Dad’s prayer by handing the answer to Dads, who in turn handed the answer to me. That action set into motion this Dads and kids Bible Study ministry, which continues to grow nationally and internationally. Practice Ministries has become a way for thousands and thousands of Dads around the world to direct their children to keep the way of the Lord by walking alongside them.
Making Disciples of all Nations,
Director, Practice Ministries