The group of eight men, all from the same church accepted an invitation from a friend to attend a Faithful Fathering Leadership Luncheon. After checking in, they were seated at their own round table that had a large silver binder and a relay baton in the middle of it. The founder of the ministry shared his testimony and challenged each man and church to raise the bar for fathering through the implementation of the PASS the BATON strategy. The group took the binder and baton back to their church with a commitment to start a movement to raise the bar for fathering individually and corporately.
The PASS the BATON strategy starts with PASS, an acronym for Purpose-filled fathers – A core group of dads committed to becoming faithful fathers and standing against cultural influences in family; Activities for dads and kids that are fun, easy to engage in and have a spiritual element; Studies for dads that encourage and equip men in their role as a father; and, Staying connected with kids as they mature through intentional one-on-one time be it father-daughter dates, weekend retreats or other adventure outings. BATON is a metric that tracks the progress of a core group’s maturity on the journey.
And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. – Ecclesiastes 4:12. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst. – Matthew 18:20. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:24-25. King Solomon says two are better than one, but there is strength in three. Jesus says two or three but when there are two, He is the third – strength in Him! Paul followed this model by having Barnabas and Timothy in his life. This is my encouragement for every dad – have at least two other dads in your life that will help you stay focused on the journey. The writer of Hebrews says to spur one another on, … to not give up meeting together. This is the core group of dads in a church, understanding that encouragement ‘upstream’ in marriage and family eliminates the ‘downstream’ woes society is facing today. Just as early disciples started a Christian movement, core groups of dads are starting a fathering movement in the Church and beyond.
That luncheon was five years ago. The group of dads have matured into a powerful core group in their church realizing the BATON metric of ‘10’ this past year. The group has not only encouraged and equipped each other on their respective journeys as dads, they have raised the bar for fathering in their church and beyond. They have initiated a fathering movement that honors our Father.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for Your Words of encouragement to not try to go it alone. I confess that I do not like being vulnerable and in my pride, thought I could be the man, husband and father my family needed in my own strength. Forgive me. Thank You for the group of brothers You have surrounded me with, brothers with similar struggles that provide safety in vulnerability and encourage me through valleys in life. Strengthen me in my group to be the dad You call me to be, a faithful father standing with a group of dads starting a fathering movement in my home, the Church and beyond. Amen.
A faithful father stands with a group of dads and starts a fathering movement.