Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content


Home > Sermons

Duct Tape Dads

Two steps that can prepare us for crisis prevention.


Have you ever noticed how hard people work to get men to buy into the crisis management process? Think about the two biggest crises or potential crises that kicked off the 21st century.

This century literally began with a crisis that was going to bring the world to its knees. Do you remember what it was? Y2K! When the clock struck midnight and we entered the new millennium, since none of the computers were informed that the date was going to move from 1990’s to the 2000’s, the threat was that they were all going to rise-up chew our knee caps off, eat all of our food.

In the face of that potential threat, the Y2K people had no problem getting the women and children drawn in, people stocked up on canned goods, bottled water, gummy bears, and band aids for our kneecaps. But men are a tough sale, a little slower to jump on the bandwagon, but they figured it out. Do you remember how?

They decided the computers would use up all the power, so our preparedness packet also needed … a back-up generator. My go-to generator of choice would be the Quake Pro S5000. This is a heavy-duty brushless design generator, has a gasoline engine with Total Harmonic Distortion.

So everybody had to go out and get a generator if they were going to survive the crisis of Y2K. Now I don’t know how many men went out and bought a generator, but many bought into the idea of crisis preparation.

The second great crisis emerged just a year later—there was the very real potential of a terrorist attack. The Department of Homeland Security went to great measures to get the family prepared for the unlikely event that we have such an emergency. At the time, their website had very specific suggestions in how we could best prepare for the emergency. This is what it said:

All of us should be able to survive comfortably on our own for at least a three-day period. That's the amount of time you may need to remain in your home until the danger from a biological, chemical or radiological attack has passed.

Change of clothes, sleeping bags, food and water, canned foods. Nothing there terribly enticing to a man, but they don’t leave us out.

In the closing preparation paragraph, you found this sentence of instruction:

Our advice is to start now by gathering basic emergency supplies—a flashlight, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, prescription medicines, toilet articles, and duct tape.

And there it is. Gentlemen start your engines. DUCT TAPE—man’s best friend! It even makes mechanically challenged people like me, feel useful. What man doesn’t love the thrilling sound of ripping duct tape off the roll? We can keep things together because we have duct tape.

The Homeland Security people knew that they had to get men to buy in to emergency preparation and they used the irresistible force—duct tape.

I’m hoping for the same thing today, guys, my goal is to get you involved in and prepared for crisis prevention. This is what we keep hearing—there is a crisis with the family. We hear these statistics about divorce, adultery, absentee fathers—literal and figurative. We hear about kids that hate their parents and in particular their dads. The evidence for big picture family crisis mounts daily.

We know that is true, but we don’t do anything about it! You know why? Because we don’t think it can happen to us. On a good day we thank God we’re not in crisis, on most days the thought never crosses our minds. Not today! We’re going to consider how to take steps toward crisis prevention. What do you need to do to keep your family out of crisis? What must happen to hold things together?

The Duct Tape Guys are a couple of men with very little to do, they have written like 10 books about duct tape. This is their motto: "If duct tape isn't the answer, then you must be asking the wrong question!" In the spirit of the Duct Tape Guys, we have to conclude that our families are going to be held together by Duct Tape Dads.

Two very specific dynamics must be working in harmony for Duct Tape to be able to work its magic. It has to be available. And it has to be effective. The same is true of Duct Tape Dads.


When I talk about availability, I am not just talking about being there, although that is important. But being there isn’t enough. The tape is only good when it is available to the repairman—the master craftsman who understands how best to use the duct tape by knowing where to apply it and when. Left to its own accord duct tape is useless.

Men, if we’re going to be the solution to the crisis of the family, we certainly have to be available to our families, but most importantly we have to make ourselves available to the Master.

Whether you like the responsibility or not, the Master of this universe has set things up in the family in such a way that dads are tasked with holding things together, keeping the family operating effectively for the good of each other and the glory of God. We are only capable of doing our part when we place ourselves in the hand of the Master, allowing him to guide our efforts and affect our application.

In his letters to his young protégé Timothy, Paul described things that Timothy needed to do to ensure that the family of faith was operating for the good of its members and the glory of God.

In 2 Timothy 2, Paul gives Timothy the plan for teaching the family of faith God’s intent for them. The heart of the message is find some duct tape dudes who are available.

(Read 2 Tim. 2:2)

When we talk about availability, we’re talking about a willingness to be entrusted with a task. The teachings of God to which Timothy was exposed, had to be passed on to the church. Timothy wasn’t going to be able to get it to everyone himself, so the plan was to find some people who he could entrust with that task—some people who were willing to hold the community together and build up the family of faith by getting them the message.

Now dads, I want you to understand that this is what we sign up for when we choose the privileged title of husband or father. We are called to a trust. God entrusts us with the task of priest for our family, being an intermediary from him to them, and from them to him. If you are not available to God to get the message, and you are not available to your family to deliver the message, you have failed the first requirement as a duct tape dad—availability.

You can’t be available to God when you want to—some nights and weekends. It requires a daily communication with God. Duct tape is on 24-hour call, and you are too. If you aren’t available all the time you can’t truly call yourself available.


There are three components of duct tape that make it effective:





In the wonderful best seller, The Tipping Point: How Little things Can Make a Big Difference, Malcolm Gladwell takes the reader through the three little things that can cause a movement, an idea, or a product to tip and become an epidemic. The three laws of The Tipping Point are: The Law of the Few, the Power of Context, and the Stickiness Factor.

According to Gladwell, stickiness means that a message makes an impact because the message sticks. So, for politicians, marketers, educators, and others, if they can communicate their message with a high stickiness factor, they win. For instance, Wendy’s won with the message “Where’s the beef?” Gatorade won with the question: “Is it in you?” Nike generated stickiness with “Just Do it!”

For Duct Tape Dads stickiness is about carrying God’s message and God’s intent in such a way that it sticks. But stickiness doesn’t come from how memorable the message is, but from the modeling of the messenger. The only way for it to stick is if you are living it.

(Read 1 Cor. 4:15-16)

Fathers have been entrusted with the task of being worthy of imitation.

(Read 1 Cor. 11:1)

As fathers, spiritual or physical, it is not enough to say what God says; we must DO what God says. The stickiness of our message is not found in the words, but in our actions.

We can’t hold our families to some standard that we’re not willing to live up to ourselves. If we want our children to:

-love God and his church, then we have to love God and his church

-respect their mother, we have to respect their mother

-to guard their eyes, you have to guard your eye

-be generous and share, then we have to be generous and share

-to listen to us, we have to listen to them.

You have to be able to say, “Imitate me as I imitate him.”

Stickiness of the Duct Tape Dad, who is available to God, can hold the family together, but the stickiness does not come from the force of the message, but the authenticity of the messenger.


You know what durability is right? It is the ability to endure. When something is durable, it is tough, sturdy, and stable. Duct Tape Dads prove their durability as they declare themselves dependable as provider, teacher, mentor, and model in good times and bad.

The way the times are changing, our families need to know that we are not going to change with the times. If we are going to hold things together, we are going to have to be stable in good times and bad, through thick and thin.

Psalm 15 is a description of a righteous man—the person who lives right according to God’s expectations. In Psalm 15:4, the psalmist paints the picture of God’s idea of durability.

(Read Ps. 15:4)

That is the durability of a duct tape dad. Families are formed on the oath of fidelity. A covenant to love and serve “til death do us part.”

The righteous man lives in honor of that commitment, keeping it even if it causes him pain. The easy thing to do is to break an oath, but the righteous thing to do is to keep it.

Duct tape dads are durable, tough, and steady. No matter the storm that arises, he’s going do his part to weather the storm—holding things together for the good of the family. Duct tape dads don’t run for cover, they provide it. No matter what it costs, or how much it hurts, with durability they are going to hold things together.


One of the things that you have to love about duct tape is it’s flexibility. I mean it does more than tape ducts right. Did you know that duct tape is actually a fashion accessory? Google “duct tape fashion” and you see quasi-beautiful images of duct tape formed into belts, hats, shirts, and even wallets. So, it’s flexible and that is part of its effectiveness.

The same thing is true with duct tape dads. If we’re going to be effective in holding the family together, we have to be flexible. We must be willing to stretch, give, and adjust as the situation demands it for the good of the family—not at the point of breaking our oath, but in the application of our oath.

(Read Col. 3:21)

The word “embitter” is also translated “provoke” and “exasperate.” It is the activity or habit of nagging—which is always a byproduct of inflexibility. It is the idea that there is only one way to do things, and that is your way.

What this scripture is teaching, is that dad’s must honor who their children are. If we don’t flex a little with them, allow them to be themselves, to make some mistakes and learn some lesson on their own, then they will become discouraged. They will lose heart and trend toward abandoning the family that you have been entrusted by God to hold together.

When we choose to be flexible, we lend our children heart. We enable them to be who God has called them to be. Duct tape doesn’t want everything to become duct tape. Duct tape wants everything to reach its potential and fulfill its purpose.

For that to happen, duct tape has to be:

-available to the master





It all starts with availability. Without the master craftsman, duct tape will never reach its potential. The same is true with us. We have to be willing to place ourselves in the hand of the Master by faith, and allow him to use us to fulfill the sacred trust of being a father.

Related sermons

Dan Meyer

The Incredibles

Making the most of your family unit

People of the Table

The four vital rituals of the early church