Churches recognising importance of intentional and specific ministry to fathers
Published on 8 December 2018
An increasing number of Church of Scotland congregations are embracing the idea that, when it comes to reaching fathers, family ministry often needs to create spaces where dads, father figures and their children can come together to have fun.
There are a growing number of churches in Scotland that are demonstrating this commitment by setting up groups specially for dads and children.
One measure is the number of groups registered with Who Let The Dads Out?, a project that now falls under the umbrella of the charity Care for the Family.
Who Let The Dads Out? co-ordinator, Tony Sharp, reports that:
“At least 25% of the 16 or so groups registered with us north of the border are Church of Scotland, and range from city congregations such as St Catherine’s Argyle in Edinburgh to more remote settings such as Martins Memorial Church in Stornoway.
“All Who Let The Dads Out? groups are unique, but we love the particular individualness of our Scottish groups.”
Bishopbriggs Community Church in Glasgow
One of the first events run by the Who Let The Dads Out? team since becoming part of Care for the Family was a training day at Bishopbriggs Community Church in Glasgow.
Rev Dr Abi Ngunga, the minister at Ayr: Newton Wallacetown Church of Scotland, was one of those who came along to the day. He reflected that:
“I thoroughly enjoyed the training. I found Who Let The Dads Out? very useful as it is a Bible-based and relevant ministry within the current discourse, where the Church of Scotland is being encouraged to develop a discipleship culture. This is one of the practical ways in which the church can step into such a call of making disciples.
“Watch this space as there is nothing yet of this in Ayrshire!”
Strengthening families and creating a great environment for faith to be passed down
Tony and the rest of the Who Let The Dads Out? team are now looking forward to running more training sessions in 2019.
“Our vision for Who Let The Dads Out? is to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” Tony said.
“This draws on verses in Malachi 4 and from Luke 1. We believe that this can strengthen families, and create a great environment for faith to be passed on down through the generations, so being part of Care for the Family is a great fit for us.
“Working with our Scotland-based reps, with Care for the Family’s Glasgow office, and with the invaluable support we’ve received from the Church of Scotland, we’re looking forward to being able to offer even more support here to churches who want to explore what a ministry to fathers might look like for them.
“So please do look out for details of workshops and training events to come in 2019.”