Keeping the journey going (Survival tip 4 of 4 for helping church leaders engage dads)

Note: this series is for helping church leaders engage dads. We hope you’re already leading dads. But, if you aren’t yet leading dads—start today! Or, share this post with a church leader you know.

Imagine you’ve spent months creating a vision, filling key leadership roles, and you have your first group of dads and sons meeting together? Now what? Are you finished?   

No. You’re not finished. Now it’s time to talk about keeping the journey going. Once you get a group started, you must be ready to know when you’ll break, when you’ll return, and how you’ll keep the journey going. You got this. We’re right here with you.

The four survival tips for helping church leaders engage dads are: 

#1 Preparing for the journey: getting the vision and the heart right.

#2 Before you embark (or prepare more!): where to start, what roles you’ll need, and some other details you need to know before actually starting.

#3 Setting sail: everything from room setup, how to train leaders, and other vital details to get right.

#4 Keeping the journey going: once you start, be ready to know when you’ll break, when you’ll return, and how you’ll keep the journey going.

Let’s talk about keeping the journey going.

Keeping the Journey Going > The main point: get back together.

The goal of the Manhood Journey groups is to have a group of fathers and sons who continue to meet over some span of time. Initially, they connect during this six-session experience. Hopefully, they enjoy it so much they want to do it again (and again…). So, consider some of the following techniques to ensure that your group gains and keeps momentum along the journey.

Keeping the Journey Going > Take breaks

If your group gels quickly and everyone has a positive experience – it may be tempting to keep meeting every week. Under some circumstances, that might make sense. However, in most cases, it will cause the group meeting to become a chore. Meet for the length of a module – 6 weeks or sessions – then take a 2-4 week break. This rhythm will help you build and keep momentum.

Keeping the Journey Going > Annual or quarterly outings.

Look for opportunities to serve or play together a few times per year. This might be a holiday outing, going camping, hosting a cook-out or seeing a game together. It can be any occasional event that allows the group to connect without a major agenda.

Include your wives/siblings.

Try to find a way to work the moms and siblings into the mix, maybe once a year. This might take the form of a cookout before beginning on a new module or could even be a night focused on having the fathers and sons pray for their families!

Charting your course.

Embarking is the module that all groups start with. After that, each group can chart their own path. We recommend that in the last week of each Module, you get the group’s input on which module they would like to do next. If you can invite them into the “module selection process,” you’ll have stronger buy-in moving forward.

On the boat, off the boat.

Ideally, you will have a core group of guys who are part of the group for the long haul. But, you can let guys float in or out of the group in between modules. Try to keep the group fixed during any given six-week stretch; but, use the breaks in between to allow new members to join, or let over-scheduled guys take a break.


Want to learn more? This is just a snippet of what’s in our Church Leader Survival Guide. Snag it for free for more details on equipping you and your church on how to engage dads well and make more disciples.


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About the Author:

Kent Evans is the Co-founder and Executive Director of  Manhood Journey. Kent's the author of  Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You . He and his wife April have five sons and live in Louisville, Kentucky.