Becoming a Church for the Fatherless
The church is uniquely called and equipped to address this growing issue.
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Your value statement will serve as a guiding principle for your church, ministry, or organization. It will spur your thinking and dreaming mechanisms to be creative in addressing the need as well as making it a priority in your church.
Once your value statement has been crafted, you can begin to use it to create awareness in your church. Here are some ideas:
Communication is essential for creating awareness in your church, ministry, or organization. (I won't go into detail here, because I explore in chapter four how to communicate to meet the needs of the fatherless.) However, it's important to note that the more widespread the communication, the deeper the value will be embedded in your church or ministry culture. The more you can talk, preach, share, or facilitate conversation on the value, the better.
2. Create avenues for ministry. There is no need to try to create something new unless you want to or God instructs you to do so. The first order of the day then is to take inventory of yoru existing ministries or services. Identify what ministries and services function in your church—men's ministry, women's ministry, small groups, prayer meetings, children's ministry, single mothers, and all others. After your assessment, determine how the value can be infused into each of them.
In our church, we have a number of ministries in which the fatherless value has been embedded. Two such ministries are Men of Destiny and the Prayer Ministry. Men of Destiny is our men's ministry, which of course does regular men things: eat, play, pray, and study God's Word. A few times a year we go to a ballgame. Of course, we take our own children, but we make a big push to take kids who don't have a dad present. We encourage all the single moms to get their children signed up, and in most cases we tell them that they aren't required to pay.
The time at the game accomplishes a couple of things. One, everybody has a great time. The peanuts, popcorn, and Cracker Jacks are a grand slam, and when our team wins, it's an extra bonus. Something else special also occurs: Sammy makes a connection with Brother Charles. Because there's a bond that begins to form because they spent time together, they start to have conversations at church with each other. Brother Charles is now more aware of Sammy's needs, and Sammy knows Brother Charles is there for him. We also have seen moms ask a brother to talk to or spend time with their son when he's going through a turbulent time. This happens due to the fatherless value that's woven into the fabric of Men of Destiny.
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