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The Practice and Art of Fatherhood is being Lost Day by Day… Barna Report

PSALM 78:5

God commanded our fathers to teach our children about Him

so the next generations may know God and His mighty acts.

The Barna Group has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984.

I’m highlighting a few insights on fathers as spiritual leaders, or the lack thereof, as the current research points to. But there is a cure to the cancer – it’s the Bible’s remedy of father’s being equipped as spiritual leaders by their Churches to be what is so desperately needed today, more than ever!

First the bad news. The crisis, the spiritual and sociological cancer….

The practice and art of fatherhood is being lost day by day.

When we asked who people are most comfortable having spiritual conversations with, fathers came out low on most people’s lists. And when we asked fathers who they are comfortable having spiritual conversations with, we found they are not nearly as likely as mothers to say their kids. What do you think is happening here?

This is a crisis by all accounts.

The practice and art of fatherhood is being lost day by day. There are a lot of factors, but I think one of the main reasons is that dads feel incompetent in this area, and most guys—and some women too, of course, but it’s a sharper pain point for many men—can’t stand the feeling of incompetence.

Most dads I know are great about talking in depth when it comes to work, sports or opinions on current events, because those are areas where we are expected to be experts. But when it comes to our children’s hearts, and pursuing them on an emotional level, we think of that as the mom’s job, the pastor’s job, the teacher’s job—when, in reality, one of the primary callings of a dad isn’t to work, to provide, but to capture his child’s heart. That can only happen when we lead with vulnerability. Transparency and intimacy beget more transparency and intimacy.

Time is a huge factor. According to research I’ve seen recently, the number of hours a father spends at home keeps shrinking. Dads have fewer and fewer touch-points throughout the day to build relationship and intimacy with our kids. Are Men serving the economy instead of their family?

“We Strengthen Faith by Sharing It with Others.”

  • Sociologically, we have learned that when we are exposed to the salvation narrative we begin to take that narrative on as our own. Over time, (THE GOSPEL)
    • shapes our identity,
    • values and
    • ultimately behaviors,
    • giving us a new way to see ourselves and the world around us.
  • This change in identity and perspective is further strengthened and solidified as we give voice to that narrative. In the end, the more we share our faith, the more we understand who we are and the more confident and eager we become as Christians.

Last insight from another Baran report says…

Despite the fact that church leaders overwhelmingly agree that parents are most responsible for a child’s spiritual formation and development, the data demonstrate that churches place little emphasis on training and equipping said parents.

In fact, only about one in five clergy (20% Protestant, 17% Catholic, though this number is higher for larger churches) says they prioritize training for parents, and even fewer provide parenting guides or other resources (15% Catholic, 10% Protestant). This lack of training persists even though many parents appear to be actively seeking guidance from church leaders.

The Cure:

Invite Grace Legacy Builders to your church for:

  • Sunday Sermons
  • Men’s Groups
  • Sunday School Workshops
  • Church Leadership Strategy Session
  • Pastor and wife one on one
  • Family Worship Community Weekend
  • Saturday Men’s Breakfast & Seminar at our Ministry Center

We’ll learn to equip men as spiritual leaders together!

PSALM 78:5

God commanded our fathers to teach our children about Him

so the next generations may know God and His mighty acts.