Strategic Families
The Strategic Families podcast is all about exploring the most life-giving and challenging aspects of building a family that honors Christ and is on mission for Him! We offer tips and resources for parents to navigate this all-important work of discipling our children and raising them into the adults that God wants them to be. We glean wisdom from real parents who have gone before and walked the journey faithfully, and also from younger parents who are in the trenches with us, so we can encourage one another and spur one another on towards love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24). Each guest/episode offers "gold nuggets" of wisdom in how to be faithful in this calling. As hosts, we (Graham & Katie Clark) are learning with our listeners as we raise our four children. We invite you to grow together with us in this wonderful journey of family life! Topics include: · Transmitting God's truth to the next generation · Strategic planning for your family · Making your home a monastery · Training your son to be a faithful husband & dad · Training your daughter to be a faithful wife & mom · Building a vibrant family culture · Celebrating your own family day · Biblical character goals for your kids · 1-on-1 dates with your kids · Diving into your kids’ worlds · Determining your family’s core values · Challenging your kids to rise to the occasion · Manhood ceremonies · Helping your kids choose wise friends · Discipling your kids · Disciplining your kids · Worldview training for your kids · Determining family priorities, eliminating unhelpful habits, setting goals & staying on track with goals · Ideas for service and blessing others … and many more. Join us as we explore these topics -- for His Kingdom and His glory!
1 - Your Family: An Instrument in God's Hands
August 23, 2021 • 21 MIN
In this introductory episode, Strategic Families Podcast host Graham Clark discusses how God can use our families to advance His kingdom.
2 - Preventing Regret & Missed Opportunities (with Bruce Wray)
August 23, 2021 • 43 MIN
Join us for a health dose of parenting wisdom from Bruce Wray, faithful follower of Christ, father of 5 and grandfather of 19, as he helps us see why we should take the time to strategically plan for our family's future.
3 - Bring God's Word into Your Daily Rhythms (with Dan Wray)
August 23, 2021 • 49 MIN
Join us with business owner and Christian father & husband Dan Wray, who emphasizes the importance of bringing God's Word to bear on the everyday rhythms of family life.
4 - Never Too Late to Change Your Family's Trajectory (with Lynn Wray, Part 1 of 2)
September 6, 2021 • 38 MIN
An interview with faithful and awesome woman of God, Lynn Wray, who has raised five amazing children, who have given her 19 amazing grandchildren. Lynn shares about not growing up in a Christian home, but how the LORD intervened to radically change her family's trajectory when their two oldest children were very little. (Part 1 of 2 with Lynn Wray)
5 - Our Children Do Not Need "Self-Esteem" (with Lynn Wray, Part 2 of 2)
September 12, 2021 • 29 MIN
This episode is Part 2 of 2 of an interview with Lynn Wray, who has faithfully raised five wonderful children (now adults!), who have given her 18 amazing grandchildren.
6 - Who Has Your Child's Heart? (with Dan Martin)
September 19, 2021 • 50 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews Dan Martin, a awesome, faithful man of God who is a former pastor and currently works in the Internet Evangelism Department at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA), based in Charlotte. Dan is a humble man who has so much to teach us, as he and his wife Jennifer have faithfully "run the race" of parenting.
7 - The Fruit of Family Intentionality (with Jeff Greene)
September 24, 2021 • 43 MIN
Join us for a discussion with Jeff Greene, a homeschool dad who with his wife Diana, are so intentional and purposeful with their family of 6. They have an awesome set of core values, based on Scripture, that they have posted in their home and strive to live by.
8 - Your Home: A Haven for Hospitality (with Amy Frank)
October 3, 2021 • 42 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews Amy Wray Frank, an awesome homeschool mom who gave up a lucrative career opportunity to focus on her family. She shares a really cool perspective on how to turn our homes into monasteries in a way that allows us to minister to others -- with our kids.
9 - Calling Men UP as Providers, Protectors, Priests & Presiders (with David Vroon)
October 10, 2021 • 35 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews David Vroon, the leader of the Reallife men's ministry of Stonebridge Church Community in Charlotte, NC. David shares how we as men are called to be not only providers but protectors, priests, and presiders over our homes & families.
10 - Apprentice Your Kids into a Lifelong Relationship with Jesus (with Cliff Wright)
October 17, 2021 • 49 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews Cliff Wright, executive director of the Charlotte Eagles, which Cliff describes as "a world-changing, disciple-making, community-building mission cleverly disguised as a soccer club." Cliff, who spent 15 years with YoungLife, shares compellingly about how we as adults should think about interacting with young people as they grow and navigate the challenges of modern life in middle school and high school.
11 - Why Humble Prayer is So Critical for Your Family (with Chris Clark)
October 24, 2021 • 29 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews his brother, Chris Clark, an engineer & more importantly, a great dad and husband who is a faithful man of prayer. You'll take away some great ways to lead your family in this incredibly important spiritual discipline!
12 - Let Them Be Kids — And Experience REAL LIFE (with Jessica Smartt)
October 31, 2021 • 34 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews author Jessica Smartt, who's also a homeschool co-op director and mom of 3. Jessica shares important ideas from her two great parenting books, Memory Making Mom and Let Them Be Kids.
13 - Pursuing Family Health: Feelings Off, Commitment On (with Andrew & Janelle Devlin)
November 8, 2021 • 55 MIN
This episode of the Strategic Families podcast includes an interview with Andrew & Janelle Devlin -- awesome young parents with four kids who run a business together and have their own podcast, Love + Money. They have tons of energy and great tips on how to be healthy and involve our kids along the way. You're going to enjoy and be inspired by this!
14 - Preventing Burnout During the Holidays
November 15, 2021 • 26 MIN
If you're like us, sometimes you're bracing for this time of year with your family -- it can be so much fun but can also be overwhelming. Join us as Katie Clark walks us through a helpful way to navigate this time of year as a family through remembering, resting and rejuvenating, as we thank God for what He has done and celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!
15 - Advent with Adventure (with Arnold Ytreeide)
November 21, 2021 • 48 MIN
Ever wanted to celebrate Advent but not sure where to start? I highly recommend starting with books by Arnold Ytreeide, a gifted storyteller whose adventures will delight your family during the Advent season. In this episode, Arnold gives the back story on his amazing books for families, explains why he wrote them and shares a little on his parenting philosophy.
16 - Bless Another Family on St. Nicholas Day (with Amy Frank)
November 28, 2021 • 18 MIN
In this episode, Amy Frank shares about St. Nicholas Day, an awesome opportunity for your family to bless another family who needs encouragement. If you've never heard of St. Nicholas Day, this is a crash course on what it is and how God can use it in your community!
17 - Be A Catalyst for Community this Christmas
December 6, 2021 • 24 MIN
In this episode, we give suggestions on how your family can be a catalyst for community building in your neighborhood and spheres of influence. Christmas is an awesome time of year to "break the ice" by bringing something to your neighbors and being an instrument of God's love!
18 - What is Your Family Giving to Jesus this Christmas?
December 13, 2021 • 37 MIN
We all give each other so many gifts for Christmas, and that's all fine. But there's one Person we often leave out -- Jesus Christ! In this episode, Graham and Katie dive into the Scriptures to explore what it could look like in our families for each person to give Jesus a gift. After all, it's His birthday we're celebrating! Think about what we do for others' birthdays: we give them gifts that THEY want. How do we know what Jesus wants? He's told us -- in His Word.
19 - Hit the Reset Button: Determine Your Family's Priorities
December 27, 2021 • 30 MIN
In this episode, Katie and Graham discuss the value of taking a step back and conducting a family evaluation. No matter when you're accessing this episode, if it's been a while since you've done this -- or if you've never done it at all -- now is a great time to take stock of where God has been at work and where He may want to use you for the upcoming season. Like any organization, the family periodically needs an evaluation so we can think deeply about what's going well, what's not going well -- and what we can do about the things that aren't as they should be. It will take some work but it's so worth it!
20 - Now, Change Your Family's Trajectory
January 2, 2022 • 34 MIN
Now that you've hopefully had a chance to set some life-giving family goals together, this episode is all about STAYING THE COURSE. Sometimes we feel like we've accomplished something just because we wrote it down! That's a foundational step, but good intentions won't get us very far. We need to make sure we have a plan to stick with our goals, and accountability along the way, along with celebrations as we achieve them. In all things, let's remember that we don't set family goals to earn God's favor -- if you're in Christ, He has already given you a right standing before Him through the blood of Jesus Christ -- but we set these goals IN RESPONSE to what He has already done, out of a heart filled with gratitude. Join us as we explore how we can persevere in accomplishing what He's given us to do for our families -- and communities.
21 - Motivating Your Kids to Grow & Contribute
January 14, 2022 • 26 MIN
Sticking with the theme of resetting & realigning things in your family, in this episode Graham & Katie introduce two concepts that have been helpful in our own family life: the Chip System and the Consequence Jar. We dive into the details on Chip System and how it can be used to help you kids become more responsible and producers in your family. It's basically your family's own unique currency.
22 - Discipline Made Simple: The Consequence Jar
January 31, 2022 • 27 MIN
In this episode, Graham and Katie explore everybody's favorite topic: discipline and consequences! But seriously, discipline is an important role for us as parents as we strive to build strategic families that are on mission for the Lord. Last time, we discussed how to motivate our kids to become contributors to your family life using a tool we call the Chip System. Today's episode is about the "stick" part of the "carrot and the stick," helping your kids see that their less desirable actions have consequences, using a tool we call the Consequence Jar. Join us as we share how you can set up this system for your family and the benefits it provides for your family!
23 - Raising Courageous Children (with David Benham)
February 13, 2022 • 39 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews author, speaker and business leader David Benham. David is a passionate man of God who is known for unapologetically standing for the truth of Jesus Christ. He and his twin brother Jason are the authors of numerous books, including the bestseller Whatever the Cost. In this episode, David shares a powerful framework from one of their books, Living Among Lions, of how convictions lead to commitments, which lead to courage -- an awesome concept that we as parents can teach to our kids! David has great wisdom on the work/life balance, sharing how he prioritizes his family and incorporates his kids into not only recreational activities, but his work as well. In my favorite quote of the episode, David encourages and challenges men with this: "You can't delegate that seat at the table for dinner." Awesome truth!
24 - Preparing Boys to Become Men (with Pete Frank)
February 27, 2022 • 43 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews Dr. Pete Frank about an awesome program he and his wife Amy created for boys called Gateway on the Journey to Manhood. Pete is an accomplished economist and serves as the provost for Grove City College in Grove City, PA. Today's topic is all about Gateway -- where it came from, why it's so beneficial for boys as they grow into men and how you can get one started in your own community.
25 - How a Good Apology Makes All the Difference (with Dr. Jennifer Thomas)
March 13, 2022 • 37 MIN
In this episode, Graham interviews psychologist, business consultant and author Dr. Jennifer Thomas about her book and work around the languages of apology. This is such an important topic for our families, as there is no family that doesn't need to offer and receive good apologies! We sin against each other; we break promises; we let each other down. Dr. Thomas give us incredibly valuable tools so we can handle these situations well, which she calls the Five Apology Languages.
26 - Can We Actually Be Thankful for Inflation?
March 27, 2022 • 36 MIN
Everything is more expensive now -- that's no longer news. The question for us as families is: how will we respond in this moment? In this episode, we encourage your family to think of it as an opportunity -- yes, an opportunity -- to teach your kids -- and remind yourself -- that God is in control. He's not surprised in the least. This is a moment of "tightening the belt" for many families, including ours. But it's also a moment to lean into the LORD and be thankful for His goodness and provision.
27 - Cultivating a Mentally Healthy Home (with Dr. Danny Huerta)
April 10, 2022 • 43 MIN
Today's guest is Dr. Danny Huerta, Vice President of Parenting & Youth at Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family is an amazing, faithful ministry that has been serving families for decades and Dr. Huerta has so much wisdom to share with us today on how to cultivate a mentally healthy home. Dr. Huerta emphasizes that we as parents have the primary influence in our children's lives and what a wonderful invitation that is. You will be blessed to learn from Dr. Huerta!
28 - Equip Your Kids with News Literacy & Biblical Discernment / WORLD Watch (with Taylor Hebert & Caleb Bailey)
April 22, 2022 • 26 MIN
Today's guests are Taylor Hebert & Cabel Bailey, reporters with the fantastic daily 10-minute video news program, WORLD Watch. As Christian families, it matters where we get our news! WORLD Watch presents the news factually and with a Biblical worldview and is a great way to spark important conversations around the dinner table. In a world that is full of bad news, the good folks at WORLD Watch remind us, in every episode, "Remember: whatever the news, the purpose of the LORD will stand." You'll be blessed to learn from these fantastic reporters on why WORLD Watch exists and what you can expect from it if you subscribe! As WORLD Watch's website states: "We can't keep your kids from growing up too quickly, but we can help them grow into humans equipped with news literacy and Biblical discernment. And make it fun, too..."
29 - Preparing Your Family for Persecution (with Andrew Pudewa)
May 9, 2022 • 67 MIN
Today's guest is Andrew Pudewa, a wonderful and influential thinker and speaker and educator and someone who has so much to teach us about godly living. Andrew is a gifted communicator who loves helping families educate their children and is the founder of an awesome organization called the Institute for Excellence in Writing. He's also the host of the Arts of Language Podcast, which is also excellent. In this episode, Andrew helps us think strategically and soberly about how to prepare well for persecution, and relays the back story of how he got thinking on the topic. As Christians and Christian families, we would do well to heed his words and be careful to fill our minds and hearts with goodness and truth and beauty, thereby allowing ourselves and our children to more easily repel the lies of the world, the flesh and the devil, which war against the truth.
30 - Life Hacks to Maximize Family Impact (with Ben & Mary Craft)
May 22, 2022 • 54 MIN
My guests in this episode are old friends of mine and people that I admire so much, Ben and Mary Craft. We've known each other for a long time but our families have been able to spend time together these last few months and it's just been really cool to reconnect with them. Ben and Mary are an awesome example of parents that are strategically raising a family that honors Christ. They're really are incredible people, but at the same time they're ordinary people like me and you. And they're just faithful parents who are in the thick of it with us trying to raise our kids to know Christ, to love Christ, and to be on mission for Christ. Ben and Mary are also just really practical, and you'll hear that in a lot of what they share during this interview. Our main topic today is how we can systematize things in our family life -- the things that just have to get done -- to allow us to focus more of our time on important, long-term goals. So I really think you're going to be blessed by what they have to share with us.
31 - Set Your Family Up for a Peaceful AND Productive Summer
June 5, 2022 • 23 MIN
In this episode, Katie and Graham talk through ideas on how to make this summer both peaceful and productive for your family. Katie is the expert planner and while it may seem counterintuitive to plan out what we call a "break," if we fail to plan, we could be setting ourselves up for squandering an awesome opportunity that we have to set our kids and ourselves on a great trajectory. Remember Paul's words from Ephesians 5:16 to make the most of every opportunity -- summer is one of those opportunities! On the other hand, we don't want to try to accomplish so much that we get overwhelmed. Join us as we look ahead to the summer and how we can make a great use of it and end the summer knowing that we've used it well and have honored the LORD!
32 - Top 7 Songs to JAM OUT to With Your Kids
June 19, 2022 • 30 MIN
This episode is #1 in a 3-part mini-series on strategically implementing MUSIC into your family life. In this episode, Graham shares the Strategic Families Podcast's "Top 7 songs to Jam Out to with your Kids." First, we cover some important introductory material about the idea of music as meditation: how music can be an amazing way to fill our kids' heads -- and our own heads -- with amazing truths about God and who we are in Christ.
33 - Top 7 Songs to GROOVE OUT to With Your Kids
July 3, 2022 • 19 MIN
This episode is #2 in the 3-part mini-series on strategically implementing Christ-honoring music into your family life. In this episode, Graham shares the Strategic Families Podcast's "Top 7 songs to Grove Out to with your Kids." If you haven't already, check out the previous episode, #32, where we discuss why music is so important to remind us of Who God is and Who we are in Christ. Today's episode is the "Top 7 songs to Grove Out with your kids."