Forming Fathers - Spud Murphy

The first time I conducted a funeral as a pastor was for a family in the local community who had no connections with any church, but still sought after a Christian funeral for their lost loved one. What struck me on the day was the image of all the men, who congregated outside the front of the church and despite several attempts by a number of us - refused to enter the church building, until they heard the first hymn being sung. Then at the singing of the last hymn the race was on for all them to get out as quickly as possible.


The figures of men in churches have been in decline for decades. It varies for each denomination but collectively we are not far away, if not already at; a ratio of 2 women: for every 1 man. This is having a huge knock on effect not just for men, but for women & children also. Add to that the men in todays Church, getting them to show up on a Sunday gathering is a challenge in itself, with very few connecting in through-out the working week with anything to help them grow and develop their faith further, let alone pray or serve.


Men need a forum and a place to forge good strong friendships, where men feel they belong and feel valued. A brotherhood, that over time will become open to real life conversations and struggles, other than the usual small talk topics. Somewhere to be part of an environment that encourages accountability and champions men to be gripped and excited by what it is to follow Jesus, EVERYMAN, EVERYDAY, EVERYWHERE.

I came to faith at age 11 having grown up in a Christian home, I have a great father, but I was also in a great environment in a local church where I was surrounded by other great men and fathers in the faith who encouraged and inspired me in my relationship with Jesus.

Yet in our culture and society we are living in a time where we are facing a fatherless epidemic the likes of which we have never seen before in the history of humanity. The role of a father is to promote, provide and protect. Strip this away and chaos reigns.

In 2017 the Social Trends Institute ranked the UK as number 1 in the world for the highest rate of family instability: with 3 out of 5 children experiencing family breakdown before they are teenagers. The majority of which then grow up in a fatherless home.

Here at CVM Ireland we exist:

'to reach men, connect them to Jesus and equip them to become Kingdom Men.’

Our passion is to work as a catalyst and in long term partnerships with churches across the island of Ireland. Offering training, resources and vision in every area of church life.

This July we are releasing our latest evangelistic project called Audience of One (AO1) we have produced some bespoke resources that will be free for churches and groups to use. They are aimed to be used, around this years Open Championship (golf) where we have video testimonies from some of the winners on the PGA Tour, with tools and ideas around running your own golf day as a form of outreach. We also have resources around this years Rugby World Cup starting in September with a table quiz, along with videos from current and past players who do everything for an Audience of One - JESUS.

As part of this we are holding an Audience of One event on 16 July 2019 in Causeway Coast Vineyard with former Open Champion Stewart Cink: more info can be found here.

Richard LewisComment