Fatherhood Initiative
Fatherhood Initiative

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Fatherhood Initiative

Story by Sean Labar

Calvary Chapel Word of Life is launching a new program aimed at supporting inner-city youth who lack fathers in their lives.

For the last 15 years, Pastor Mark Abrams has invited youth from inner-city neighborhoods into his home every Monday night for Bible study and fellowship. He also grew up without a father in his home and wanted to provide a safe place to teach life skills to area youth, especially those who were desperate for guidance.

Those young men who gathered laid the foundation for the “Fatherhood Initiative.”

This video is part of the launch of the “Fatherhood Initiative,” a new program sponsored by Calvary Chapel Word of Life in Philadelphia, PA. Pastor Mark Abrams invited black Christian men to discuss the importance of the role of fathers in African-American communities.

“It started with just a few boys, and then it eventually became hundreds, and most of them were fatherless,” Mark remembered. “Now they are businessmen, doctors, and lawyers. If there is one thing I would have done differently, I would have gotten to them when they were younger and involved the young men’s mothers in a bigger way. That is what we are aiming to do with this new program.”

Mark has been seeking to turn this vision into a reality for more than a year, but with current events in our country, he felt now was the perfect time to turn the plan into action.

“Our problem isn’t racism,” Pastor Mark revealed. “We think we can get to the root of the real problem with this new program.”

"A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." Psalm 68:5-6

The plan is to target inner-city youth between the ages of 10-17. The kids will be separated into groups, and each group will have three adult leaders.

One adult leader will focus on Bible study and learning the Word of God.

Another leader will oversee activities, working with suburban churches and communities to open doors for inner-city youth to try new things they have never seen or experienced.

“We need people with help and resources,” Pastor Mark said. “Not just financial resources, but people who have access to activities these kids never dreamed were possible. Imagine you grew up in the suburbs or in the country and learned how to ride horses at a young age. We want you to help us show these youth they can do these things. We want to show them that you don’t have to always be exposed to bad things but rather healthy alternatives.”

Finally, the other adult leader will be in charge of life skills. That mentor will teach the importance of education, personal finance, mortgages, credit, and other areas that many urban kids never focus on.

Mark believes the “Fatherhood Initiative” will have a significant long-term impact on the Philadelphia inner-city community.

“God put us right in those neighborhoods for a reason,” Mark sensed. “Something special is going to come of this.”

 

 

All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.

© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.

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