Dreams Coming True: Raising Big-Picture Kids

Dreams Coming True is a Thursday feature on my blog, a way to highlight those whose goal is to create community. The dream might be a blog, a published book, a small business, volunteering, or even fundraising for a charity. Something that makes the world a better place . . . for others.

Welcome Mark and Jan Foreman, authors of Never Say No and parents of Jon and Tim Foreman of Switchfoot, to Dreams Coming True! Leave a comment on this post to enter to win a copy of Never Say No.

MarkandJanForeman1-byJenniPalmerTell us a little about yourselves.

Mark and Jan Foreman live in the San Diego area where Mark is the lead pastor of North Coast Calvary Chapel. Mark is the author of Wholly Jesus and holds advanced degrees in theology and education and a PhD in counseling and pastoral care. Jan is the teaching director for women, an artist, and facilitates partnerships with underprivileged women and children both locally and in developing countries. Together they love surfing, sailing, travel and being with their family.

When did the idea for Never Say No begin?

About three years ago.

How did this project/idea get started?

We are frequently asked, “How did you raise your kids?” Several friends encouraged us to write down our story.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

We invite readers into our story to learn from our experiences, and also shift the parenting focus from children’s behavior to nurturing a close, healthy relationship with our kids that will ultimately influence their actions.

What are the goals and intentions of this project?

To help parents find the yes in their relationships with their children, as well as encourage their kids’ unique momentum and calling in life.

How does your project create community?

Raising kids requires many significant others who will enrich children’s lives with various colors of personality and expertise.

Describe the behind-the-scenes effort of your project. Where do the ideas come from? How many are involved in the process? Does each contributor have a specific role?

Our book required the reverse engineering of our now grown sons to remember the important conversations, life-changing moments and intentional course corrections. We each contributed to every chapter, passing the manuscript back and forth, which was both challenging and a lot of fun. We each gradually found our own voice and learned to champion each other’s strengths

What’s been the hardest part about getting it off the ground?

There were so many stories and messages we wanted to share that sorting through them all was daunting at first.

What have you learned?

We learned to look for the strongest points first, then organize all the other ideas around them.

Have there been any unexpected surprises?

Many parents have found the approach in this book to be radically different from other books or materials they have read. It has given these parents fresh hope and encouragement in raising their kids.

What are the biggest misconceptions people have about starting your project?

I believe most young parents are like us, insecure and worried about making mistakes, and focused on lesser goals of safety or making their children happy. Even success, health or self-esteem does not provide a wide enough destination for parenting. We eventually realized that our kids’ purpose must be bigger than themselves or us, and we must connect them to God’s story.

What are some ways you promote your project?

Through speaking, relationships and social media.

What advice would you give someone else who has a creative dream like yours?

Share your ideas with a few others, asking for their feedback. Then prayerfully look for open doors to present your ideas with a wider community, allowing your message to steep, and be shaped by the experiences of other people.

Where do you see this project in five years?

Hopefully as parents experiment with the ideas in this book, we can grow an encouraging neighborhood where fresh ideas and applications are shared.

Never Say No

Never Say No HIRaising big-pictures kids.

The question Mark and Jan Foreman are most often asked is: How did you raise your kids?

Never Say No takes you on a personal journey to learn first-hand how they raised Jon and Tim of Switchfoot. They share practical advice for instilling wonder in a media-saturated culture, cultivating specific gifts, and balancing structure with individual choice. Our purpose as parents is the same as our child’s: to live creatively beyond ourselves, bringing the love, beauty and nature of God to this world. Let the adventure begin.

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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Edward Arrington says:

    “Never Say No” sounds like a great book. Although my kids are grown and gone from the nest, I think my son and daughter-in-law would really enjoy reading it.

  2. Claudia says:

    I could really use this book. I have a teenager son (rebelling) and two girls ages 9 and 6. Thanks for the opportunity.

  3. Linda N says:

    Would LOVE to win this book for my son and daughter-in-law. They’re expecting their 1st child later this year and are so nervous about being good parents. They will both be wonderful, but they might feel more confident with your wise advice under their belts.