By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dad sets out on biblical quest to 'build the next generation of godly men'
A silhouette of a father and his young child playing baseball outside, isolated against the sun-setting sky on a summer day. - photo by Billy Hallowell
Kent Evans is on a mission to help American dads "build the next generation of godly men" a quest that he's accomplishing through a non-profit organization he launched called "Manhood Journey."

The roots of the Manhood Journey were set a few years ago when he and others from his Kentucky-based church started brainstorming ways they could inspire men to talk more about the lessons embedded in the Bible.

Evans, who has traditionally worked in marketing and sales positions, but who recently quit his day job to devote himself entirely to the Manhood Journey, said that the group's first mission involved assembling content for small group discussions an effort that quickly grew into a much larger ministry.

"We started just trying to get fathers and sons to have some kind of biblical dialogue, and then it turned into a bit of a movement," he recently told The Church Boys podcast.

Listen to Evans describe the ministry here at the 44:00-mark.

Now, Manhood Journey offers up what he calls "modules," or group-discussion guides, in hopes of sparking gospel-driven discussions between groups that consist of 6 to 8 men and their sons or mentees who are usually between the ages of 8 and 17.

The entire premise of the effort is based on the Bible, with Evans explaining that the objective is to point people toward God. And as a father of four sons with a fifth son soon to be adopted from Ethiopia, it's a mission he's passionate about.

"Our objective is to say, 'Hey, guess who invented fatherhood?'" he said. "The guy who invented fatherhood happens to tell you a whole lot about it in his word."

The modules help facilitate discussions, which are led by one man who is part of each group. The official Manhood Journey website describes it as "a small-group program" that is a "non-denominational, Bible-based approach to building young men through the discipleship and mentorship of fathers."

Evans said that Manhood Journey is attempting to help young men navigate a tough cultural climate, while also encouraging them to rise up to fill important familial voids.

Watch Evans discuss the first module in the Manhood Journey series here.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist or someone from the Pew Center or Barna Group to tell us that fatherhood is on decline," he said. "The number of kids growing up in two-parent households with a mom and dad is lower than its ever been."

Evans said that he believes that there's a massive impact on people and families when fathers aren't present, citing negative fallout when it comes to teen pregnancy, drug use, violent crime and school dropout rates.

"All this stuff is connected to dads being gone," he said.

Past research has shown that fathers' involvement with their kids' lives offers a number of positive outcomes for children, according to a 2013 National Health Statistics Report. And studies have certainly indicated links between the absence of a dad and teen pregnancy, among other risk factors.

Evans also pointed to his belief that entertainment culture tends to depict dads as bumbling or silly, leading to a scenario in which they are "ridiculed and lampooned" something that he thinks creates false expectations for some men.

"[With] all these mental constructs we give young men ... we wonder why they can't spiritually lead their households," Evans said.

He's hardly the first person to take aim at the way in which men are depicted in media, with critics routinely slamming the so-called "doofus dad stereotype."

Evans also recently released a new book titled, "Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom From the Men Around You," which he hopes to see positively impact young men. It's a book that shows the importance of surrounding oneself with wise individuals who can help mentor and guide young men.

Evans argued that men must take "proactive steps" to help fix the problematic paradigms he sees in society. As for Manhood Journey, in addition to the modules, he said that the organization might soon launch online communities for fathers.

In the end, Evans wants men and women, alike, to know that a "biblical family" isn't a perfect or flawless family, but one that is merely seeking redemption.

The Manhood Journey has been used by more than 5,000 dads and sons in 46 states, and is also used by Trail Life USA a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts that has grown in recent years, according to the Shelbyville Times-Gazette.
Sign up for our e-newsletters