More than 22,000 churches have been planted around the world under Pastor Larry's leadership.
More than 22,000 churches have been planted around the world under Pastor Larry’s leadership.

At the time of this post, I’ve only been a father for about 12 years. But for over 3 decades, I’ve been studying fathers–carefully watching the great men around me, journaling and writing about fathers, researching fatherhood and fatherlessness, and practicing all I know how. My own father is an amazing man–a decorated war hero, a world traveler, a church planter, a pioneering missionary evangelist. My grandfathers are also great heroes of mine–one is buried in the capital of Iran, another is buried in Gujarat, India… yet another is still preaching the Gospel to every listening ear in his hometown of northern Minnesota.

And then there are those who have been “spiritual fathers” at various seasons in my life. I will write more about them later–there is much to say. For today, I share with you some thoughts from one of them. Pastor Larry Stockstill was the senior pastor of Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His ministry has been so impacting in my life, to the degree that when Joyce and I were at a critical point in our marriage, where did we go? We bought plane tickets to fly from the East Coast to Baton Rouge, to go seek counsel at Pastor Larry’s church. That one week with his team changed our lives and strengthened our family, and our legacy, forever.

You can observe a beautiful juxtaposition of humility and radical leadership in Pastor Larry’s life. Who else do you know who both serves under his own son’s pastoral leadership, and is also responsible for planting over 22,000 churches around the world in 15 years? If there is a man who understands spiritual and biological fathering, it is Larry Stockstill. So when he writes a post called, “How to Be a Great Dad,” I am sure to pay attention. Take time and read it here. It is simple, basic, and absolutely profound: “How to Be a Great Dad.”

Meanwhile, learn more about Pastor Larry’s life story here.