Forming Fathers - Where are the Dads?
Mark Chester is the Dads Development Manager at Care for the Family, a national charity that aims to promote strong family life and to help those who face family difficulties. For more information about Care for the Family, click here.
Have you ever considered how many fathers, compared to mothers, are in your congregation? And how many dads do you reach through your community activities? If the answer to either question is ‘not many’, you are not alone. Many churches struggle to connect with and support fathers and father figures. But it doesn’t have to be like that; a Who Let the Dads Out? group offers churches a tried and tested way to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers (Malachi 4: 6).
The only man in the room
Dave, a dad to three sons, was finding it lonely being one of the only men in the room at parent and toddler groups, and when he heard about Who Let The Dads Out? he jumped at the chance to give it a go. He then joined a parenting programme for dads called Daddy Cool! “It was amazing,” he says. “Everyone seemed interested in each other. They were just ordinary blokes and we were all in the same boat. I enjoyed having a takeaway and talking about home.” He moved on to Soul Man?, a group exploring basic questions of faith and spirituality, and he started to pray with his boys, even before he believed in God. After that came Alpha and gradually his faith grew.
“A presence I couldn’t quite put my finger on”