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Sharing Your Faith as a Family

Air Date 07/15/2015

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Pastor Kevin Harney and his wife, Sherry, offer practical suggestions for sharing the Gospel with neighbors, friends and extended family.

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Episode Transcript



Jim Daly: Kevin, what does it mean to have your home be a lighthouse?

Kevin Harney: I think as a Christian, it means that you make a decision that your home isn't a place to hide from the world, but it's a place to say, "God, we want this this place to shine with Your love and Your grace and Your presence and actually invite the world in."

End of Teaser

John Fuller: Well, you'll hear more about how to let your home be a place of hope and a beacon of hope on today's "Focus on the Family" with Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller and our guests are Kevin and Sherry Harney and they serve together at Shoreline Community Church in Monterey, California. Kevin's the lead pastor. Sherry is director of strategic leadership development and it's their first time here at "Focus on the Family."


Jim: Well, let me say, welcome to "Focus on the Family."

Sherry Harney: Thank you.

Kevin: We're glad to be here.

Sherry: Happy to be here.

Jim: It's good to have you. I really do like the idea and the concept of the book, Organic Outreach for Families. I mean, it's not a gardening book.

Kevin and Sherry: No. (Laughter)

Sherry: No, no.

Kevin: But we hope it'll be some good fruits, so …

Jim: Oh, there you go. Well, that's what we're talkin' about. That image of a lighthouse, one, I really appreciate that, because it captures so much of the spirit of our faith and trying to be a beacon and draw people in. Talk about the concept, the kind of the overarching concept of your book here, Organic Outreach. What was the point you were trying to make in being a lighthouse?

Kevin: Well, it's interesting. Before we were married, as we were engaged and hoping one day we'd have children, we began talking about the kind of life we wanted to live. We're both kind of advance planners and so, we're thinking ahead saying, "Boy, when we're married some day and we figure," we actually figured we'd never own a house. We'd probably be in an apartment our whole life, just 'cause one income, pastor, raising kids, we thought, you know, that's probably what it'll be, but we said, wherever God puts us, we just deeply desire that He would use us there and that whoever is near us, whether it's an apartment, a trailer park, a neighborhood, to say, "God, could You let Your light shine in natural ways" and that's, the key is natural.

Jim: It is. Kevin and Sherry, let me ask you this. You know, here at Focus, we started measuring kind of our activity and how people are responding to it, so we do survey work every year now, asking people how Focus has helped them and I have been so pleasantly surprised to find that about 190,000 people every year accept Christ or recommit—

Sherry: Wow.

Jim: --their life to the Lord. I would not think of Focus—

Sherry: That's exciting.

Jim: --in that way, but it is exciting. It's over 500 people a day--

Kevin: Wow.

Jim: -- and about 85 of those 500 are children, who are listening to Odyssey or things like that and that thrills my heart, but I think at my core, I tend to lean into that evangelistic gift. I like it; I like engaging people that don't know the Lord. Is there an aspect of that when you're talking about opening up your home, where the evangelist, if you have that bent, you're gonna be far more comfortable with that than somebody maybe who doesn't feel that gift from the Lord.

Sherry: Well, I think that between the two of us, that happened. Kevin is an evangelist. I am not. That's not one of my gifts, but that's one of the things that we talk about in the book, is how those of us who maybe don't consider ourselves as [having] the gift of evangelism, that we're all called to the light in the world. In Matthew 5, it says that you are the light of the world, where Jesus said that about us.

Jim: Yeah.

Sherry: And so, all of us are called to shine that light and so, we hope that through our book, we're encouraging families on how to be that light.

Jim: Sherry, let me ask you this, 'cause I so appreciate that vulnerability, 'cause people go, "Whoa! You're not comfortable with evangelism?" It's almost like Code Blue in Christian talk, but how do you … how did you work that out early in your marriage? Were you ever uncomfortable?

Sherry: Very much so and I think that, that is actually where our passion to write this series of books on organic outreach came, realizing that there are some people who are gifted evangelists and some are not and how do we train people like myself to have this passion and this ability to, in a natural way, share the love of Jesus? And so, basically, this is what moved us is the gap between the two of us, to write the series.

Kevin: And to bring comfort to your listeners about, studies will show that 95 to 97 percent of Christians don't have the gift of evangelism--

Jim: Yeah, wow.

Kevin: --95 to 97 percent, but we can all love—

Jim: Right.

Kevin: --and we can all listen and care.

Sherry: Well, even when you look at the spiritual gifts, some people have the gift of generosity, but we're all called to give. And some people have gifts of service, but we're all called to serve. And it's very much like that with evangelism, that there's some people [sic] who have the gift of evangelism, but we're all called to share Jesus.

Jim: Well, let's bend into the book then and the content in Organic Outreach, because in there you're talking about how to make your home that lighthouse. Did you decide that on your honeymoon? Did the two of you as a young couple say, "Let's make our house as a beacon for the lost and bring people in?" How did that get going? Where'd you get traction, saying okay, this is what we want to do?

Sherry: I think honestly, it started when we were engaged, don't you think, Kevin? And we have an interesting story, because Kevin just had this big heart to serve God, do anything for Him at any cost. And I was more cautious and so, actually what happened was, we were engaged. I was living in Ontario, California and he was living in Pasadena. And he called me one night and he said, "Hey, Sherry, I just want you to know, I've been able to minister to this guy off the street." And Kev, I'll let you finish it, because you—

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: --you remember it better.

Kevin: And this wasn't unusual for me. I was still a somewhat new Christian and I didn't grow up in a space where I read the Bible. I just tried to do whatever it said. So, if people came and knocked on my door and wanted money, I'd give 'em money. If they wanted food, I'd bring 'em in and I'd feed 'em. If they wanted clothes, I opened my closet and I'd say, "Take whatever you want." And I wasn't thinking about how this might impact when you're married someday. (Laughing)

John: Ah.

Jim: Right.

Kevin: And so, this guy comes to my door and he was in a rough time, a young guy and he knocked on my door and he asked if he could have some food and I gave him some food. And I ate mostly Top Ramen and baloney those days. I was broke.

Jim: It was easy to say take my food. (Laughter)

Kevin: Exactly. (Laughter) There were no steaks in the freezer. So we had a meal together and he hung out in my house for a while and then he actually, you know, he asked if he could stay the night. And I said, "Sure, I'll be here tonight and I'll let you stay the night." And then I think, did I call you before or after that?

Sherry: Well, all I remember is, I got the call that this young man was gonna be spending the night with Kevin. That was not a good moment for me, because it was the first time in our engagement or our dating that I actually thought to myself, can I marry a man who just lets anybody off the street into our home overnight? I had images of our, you know, raising a family, having kids and we have all these people just coming that we don't even know and I questioned whether that was faith, if we don't know [them].

Jim: That's a fair question.

Sherry: It was and it was such a big concern for me that night, because I loved Kevin, I wanted to marry him, I remember actually, I'm just gonna say it, I ended up throwing up. I was so sick to my stomach, because I thought, I know we want to be this family. We had already been talking about it. We want to be a family that reaches out, but is this part of that?

Jim: Yeah.

Sherry: And so, anyways, I spent the night sick. Kevin spent the night.

Kevin: So, the guy stayed the night and I was alive in the morning and so, then I had to go to class. I was a student going to seminary, had to go to class. And so, I told him I was gonna head to class. He says, Well," he said, "I'll just stay here while you're gone." And I had enough sense to say, "Well, that's probably not ... I'd probably come back and everything could be gone. I didn't have a lot, but I thought, you know, so II said, "Well, listen, you know and it was actually a triplex that my grandmother owned and I was in the front one; she was in the back one. So, I said to him, "Well, why don't you go do somethin' else for a while and then come back in about four hours when my class is done and you can come back and we'll have some dinner or something." And he said, "Okay, great." So, I headed off to school. He left.

I gotta tell you, I pulled in from school and there were two police cars in the back of the triplex at my grandmother's place. And I thought, wow, I wonder if she had a heart attack or somethin'. I didn't know what was goin' on and it never crossed my mind, I didn't put any pieces together. I went to the back and she's sitting there with the police officer, kind of kneeling by her and she's, you know, pale and sheet white and upset. And another officer comes out to me and he said, "I need to talk with you. One of your friends assaulted and robbed your grandmother."

Jim: Oh.

Kevin: One of my friends? What ... who of my friends would do that? And he said, "Yeah, the gentleman who's been staying with you, he used your name and said he was staying with you and he was a friend of yours and he asked her if he could use the bathroom and when he came in, he stole a bunch of her things and then, thank[fully] by God's grace, he hugged her and kissed her and she felt very ... it was very in appropriate and then he left and he didn't do anything else. So, I was so thankful for that. .And I stood there and I had to rethink what it means to be a lighthouse home.

Jim: Uh-hm.

Kevin: Does it mean you open your door to everybody at all times no matter what the cost? Or is there a place of wisdom and discernment and prayer and boundaries and I'd never thought about that before and that changed the trajectory of our journey together. We still were committed to this, but we had to think about, how do you do this when you're gonna be married, when you have children and how do you still lay it all out for Jesus, but also stay alive to lay it out tomorrow, too?

John: Well, I appreciate your honesty, because it is an uncomfortable part of living a life for Christ, is there's some risks and you've really laid out some good stuff, some very practical steps for doing this naturally and authentically in your book, Organic Outreach for Families. We have that available at, as well as the CD or a download of our conversation today. We're talkin' to Kevin and Sherry Harney on "Focus on the Family" with Jim Daly.

Jim: Let's talk about that. What are some of the practical ways over the 30 years that you've done this, that you've learned that it works best? Let's spend the other half of the program here talking about those practical approaches. So, what do you do that does minister to people that doesn't put you at too great a risk and that gets the point across in terms of the Gospel.

Kevin: Yeah and I'd ask Sherry to talk, you know, Sherry, you always talk about how we learned to share everything we had and everything we did and that was one of our, kind of our ongoing themes. How can we share what we have? How can we share what we do?

Sherry: So, when we look at whatever we have and whatever we do out of our home, how can we leverage that for the Gospel? And so, for instance, when we were raising three boys, one of the things that we found out is, that boys love to eat. (Laughter)

John: They're pretty much eat and sleep, yeah.

Jim: Yeah.

Sherry: So, how could we leverage that for the Gospel? And one of the ways that we did it was, we had a basement. In Michigan, when we were raising our boys in Michigan, we had a basement and it was just an open area for the kids to play. But we bought a refrigerator and we put a refrigerator downstairs and we put food in it. We didn't spend a lot of money, but we had a line item in our budget, "Food for Neighbor Boys," you know, for the kids.

Kevin: And sometimes nearly 20 or 30 kids at once.

Jim: Yeah.

Sherry: Yeah and we—

John: Oh, my goodness.

Kevin: It's like locusts descending on the land—

Jim: Yeah.

Kevin: --and (Laughter) then when they leave, it'd be gone, you know.

John: Food!

Jim: It sounds like a Sam's Club moment.

Kevin: There you go, yeah. (Laughter)

Sherry: But we found this to be a great way to reach out to the community, because word got out, you could get free food at the Harney's. (Laughter) And we had a cabinet, too that we stocked, not a huge amount of food, but cans of soup and different things like that and the thing that was, I think so neat for the boys and their friends was, the refrigerator in the basement was theirs.

And anybody could go into it at any time and eat what was ever there. And that for some reason, that was a huge draw for the boys. They felt loved. It's kind of that idea of that refrigerator rights.

Jim: Yeah.

Sherry: You know, if you let someone into your refrigerator, you're saying to them, "You're a part of our family."

Jim: Huh.

Kevin: Well, I'll say a word about boundaries. We had a refrigerator upstairs which they did not have rights to (Laughter)—

Sherry: Right.

Kevin: --because if they did, all of our food for our, you know, Sherry would go grocery shopping and then it would all disappear. So, we said, "This is your refrigerator. This is your cabinet, whatever's in it you can have."

Sherry: And I'd say to families, if you don't have a basement, put a small refrigerator in the garage.

Jim: Right.

Sherry: But just the sense that refrigerator rights, that if you are a part of our family, you are welcome here. We have food for you. You're welcome. That was definitely one thing that we did. Another thing that we were able to leverage for the Gospel was when we decided to get an above-the-ground pool, not a fancy, it was low cost and this was a time, you have to understand, this is 20 years ago and a lot of people didn't have above-the-ground pools. So, when we got ours in our neighborhood, it became the spot that everybody wanted to come to.

Jim: It had to be.

Sherry: And again, that creates a dilemma. So, how do I share this? How do I leverage this for the Gospel, but maintain safety? You know, because I can't spend all my days watching kids swim. That was not a call on my life and that was a struggle for me. I have to say, I sought the Lord. I didn't have books like this to go to and as I prayed, I said, "Lord, You know my heart. You know I want to have certain boundaries, but I want to use this for You."

And the way that we did this, we had one day; we designated one day and this was in the summer months. We made it Tuesday and we told all our neighbors that from 1 to 5, anybody was invited, as long as they brought a babysitter or a parent, another adult that would be responsible for them.

But what happened is, word spread that Tuesday afternoons you could go swimming at the Harney's. It wasn't a big pool, but lots of people came and they brought their parents. They brought their babysitter and every Tuesday afternoon during the summer months, we sat together, watching our kids play, swim and the conversations about God came up. And I found that to be one of the most exciting times to share about what God is doing in our lives. We really were able to be light in those moments by leveraging our pool—

Jim: Yeah.

Sherry: --at the same time though, the other days the boys knew that they could invite their friends anytime, but they also had a sense, I can share my things with the world, but there are times when there are proper boundaries for me to say, "I can't share right now, because I can't provide what's needed to make it the best, make it safe.

Kevin: if we are gonna be the presence of Jesus, you know, if our home is gonna shine with the light of Jesus, No. 1, we have to be around occasionally. And we're gone from our home so much these days. You know, we have to be around occasionally and then when we're around, we have to have an open spirit, even when we're tired.

And there were times where Sherry and I, part of it was, boy, we love doing this. Sometimes it was just flat-out ministry. it's that this is our calling and you go, you've been ministering all day long, yeah and now we're gonna minister all night long.

And one of the things that we talked about is the fact that where and we're good about a rhythm of Sabbath once a week, but we talked about, we're gonna really get to rest Sunday, where we really get to rest, probably when we get to heaven. (Laughter) That's the truth.

Jim: Okay, I'm exhausted.

Kevin: That is true; that's part of our journey. I'll tell you one more neat issue of kind of where we learned about boundaries in serving, is that when I would go out in front of our house with our boys, the little front lawn—not a big lawn, but a little front lawn—and there were how many boys in our cul-de-sac?

Sherry: Eleven under 11.

Kevin: Eleven under 11 early on and then the kids from the other streets, they'd see us doing something and they'd come over. So, I'd go out with my three boys to play and before you knew it, there's be 11, 12, 13, 14 boys there. And I'm a big kid, so I'd organize soccer games and basketball games. I'd come up with all different fun things to do and that was fun for me.

And again, I usually after a big full day, but I'd come home in the summers usually in the evenings, time to play. But one day after we'd hung out and played with all the neighborhood boys, one of my boys, I don't remember which one, pulled me aside and he asked this question. He said, "Dad, could we ever just play with you?"

Jim: Ah.

Kevin: I said, "What do you mean?" He said, "Well, every time we go outside to play, it's like 10 or 15 kids and it's great, but could we ever just play with you?" And I was like, okay, boundaries again—loving, serving boundaries.

And so, I said the next time all the boys came over from the neighborhood, I said, "Hey, listen," I said, every so often we're gonna have a Harney family time. It was Harney family time; you can't come over. But after Harney family time's done, then you can come over. And I was worried like they'd feel all bad and hurt and stuff. They're like, "Oh, okay, great. Is this a Harney family time?" "Yes, it is." They all took off.

So, a couple days later, I'm out with the boys. They come running over like halfway across the street. They stop and they go, "Is this the Harney family time?" I look at my boys and they're like, "Yeah, yes it is." And then they go, "Okay, we'll come over later," and they didn't feel bad at all. They just heard the boundaries, but what happened with my boys then is, that they knew there were times that were just for them and then times to play with the neighbors. And so--

Jim: Well, that communicated a lot to your sons.

Kevin: --yeah, it did, to our boys and then the neighbors, they learned something about boundaries, too, I think.

Jim: Does a story stick out for you? I mean, I could've easily been one of those boys comin' to your house—

Sherry: Uh-hm.

Jim: --because--

Sherry: And we would've loved it.

Jim: --it was broken; I came from a really dysfunctional situation and so, you know, I would've loved to have known a neighbor that would let me swim in their pool and go over there. Would you intentionally look for that boy or girl who seems a little bit in trouble?

Kevin: They found us.

Jim: Yeah.

Sherry: Oh, yes.

Kevin: We didn't have to look.

Jim: And what does that—

Kevin: Yeah.

Jim: --discussion look like? How would they open their heart to you?

Sherry: That was probably one of our biggest challenges, is ministering to children that were troubled. You know, for multiple of reasons, wanting to help them, but also wanting to protect our children, as well, because we know what influences do to children. That was probably our biggest challenge, is how do you love some of the kids that are troubled and are, from what we could tell, going in the wrong direction?

Jim: Sure.

Sherry: And now we are letting our kids with them and that was—

Kevin: You know, inviting them into our home.

Sherry: --and inviting them in our home and--

Jim: That's a faith step.

Sherry: --and encouraging our boys to hang out with those kinds of kids.

Jim: Wow, that is very challenging. I could—

Sherry: It—

Jim: --see that--

Sherry: --it was--

Jim: --'cause we try to protect today.

Kevin: Yes.

Sherry: --absolutely and that was, I would say, our biggest challenge and one of the thing[s], the way that we did it is, we early on, we let our children know that they could hang out with anybody they wanted. We would tell them that. You may, because we would tell them, we're the light of the world. We have Good News to share. We want you to hang out with anybody, but you may hang out with anybody as long as you are light, as long as you're the influencer. But we want you to know, that when we see that their darkness may be influencing you, we will pull you out.

Jim: Let me ask the million-dollar question. Your kids are grown now, your three boys,

Sherry: Uh-hm.

Jim: How are they doing?

Sherry: Oh.

Jim: Spiritually how are they doing?

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: All passionately love the Lord.

Jim: Yeah, isn't that interesting?

Sherry: Yes.

Jim: You take a risk; you put your kids and you coach them to launch. I mean, that's what you really were doing—

Sherry: Right.

Jim: --'cause they're gonna get into the world at some point and they're gonna experience people that use bad language, that use drugs, that use alcohol, that have premarital sex. I mean, that is the environment and yes, to the parents, that includes Christian campuses, Christian schools.

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: Sure.

Jim: And to prepare your kids to engage, I like that. That takes courage though.

Kevin: Well, and I tell you, it was messy. It was challenging, because one of our boys, the circle of friends he hung out with were, I think, only two of those kids actually graduated from high school. One ended up in prison, not just jail, but in prison. And then there were some great stories of God's redemptive work in the kids' lives as well, so, it was a mixed bag.

Jim: Sure.

Kevin: And there were times where we had to say, "Okay, we're drawing boundaries. We're pulling you out, because we're seeing the influence in you."

Jim: Well--

Kevin: So it wasn't always clean and easy.

Jim: --yeah and I want to respond to the gasp from the moms and I can hear (Laughter) moms gasping out there going—

Sherry: Sure.

Jim: --"That's ridiculous."

Kevin: Yep.

Jim: Speak to that mom's heart. How do you, you know, how do you tread carefully, yet courageously? Sounds like an oxymoron.

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: You have to put the time in. You need to be there in the home. There has to be some level of commitment to be watching if you're going to allow your kids to be in those places.

Kevin: We talk a lot about studying your children. Study your children, study their culture, study their friends and you can't do that from a distance.

Jim and John: Hm.

Kevin: You gotta get in, you know, knee deep.

John: Well, that goes back to your opening statement, Kevin, that too many of us a bunker mentality and we silo ourselves off from the world and you're saying, no, it's all about engaging with the world from a biblical perspective.

Jim: We're not good with messy.

Sherry: No.

Jim: The Christian church has become too efficient at being clean—

John: Hm.

Jim: --and pure and I would challenge that, but I mean, I think that's what we think we're achieving when what the Lord does, even with the disciples on the shores of the Decapolis, when he cast the demons out of the man into the swine, think of that moment, 'cause the disciples didn't want to get out of the boat--

Kevin: Yeah.

Jim: --because in a Jewish context, if they stepped food on that soil, they became unclean and Jesus jumps out of the boat and engages the culture. That is such a good picture for us and that's what you've done—

Kevin: Yeah.

Jim: --through that activity. You've jumped out of the boat, put your foot down on the Decapolis, the outskirts of the known world at the time, in a really ugly situation and you brought Christ to them.

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: And I found that praying on my knees—

Jim: (Laughing) Yeah, I'll bet you did.

Sherry: --I found myself in my—

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: --bedroom on my knees, being honest with God, saying, "God, You know our heart. You know what we're trying. We're trying to proclaim the Good News, but You know we don't want to sacrifice our child."

Kevin: No.

Jim: Yeah.

Sherry: "And we don't feel like You're asking us to do that, but as long as they can be that influencer, Lord, help us." I do have to say that for one of our sons, he was able actually to be the influencer. The other moms were thrilled. They were happy to have him be the one hanging out with their own kids. These moms were struggling, too with their boys' decisions.

But I do recall one night, because I'm still listening and I'm watching and I overheard what was going on in the basement. And the language was not good and it had just gotten to the point where I started to wonder if my son really was influencing for good at this point. So, I actually remember that night, I got on my knees. I could hear the language coming up through the register and I literally prayed, I mean, I think it was a couple of hours. I just lifted prayers up to God and I said, "Lord, how can it be this has been going on for a long time and if my son is at a point right now where he is not being the influencer, Lord, please help him get caught." And I have to say that it wasn't long after that, that we actually got a call from a police officer and he got caught.

John: Hm.

Kevin: Midnight, Saturday night before Easter Sunday, and I've gotta go pick my kid up from the police.

Jim: And you're the pastor.

Sherry: Right.

Kevin: Indeed I was and still am, yeah.

Sherry: And he was 13.

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: So, we, Kevin and I, have a basic parenting principle that we think kids should make mistakes early on.

John: Hm.

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: Give them some freedom so they're not 18 making that kind of mistake; they're 13. And so, I actually remembered when the call came, I said to Kevin, "May I talk to the police officer?" And he handed the phone to me and I said, "Thank you. Thank you."

Kevin: Yeah, that was an answer to prayer.

Sherry: And so, Kevin picked him up.

Kevin: Yeah.

Sherry: And we brought him home.

Kevin: And we got to have a, you know, the conversation and real clear consequences and he spent some time in front of a judge with dad and mom next to him and got some community service. And he also had a whole new set of boundaries and we said, "Okay, you're not influencing; you're being influenced." And so, we pulled him out of that group for a season—

Sherry: And that experience changed him.

Kevin: --and yeah.

Jim: For the better.

Sherry: Oh, absolutely.

Kevin: Oh, for the better, yeah.

Sherry: It was then shortly after that he realized that he was making wrong decisions and we let him live with the consequences.

Kevin: Oh, yeah. I gotta tell you, the judge looked and saw this couple that seemed engaged and caring and pretty serious about discipline and started to back off. And I said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa; don't you back off. You give him everything you can." They said, "Really?" I said, "Yeah, whatever you normally give to any kid, you lay it on him."

And our son looked at me and I looked at him and the judge laid it on him and he did some community service and different things, on top of [that], my yard never looked better. I'll tell you (Laughter), the next month he worked hard.

Jim: Well, let me ask you this though, because you know, some parents may be in that same boat and they've got what they would describe in a Christian home as a prodigal or the beginnings of a prodigal and they may have stood in front of a judge with their child, their 13-year-old and they got home that night and it didn't go so well. He didn't respond or she didn't respond in such a good way, a positive way. What does that parent do when that actually puts a bigger break in their relationship?

Kevin: You know, no easy answers to that, but I think you keep praying. You keep loving. You hold your ground. I've watched so many parents that say, "Okay, now we're gonna have this restriction, so you're on restriction for the rest of your life." Well, that's ridiculous. You know, what's more intimidating is a month, if you really mean it and—

Jim: And back it up.

Kevin: --and back it up and your cell phone gets put in a box and your computer's off and we're reading some books together and you're doin' some yard work and you're not gonna go to your room and play in your room. We're gonna walk through. And as a pastor and as a couple in ministry, we walked with lots of couples and continue to, who go through not just 13-year-olds, but 23-year-olds and 33-year-olds who are still wandering and being clear, articulating what you believe, where you stand. And then just to follow through with love, but to follow through.

Man, so many parents, they, as a matter of fact, out of that one situation, one of the parents told us, their child was gonna be on restriction for I think two or three weeks. Two days later, we saw him out kind of messin' around, around town. And I actually called the parent. I said, "Did you know your son [was out]?" "Well, yeah, he said he was really sorry and he said he wouldn't do it again." And I was like, "Are you serious? Do you love your kid or don't you?" "Now they weren't even a believer, but we have to have an honest conversation. "If you love your kid, you will follow through."

Sherry: Discipline.

John: Yeah.

Kevin: And so, yeah.

Jim: Well, those are good words. Kevin and Sherry Harney, authors of the book, Organic Outreach for Families, I think this has been really stimulating just thinking through how to engage those around you, how to put, you know, a bit of risk into your life and in doing so, honoring the Lord and drawing people closer to Him. It's gutsy, but it's the right thing to do. Thanks for bein' with us.

Kevin: Thank you so much.

Sherry: Thank you.


John: Well, our conversation today has really demonstrated the importance of being authentic and intentional about reaching out to others and you'll get the encouragement to do that when you get a copy of the book by the Harneys, Organic Outreach for Families. And we'll send this practical resource to you when you contribute a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family today.

When you contact us, also ask about being part of our summer matching challenge. Right now some very generous friends have offered to effectively double your gift to Focus on the Family. So, your financial contribution to the work here will be matched by them dollar for dollar during this limited time. So, that's two reasons to get in touch--one to double that gift and two, to get a copy of Organic Outreach. Contact us today. Call 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY; 800-232-6459 or you can donate and find resources at

Our program was provided by Focus on the Family and on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I'm John Fuller, inviting you back next time when you'll hear how to use your words more wisely, as we once again, help your family thrive.

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Kevin Harney

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Kevin Harney is the lead pastor of Shoreline Community Church in Monterey, Calif. He is also an international speaker and an author whose books include Empowered by His Presence, Reckless Faith and Seismic Shifts. Kevin and his wife, Sherry, have three adult sons. Learn more about Kevin by visiting his website:


Sherry Harney

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Sherry Harney is a public speaker who addresses audiences at retreats and conferences on topics such as spiritual formation, marriage, parenting and leadership. She is also an editor and an author for the Zondervan publishing company who has co-written more than 60 small group Bible studies with well-known authors and pastors. Sherry and her husband, Kevin, have three adult sons. Learn more about Sherry by visiting her