The importance of fatherhood is preached in the church but often overlooked in the community. One organization, started in Southern Missouri, called Good Dads (gooddads.com), aims to support fathers in the community to live up to the full potential God has intended for them.
Good Dads (gooddads.com) is an effort to address what we believe to be the greatest malady, other than our need to know God, that exists in America today – fatherlessness. Of the families in Kansas City, 46% are without a father in the home, compared with the national average of 34%. The absence of fathers in a household ultimately impacts the children’s well-being. It can lead to a multi-generational cycle of searching and seeking approval in a facet of other outlets. Dads are important!
Did you know that father involvement is at least five times as important in preventing drug use than closeness to a parent, parental rules, parent trust, strictness, or a child’s gender, ethnicity, or social class?
Children who grow up without fathers face greater risk and account for:
- 90% of homeless and runaway youth
- 71% of high school dropouts
- 63% of youth suicides
Dads need to know they are created to be great fathers, leading their families and serving their communities & churches.
This is not happening today, and there is little sign that anything will change unless a concentrated effort, strategy and plan, are set in motion.
Here are some ways that Good Dads KC makes a tangible impact on dads in their communities:
- The production of weekly newsletters and podcasts provide everything from educational support resources to new dad jokes
- Hosting activities for fathers to attend with their children such as sporting events, BBQ’s and fishing.
- Offering employment assistance
- Working with dads to try and tackle any other barriers that men face from becoming the kind of dads they want to be.
This organization that originated out of Springfield is now bringing its mission to KC. Lee Bramlett and Pastor Don of New Life City Church, along with resources from Neighbors Who Care, will be leading the implementation of Good Dads in our community along with several members from New Life CityChurch in downtown KCMO and Bridge of Hope in KCK.
On February 24th, we held our first Good Dads KC event at Bridge of Hope Community Church in Kansas City, KS. Several members from New Life City Church joined with members of Bridge of Hope to prepare a home-made lasagna dinner. We were expecting around twelve men, and almost thirty showed up. God’s plans were even bigger than ours. The men ate and gathered in a circle to share their stories of their own fatherlessness, abandonment, imprisonment and various levels of abuse.
One guy, a teacher, explained that his father never once acknowledged him as his son. Another participant shared that he, along with his father and grandfather, had all spent time in prison – leaving a legacy of three generations of men behind bars in their family.
The vulnerability and honesty these men showed in a room full of strangers was nothing short of a miracle and a confirmation that God is planning to do some amazing and transformative work through this wonderful new branch of Neighbors Who Care. We’ll be meeting with these men for some twenty weeks teaching from a proven curriculum, providing group and individual mentoring, and advising them in practical ways as to how to approach their children and their children’s mothers regarding the role and need for healthy fathers in every family.
There are no words to describe how excited and thrilled we at Neighbors Who Care and Good Dads KC are to be in the position we’re in today! Your faithful generosity and prayers are what has made all of this possible.
Here are the ways you can support this amazing and crucial work in our beloved Kansas City community:
- Make a donation at tinyurl.com/gooddadskc
- Learn about volunteer opportunities at tinyurl.com/nwcvolunteer
- Pray for the launch of Good Dads in Kansas City and that more fathers would take a step of faith and vulnerability by attending one of our Good Dads events