HeroDads - Providing creative tools, tips, resources and inspirations that help Dads become heroes to their family
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Family Fun Night—An effective key to significant family times together

 

Fun with Daughters & Sons—Create the ultimate fun adventure for daughters and sons

 

Outdoor Adventure—Explore the great outdoors with your son or daughter

 

Science Corner—Fun and educational resources Dad can use to inspire and teach the kids

 

Gifts to Remember—Truly meaningful gift-giving options for your family and beyond

 

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Character Corner—Valuable resources you can use to equip your children in character

 

Building Up Dad—Great encouragement for Dads on the way to becoming Heroes

 
 

Home > About Us

Why HeroDads Is Here

The family behind HeroDads
The Bower Family, circa 2003

Some amazing facts about dads in the United States: [1]

  • 86% say the rewards of fatherhood trump those of a career.
  • 89% approve of leaving fast-track careers to spend more time with family.
  • 88% wish fathers were more supportive of each other in their roles as dads.
  • 90% say becoming a father made them want to be a better person and role model for their kids.

HeroDads came into existence for one purpose: to help dads become more heroic in their families’ eyes. By heroic we do not mean the empty, unattainable sense of a “Superhero” or a Hollywood action star. We mean it in the noble, achievable sense of a genuine commitment of a father to lead boldly and connect relationally with his wife, sons and daughters, by the help of God.

Our objective is to provide adventures worthy of a dad wanting that kind of heart. He’s courageous enough to run HeroDad Secret of the Month—What can Dad do to have quality time with his kids?counter to our workaholic culture. Making enough time to capture the hearts of his kids by engaging and challenging activities. Seeking to live with a gentle and humble heart of an uncompromising follower of the Lord.  A real HeroDad.

Yet in his honest moments, the Everyday Dad sometimes feels more like a zero than a hero. We’ve shared in that struggle for 20 years in our own family. No one arrives in this life, but we can all press on and encourage each other to stay in the race. In our family, we make more than our share of mistakes. But out of those failures, fresh ideas come to share with other dads. That’s why we are here. We want to provide practical tools and meaningful strategies to assist him in winning the hearts of his children.

This is why we sell HeroDads Toolkits. These include HeroDads Guidebooks to help fathers know how to connect with their kids in A young man experimenting with our Butterfly Netthe midst of their busy lives--Family Fun Nights, Play at the Park, Outdoor Adventures, etc. Each kit includes a variety of products aimed at helping Dad create an environment full of fun...everything from water balloon launchers to Frisbee golf to Airzooka Tag...but that also has a spiritual dynamic to it. So, we offer literature challenging Dad and his sons and daughters to “raise up the age old foundations” (Isaiah 58:12) of godly character. We bring these at the lowest cost possible because our real goal is to help fathers in their most important job: becoming the relationally sensitive, spiritually alert leaders of their homes.

Even when he’s worn down from his work week, these Kits can help an Everyday Dad shed his fatigue and be renewed in the joy of relating to his kids, both young and old! They contain the ideas to inspire and the tools to equip—to jump-start him into moving “from zero to hero” in his family’s eyes!

In the near future, we also intend to present HeroDads Adventures in churches and community centers. We plan to give dads and their kids an unforgettable experience together, like the best of a youth meeting, but with a “new” (biblical) twist: Dad is learning to be his kids’ “youth leader!” Imagine the chance to try out our most amazing products and most outrageous activities with your own children. They may never look at their Everyday Dad the same—“He’s a HeroDad!” Our goal is to inspire and equip fellow-struggler fathers in the daunting yet delightful task of connecting in intimate relationships with our children. Through these events, we hope to lift with you a chorus of voices to “raise up a standard” for the Lord (see Isaiah 49:22).

“From Zero to Hero…”

or, Who We Are and How We Got Here

The Bower Family began this ministry & tentmaking venture in 2003, but it really goes back 30 years. I (Dave) became a Christian back in the spring of 1973. Coming from a typical, relationally disconnected home—a “dial-tone” existence—I was hungry for real depth of meaning. So the Lord Jesus Christ drew me to Himself by the genuine love I saw in the lives of believers around me. His truth set me free to begin to truly care for others. I grew rapidly spiritually, and ended up being looked upon as a leader by those in my church while I completed my B.S. in engineering at UCLA. Eventually, I decided to enter full-time ministry, and earned my Master of Divinity degree at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon, where I met my wife, Karen.

I found my niche ministering to college students, and we enjoyed several thrilling years in campus evangelism and discipleship. But I knew I was putting off a decision which, in a confused corner of my heart, I wanted to postpone indefinitely: kids…of my own. They looked inconvenient, messy, time-consuming…definitely not part of my grandiose plans for world evangelism!

After five years of marriage, still caught up in my own selfish bubble, I actually asked my wife Karen to write out a list of reasons why we should have children. Any children at all…not to mention a “full quiver”…the mere thought of more than one or two made me shiver! Talk about lack of vision on my part! I had no idea of the blessings the Lord held out for a family walking in His ways. (See Psalm 127, 128.) Actually, I was just desperately stalling for time. The notion of crying babies with dirty diapers, and then toddlers to take on endless walks to look at pill bugs while they murmured unintelligible multi-syllables…this had me panicked. Parenthood looked like The Black Hole, ready to vacuum up every spare moment I could devote to “higher purposes.”

Yet, as Israel Wayne of Wisdom’s Gate (http://www.wisdomsgate.org) noted in a recent conversation, “Being married and having children has given me much more spiritual maturity.” Israel sees today what neither he nor I saw in our pre-marriage/family zeal: The Lord uses our wives and children to slow down our frantic pace and deepen us. “I know what I know more deeply,” Israel observed. “Now when I speak, I speak from my gut; it is so much more true to me.”

The Lord put me on a similar path beginning about two years after our first son, Michael, was born. I remember the Lord speaking to me through a familiar text, but with an unfamiliar slant: Luke 1:17, quoting Malachi 4:6—the very lasts verse of the Old Testament, speaking of John the Baptist’s ministry:

And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children,

And the hearts of the children to their fathers

Lest I come and smite the land with a curse.

I remember wondering, “What does it really mean to turn my heart toward home?” I would ponder that phrase, and it would fill me with longing, but I couldn’t make sense of it. It simply wasn’t part of my worldview. Due to my “dial-tone” experience of family growing up, I had no idea what incredible blessings I was missing out on by unconsciously repeating the relational sterility I had known.

Dad and son at the swingsetOver time, this sterility caught up with me. I began to see cracks in the foundations of my great ambitions for “church growth.” I lacked the relational skills in my tool chest to deal with the immense pressures of associate-pastor administration of a medium-large church that had quintupled in size since I arrived. Outwardly successful yet inwardly in turmoil, my wife described me as arriving home day after day looking “ashen” from the tension and at times conflict I endured—and caused—by the holes in my character. Things which God had intended me to learn through family relationships where simply missing…like critical pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. I just couldn’t make out the big picture of what the Lord wanted for me in relationships, and that home was where he wanted me to return.

After 15 years of struggling I still had little real biblical understanding of family relationships as the foundation of relationships in the church (1 Tim.3:4). So the Lord called me out of full-time vocational Christian service to begin digging down to rebuild on that bedrock. Karen and I went through several false starts in a journey of discovery, as the Lord cleared away the relational rubble and began rebuilding our family. First, He cast a vision for home discipling, over a period of about 7 years. Next, we gained from Him a vision of what church can be if it is focused on father-led family discipleship, finally landing in a fellowship of likeminded believers, Hope Family Chapel, in Fallbrook (north San Diego County), California.

Over the last 15 years, I have seen the Lord rebuilding in our family a vision for fathers being the relationally skilled, spiritually sensitive, bold servant leaders of their homes. This has grown into a life calling for me, together with my three oldest sons. We want to pass on to other dads struggling with connecting with their kids the relational blessing of the gospel and the joy-filled fun of relationships it carries with it!

So, to sum up, I saw the Lord take me through 15 years of “divine demotions” where He un-built my false ideas about family. At my lowest point I chose to start a window cleaning company simply in obedience to the Lord’s call to maximize my time with my family. Then He took me through 15 years of rebuilding by experience a biblical worldview of family as the foundation of His kingdom plans for ministry.

As King David said, (Psalm 11:3)

If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?

And Isaiah answers for the Lord, (58:12)

And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins
[of struggling families]

You will raise up the age-old foundations
[the “ancient paths” of godly character]

And you will be called the repairer of the breach
[broken church relationships]

The restorer of the streets in which to dwell
[touching whole communities]

Our purpose is this: to help men regain a vision of themselves as the relational-spiritual leaders of their homes, so they may equip the next generation to be a blessing to their families and a light to the nations (see Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, 51:4).

I am keenly aware that in myself I have nothing to offer, only what the Lord gives me. And all that I have to say came through the influence of many men, not the least of whom is my soul-mate and friend, Don Miller, pastor of Hope Family Chapel. We know we are but one of many voices, but we want to use that one voice, for God's glory (Ps.115:1).

So, this past year, we took a step of faith. I was in a secure job as a public school teacher with full tenure, good pay, great benefits, etc. But the Lord has put it on our hearts to pursue this venture together and trust Him to provide (Matt.6:33-34). We have given ourselves to launching this combination ministry and “tentmaking.” HeroDads is aimed at passing on hard-won lessons of fathering from our lives and those we fellowship with, to other garden-variety dads like us.

I feel very inadequate, yet strangely confident in the Lord in this direction (see 2Cor.3:4-6).  I have asked the Lord to lead us through the Body of Christ’s affirmation and feel He has confirmed it in several ways. HeroDads simply provides a venue for encouraging fathers to become the noble shepherds over their families the Lord intends them to be. Our focus is on providing “tools” to help fill in the “holes” that exist in many men’s relational “tool chests.” Our desire is to make it easier to regain these lost tools of fathering by offering ready-made “HeroDads Toolkits” complete with HeroDads Guidebooks which give strategies for their effective use.

We plan to share this vision through HeroDads AdventuresA young adventurer about to blast an Airburst Rocket to the moon or farther, demonstrating how practically to utilize these Toolkits and strategies in families. It is our ambition to offer this Good News to hungry hearts without charge, as the Lord leads and opens doors for speaking opportunities (Isaiah 55:1-5). Yet I continue to tell my sons, “I have resolved to speak about what it means to be a HeroDad only to the extent that you regard me as your hero.”

We sincerely hope that you will join us in this venture, offering your hand and lifting your voice to raise up the standard the Lord wants to see among His people…men leading their families with the gentleness and humility of Christ and the boldness of His Spirit.

“And as for me this is My covenant with them, says the Lord: “My Spirit which is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your offspring, nor from the mouth of your offspring’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from now and forever.”(Isaiah 59:21)

And all your sons will be taught of the Lord;

And the well-being of your sons will be great (Isaiah 54:13)

So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise

To spring up before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11)

Dave and Josiah Bower, loyal companions

Dave Bower, President
(with Josiah, Junior Accomplice)

 

Footnote:

[1] Based on a national poll by Family Circle magazine.

 


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