How Churches Can Address the National Issue of Fatherlessness

Joel Shaffer: "...many of today’s dads grew up without a father at home. Young dads today realize how negatively they were affected by fatherlessness, and they want to do all they can not to repeat the same mistake.” - CrossWalk

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Just so you know, the writer edited the language of our interview to make it more readable.  For instance, the 4 goals that I shared were:  

Discipling – Filling the Daddy-Gap through long-term life-on-life discipling relationships of urban youth and young adults. This includes teaching them to know their Heavenly Father, finding their identity in Christ, and raising them up as Christian leaders who will remain in the community to live and lead.

Equipping – Helping young urban men and fathers obtain the spiritual, emotional, relational, educational, and economic tools to break the cycle of fatherlessness and become the husband and father that God created them to be (ManUP program). 

Connecting – Creating social capital for fatherless youth and young adults through connections to non-profits, mentors, counselors, businessmen/women, churches, city resources, entrepreneurs, and anyone else that offers resources to help change lives.

Training – Teaching churches to minister to the fatherless/poor through training workshops, seminars, college-level classes, articles, books, blog-posts, curriculum, internships, consulting, and urban immersion trips.

In the article, the writer paraphrased them to be:  

1.  Fill the “daddy gap” by having UTM staff members and volunteers form mentoring relationships with fatherless youth.

2.  Teach young men and fathers the life skills they need to break the fatherless cycle, through a two-year discipleship and leadership program called ManUP.

3. Create social capital for fatherless youth and young adults by connecting them with influential members of the community – such as small-business owners, counselors, and educators – who are willing to share their skills and resources.

4.  Equip churches to minister to the fatherless by offering churches consulting and workshops.