Abiding Fathers: Encouraging, equipping and engaging men in developing their God-ordained leadership role as fathers in order to make disciples for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Having been blessed with a spiritual awakening at age 32, I was hungry for the word and kept seeing Jesus’ teaching on ‘doing it to the least of these, you have done it unto Me.’ Through a series of events I was introduced to Seagoville Federal Prison. For the past 35+ years I have taught men there, in state jails, juvenile detention centers and homeless shelters. During a morning time with the Lord I was given a vision for ministry. It was clear and somewhat detailed. Nothing ever developed so I stored the info in a file.
Along the way it became more and more apparent that incarcerated men and boys, as well as the homeless, were there primarily because of issues with their father, or the lack of one in their life. One day stands out over all. A friend and I were teaching in the Dallas County Juvenile Detention Center. A usual group of 24 boys from ages 11-17 were present. You can read this in more detail in my book, From Faith to Faith, but simply the awareness of the fact that virtually all the boys did not even have an image of a father in their mind blew me away.
I have a personal belief that the absentee father is the number one problem with life in America. Not just physically absent, but emotionally and spiritually.
Sometime later after leaving the real estate business of 50 years, I sensed a leading to revisit ‘the file’ which I found in my credenza after 20 years. This was in 2010. After a review and some prayer, it was so apparent that the need for engaged fathers in the families of our nation was even worse than when the Lord had spoken to me two decades earlier. I was compelled to write the book and then see where He would take this. Some insightful meetings were held and it was becoming apparent that God had something in mind; that He had prepared me and now was empowering me to move forward with what is now—Abiding Fathers.
We have spent the last two years praying, listening, meeting and planning. As of July 1, 2012 the ministry is officially launched. We have a glimpse of what He has in store for us but more importantly what He intends to do in the lives of fathers and would-be fathers in America. Most men are not equipped to be fathers, especially dads. They simply do not understand the God-given role in which they find themselves. But it is the most important responsibility any man can undertake. Children (and wives) have been placed in their homes to be discipled under the grace of God and empowered by the gospel through His Spirit. The expression is so true. ‘Any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad.’
Men have become passive and have abdicated their roles to wives, teachers and the church In some instances. One small statistic speaks volumes.
30% of children who attend church with just their mom continue attending after they reach adulthood. The figure soars to 70% if they are accompanied by their father.
God first gave the commands to Adam and as far as I can tell, He hasn’t rescinded them. Divorce rates even among Christians are over 50%. Prisons, gangs, suicide, sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drugs, school dropouts, and major crime in general can be laid at the feet of ineffective or absent fathers. Praise God for dedicated moms who fight to hold the family together. But they cannot replace a father. Never have, never will.
Can Abiding Fathers make a difference and turn the tide back to wholesome families? No, but God can through us, and He will use Abiding Fathers as one of His instruments. The prayer team and the Board are in place and active. Budgets are set, plans are in place and the work lies ahead. Will it be worth it? A resounding yes! When will we know we are being effective? When we see the pendulum start swinging from absentee fathers to abiding dads! Our national situation breaks God’s heart and He is beginning to repair it. I hope He calls you to be a part of His solution. Join us for this exciting journey!