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The Glory of Fathers Who Stink

Fathers are called to be shepherds—so what does a shepherd look (and smell) like?


As I come to talk about fathers, I'm mindful that it's a very difficult day for some people. For some people, whose every thought about their earthly father is one of pain, know there is the grace of God for you in our Abba Father. I'm also well aware it's a difficult day for many single moms who—to be bluntly honest with you—the church in general does a pathetic job of serving and reaching out to. I want the Christian men in this congregation to know that you have a responsibility, not only to your own immediate family, but to reflect the gospel by ministering to all kinds of boys whose dads are no longer in the picture. We can't walk by them and ignore that reality any more than we can walk by the orphans in the world.

So, happy Father's Day. That's one of those things I'm glad we still say in our culture. I'm waiting for the time when there is a movement afoot to change Mother's Day and Father's Day into sort of a generic parent day. The gender specificity of Father's Day and Mother's Day is something that is under assault in all kinds of different ways, but I'm still thankful that our culture recognizes a day set aside for mothers and one set aside for fathers as well.

Instead of being rooted in a particular text of Scripture, I want to pull out a theme which I think is vitally important: one that is under-taught, undervalued, and under-focused upon in the church today, but one that is of paramount importance to fathers. To come face-to-face with what we're talking about today is an absolute necessity for faithfulness in our roles.

Faithful and unfaithful shepherds

(Read 1 Timothy 3:4-5)

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David Prince is Pastor of Preaching and Vision at Ashland Avenue Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. He also serves as Assistant Professor of Christian Preaching at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. He is the author of In the Arena: The Promise of Sports for Christian Discipleship and he blogs at

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I. Faithful and unfaithful shepherds

II. Pastoring the family

III. Shepherds who stink

IV. Leading with the gospel

V. Warrior shepherds