• Target Audience—Fathers
This is the second in a series that will attempt to help you deal with some of the issues you face in relating to various constituents in your children’s ministry.
#2. Focus on Fathers
I remember becoming a father and wanting input, so that I could be the best father for my children or at least a better father than my Dad. I began noticing men who used various fathering techniques. I read books, asked questions and attended classes. However, as I worked with children, I became aware of their deficiencies in behavior, which I attributed to problems at home, particularly with the influence of poor parenting, or an uninvolved Dad. This observation and concern lead me to create programs to help Dads.
So I became a Dad of four, I began watching people try to relate to my children. I noticed that I was drawn to anyone who loved my kids, even if I did not really like them myself (I mostly did like all of them). So I concluded that “if you want to get close to me, get close to my kids.” If you really want to know my kids, talk to me, I know them a lot better than you. (I concede that maybe their mother knows them better.) However, I noticed those that made no attempt to relate to me about my children and what they wanted to accomplish with them spiritually. Those that attempted such a relationship, we became partners to influence change in my children. This was really good.
I believe it is too easy to concentrate on the children and ignore the role of the Dad in the family. If we are ever to have a significant impact on the children, we must not neglect your partnership with Fathers.
How do we sharpen the focus on Fathers? Here are my Twelve Tips:
1. Involve Father’s in your program and ministry. Improve the male/female ratio of your team.
2. Consider offering resources that might help Dads. (see Fifty-Nifty Parenting Tips for Dads Unit 05)
3. Try some Father’s Day Ideas (see Family Resources, Unit 06)
4. Provide some public recognition for Fathers, besides just Father’s Day.
5. Provide a Guest speaker for Fathers only, focusing on Parenting and Fatherhood issues.
6. Recommend books for Dads! (Some might read it)
7. Encourage a Father-Son or Father-Daughter Banquet, with guest speaker.
8. Consider the merits of Father-Son bi-weekly Program (see Emod, Unit 08).
9. Plan a Family Camp where fathers take some leadership with family activities. (You must prepare them for it)
10. Plan a Father- Son Camp, where the Father’s are coached and lead in working with their Sons during the weekend.
11. Schedule a Dad’s Only (daughter or sons) Breakfast or Steak BBQ Dinner is always a winner…
12. Form a Study Group just for responsive Dads in your ministry.
And don’t talk about “partnering” with parents, if you are not talking to them, that includes Dads!