Preparing for the journey (Survival tip 1 of 4 for helping church leaders engage dads)

Preparing for the journey is tough. Our role at Manhood Journey is to help dads become disciple makers. We want to equip you with four survival tips for helping more dads become disciple makers. This series of posts will help you move from “I’m not sure where to start” to “I got this. I know what I have to do to lead dads well.”

The four survival tips are: 

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

#2 Before you embark: 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 other 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 preparing for the journey.


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, at least share this post with a church leader you know.

Preparing for the journey

Our society – and our churches – are suffering greatly due to disengaged and often absent fathers. One of the best ways to help is to get a dad into the disciple-making driver’s seat and help him be the spiritual leader in his home. This targeted approach has ripple effects that creates better marriages, more engaged men in your church, and more spiritually healthy homes.

Our Church Leader Survival Guide will be your handy companion in forming, leading, and deepening your group.

Preparing for the journey: the vision.

Engaged fathers are a crucial component of a healthy church. If fathers are leading at home, then, a number of blessings are unlocked for your congregation:

  • Families require fewer “rescue” operations (marriages, children in crisis)
  • Your fathers step up in other areas (missions, teaching)
  • Your youth groups have children in them who can be “on mission” without the undue burden of “swimming against the current” in their own homes

The power in the process is how the Holy Spirit works in the lives of your fathers & sons. Once a dad stops abdicating his role as a leader in the home, he unlocks his family’s full potential. His son(s), after being on this journey with him for a while, should be able to:

  • Articulate what it means to be a godly man in his own words
  • See areas where he has grown and matured through the process
  • Identify areas of future growth, his own personal weaknesses/temptations
  • Engage in open and transparent dialogue with his dad on important issues
  • Know where to look in the Bible when he has questions

Preparing for the journey: the heartbeat.

The guys who helped build the Manhood Journey curriculum are a lot like you. We want to be intentional in raising our boys to honor the Lord. It’s not the “church’s job” to raise our young men. They are called—like us—to love God, know the word, and serve others. Our series of studies were built to effectively put the fathers and the sons together in the same format.

Additionally, we believe that to a large degree, the reason our churches and families languish is due to weak leadership from the men in the church. We believe that as the men go, so goes the family in the vast majority of cases.

We take our encouragement from Deuteronomy 6:4-9:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

In this charge from Moses, we see fathers being exhorted to take the lead. We echo that command and hope that by participating in a Manhood Journey group experience, your dads step up and lead as God intended.

Listen to Bob Russell on the importance of fathers leading well

Bob Russell, retired Senior Pastor of Southeast Christian Church encourages you to be the dad calls you to be.

“The bible calls on fathers to be the spiritual leaders of their home. Manhood Journey is a practical way to meet this need. They provide solid and understandable materials that will give you and your family a really good foundation.” —Bob Russell (Retired Senior Pastor Southeast Christian Church)


Want to learn more? Snag our Church Leader Survival Guide for more details on equipping you and your church on how to engage dads well and make more disciples.


Manhood Journey ministry

Manhood Journey is a nonprofit organization based in Louisville, Kentucky. We provide various resources – eBooks, studies, reading plans, events – all geared toward helping dads become disciple-makers in their homes. While we’re focused in our studies on the father-son relationship, we’ve seen thousands of dads with daughters benefit from our resources; and, we’ve heard from many single moms who use our resources to “fill the gap” created by a dad who’s no longer in the picture.


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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.