In a incredible work of God’s Holy Spirit, the entire group was moved to raise “fatherlessness” in Spokane as the Number 1 societal issue facing our community!
Group ideas from each table on reversing the trend of fatherlessness:
1) “Fatherless youth are more likely to produce fatherless youth.” – Discipleship with youth is critical.
2) The challenge of fatherlessness is systemic. Need ministry for existing dads and single moms. Also need a media campaign that shares the message.
3) We need relational mentoring and discipleship. “Men-toring”- Build those relationships into our men.
4) We live in an independent culture. There is a lack of desire to seek help. Need to build an inter-dependence among and within our community. Service teams that can go and do fatherly things in families.
5) Pilgrim Slavic Baptist Church has an engaged couple marriage training every January-March. They have had one divorce out of these couples in many years. Train men Biblical values on marriage and women.
6) As the Body of Christ, we need to engage with men better
7) There is a lack of older men that are willing to mentor/engage with younger men. The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few. Encourage/train the se older men to step out
8) Teach men to walk in forgiveness/grace and what Biblical fatherhood looks like, find mentors that can model. And be willing to be a mentor yourself.
9) Jesus went out and found the men that he mentored. He didn’t wait for them to come to him and ask. Find those men that God has already put in your path and offer to meet with them, do life with them, or Bible study together.
10) Empowering men, encouraging them, to do discipleship and evangelism. Create some accountability among men in your church. To do real discipleship, you have to be real.
The group also heard from the Holy Spirit that the younger generation longs to be asked to engage. They want relationships with older men, they just don’t know how to ask. If asked, they will jump at the chance.
Historically, there has been lots of prophecy about Spokane being a “City of Refuge”. Embrace that. We are a gateway city to so much and so many.
Several times it came up that this day is a “kairos moment” for Spokane.
Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens. What is happening when referring to kairos depends on who is using the word. While chronos is quantitative, kairos has a qualitative, permanent nature. Kairos also means season in ancient Greek. (from Wikipedia)
Around the room, we created 7 affinity groups that were encouraged to pray together, and network over lunch:
1) Street witnessing/Outreach/Believer Involvement led by Jeff Ross
2) Kids/Students/Education led by Terry Meyer
3) Health/Mental Health/Addiction led by Sue Lani Madsen
4) Prayer/Intercessors led by Julie Olds
5) Media led by Joe Gonzalez
6) Sex Trafficking/Life led by Caleb Altmeyer
7) Hunger/Food insecurity led by Chris Sloan
Tom White spoke to us about the 3 C’s:
1) Canopy – Prayer for our city and for this movement
2) Councils – spheres or domains (aka the 7 mountains, similar to the affinity groups)
3) Contending – Against the gates of hell for our city
The word-picture of streams coming down and forming a mighty river came out very clearly. Pastor Eric Blauer came across this verse in his morning study time the following day:
“I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus. I will give them fountains of water in the valleys. I will fill the desert with pools of water. Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.” ~ Isaiah 41:18
Best next steps for us as a group (this came at the end of the day from each table):
1) Solicit volunteers to form a steering committee to create a “Fatherhood Initiative”.
2) Create a Facebook page for “Spokane City Advance” (Done!)
3) Encourage a citywide prayer movement.
4) ServeFest 2016 – celebrate the fruit and the victories. (See Caleb Altmeyer for more info at email@example.com)
5) Find best practices on mentoring/discipleship and share those, possibly in some forum.
6) Get some baseline data on “fatherlessness” in the Spokane metro area.
7) Follow up on the contacts you made today!
Thoughts from your GSAE Director on next steps:
1) Create a team of folks from churches and ministries that are actively and successfully doing discipleship and mentoring within the church. Find those best practices and models and offer them as resources to others.
2) Spokane City Advance Facebook page is already created, you can find it here and the GSAE Facebook page is here.
3) We will continue to create opportunities for our city Christian leaders and city believers to gather and pray with and for each other and for our city (Feb. 25th for leaders, 26th for youth, and May 5th for all believers – all already scheduled).
4) GSAE will follow up with finding baseline data on “fatherlessness” in our community. If you know of a resource, send it to us!
5) There are lots of mentorship/discipleship models out there that we can resource without creating something new. We will begin working on gathering those resources together and sharing them.
6) We will create better defined affinity groups or councils, find leadership within each, and encourage them to meet monthly. Interested in joining one? Let us know!
7) We will bring Tom White back for a follow-up Spokane City Advance event in September 2016 (tentative).
Thoughts for the Spokane City Advance effort? I’m anxious to hear them at firstname.lastname@example.org
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