By: Adam Kellogg, Marketing Manager
The day I met Jim McBride, executive producer of Fireproof and Courageous, was my first day of work as Marketing Manager of the Spiritual Growth team at Moody Publishers. But that’s not why I’ll always remember it.
I had the privilege over dinner of asking Jim about the story behind Rite of Passage: A Father’s Blessing. All I really knew about the book was that it recommended marking a teenage child’s transition into adulthood with a meaningful ceremony, but I wanted to get Jim’s take on why this is important. To be perfectly candid, I shy away from ceremony whenever possible. My informal nature had its doubts.
Everything Jim said about the rite of passage made it sound like an excellent idea—it puts the wind in the sails of a young man or woman’s spirits, charges them with purpose, and gives them a head start on adulthood. But one thing stood out to me more than any other, something that made me realize I had to do this or something like it for my sons.
Part of the rite of passage, Jim said, is commissioning a group of other godly men and women to join in a circle of accountability. He said, “These are men and women of God who will be there for my kids for the rest of their lives.”
The rest of their lives . . . that’s what got me. When my youngest son, Colin, was less than a year old, I learned how powerful that phrase really is. My father-in-law passed away after a long battle with cancer. Until he took his last breath, He dedicated his life to helping other men and women grow to be more like Jesus Christ. He was someone who would have been an integral part of my sons’ circles of accountability.
Now, his legacy will serve as a reminder to them of what it means to be a godly man. I also want to show them my friends, my father, and other men and women of faith who, because of the wisdom I found in Rite of Passage, I will ask to take an active role in my sons’ lives as they grow into men.
The lesson Jim McBride taught me the very first time I met him is one he probably didn’t even realize he was teaching me—life is shorter than we realize in the moment. To lead the way for our children, we need to surround them with other godly guardians and friends. Even if you don’t have children of your own, you still have a responsibility to the children in your church.
I would encourage anyone to read this book so that you can understand just how much value there is in taking an active role in helping teens grow into young men and women. I look at the blessing of my father and my father-in-law have been to me. I see what my sons are missing out on with the absence of someone who could have been their hero. And I see hundreds, thousands, millions of godly men and women who need to fill that vital place in the circle of accountability of the boys and girls in our world who are desperately waiting to become men and women of God.
What helped you the most to transition into adulthood?