According to CNN's list of the "27 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history," only one of the killers was raised by his biological father since childhood. Today, 61 percent of the homes in the U.S. are fatherless. Sixty-three percent of young people who commit suicide had no fathers. Ninety percent of homeless runaways had no fathers. Eighty-five percent of teens in prison came from fatherless homes. So, what's the solution to fatherlessness? The ekklesia—the church.
The purpose of the assembling of Christians was to create a leadership epicenter for communities. The original word used to define this was ekklesia, which is a Greek word referring to the leaders in each city who met to resolve challenges for that community.
So if America is a Christian nation, where is the church? Here are three ways the Christian church can solve the problems of our modern-day society:
Christians need to tithe.
Let's do some simple math. The median U.S. household income is $53,647. If we take the number of professing Christians in America, which Gallup says is 75 percent, it would equal 243 million people. Let's divide that by three to calculate the correct family ratio, and we get 81 million Christian families. If we multiple 81 million by the average income, then we have an annual combined Christian income in the U.S. of approximately $4.35 trillion dollars. Divide this by 10 for the tithe, and we see $435 billion dollars that should be in the American Christian storehouse. The total cost to eradicate world hunger is $30 billion. The total cost to eradicate homelessness in the U.S. is $20 billion. We should still have $385 billion to solve other problems each year, which would easily pay for metal detectors and security systems in every school in America. But the sad truth is Christians today are giving less money to the church per capita than they did during the Great Depression.
Churches need to disciple more men.
The majority of churches worldwide are composed of a ratio of 80 percent female members and 20 percent male members. This shows us a matriarchal or mother-led country, family and church, which diminishes the attributes of a male or father figure. For example, a male is more prone to discipline with a physical force like a spanking or push-ups, while a female is more prone to discipline with her words. We have a plethora of immature males adapting to a feminine-led culture and church and, as a result, men have little heart for sacrifice. We can stop fatherlessness in this country when churches decide to focus on evangelizing men. Our society—our world— is groaning and travailing for men to be led by God's Holy Spirit to take a stand against the enemy that is out to destroy our families, our communities, and our nation. God is, in essence, still screaming, "Adam, where are you?"
Mature Christian men need to insert themselves into schools.
What do kids need who don't have fathers? They need strong male role models. We need to train men in our churches to help as security monitors each day at schools across the country. These men could add support and an extra set of eyes. The Santa Fe shooter was walking the halls in a long trench coat in 85-degree weather. Surely someone looking for oddities could have recognized this issue! With Christian men volunteering as security in our schools, they would get to know the kids, find and friend the students who are living in fatherless homes, and love and encourage them. I was a coach in the public school system for many years, and I know the central places to connect with students are the cafeteria, the athletic field and the band hall. We need father figures involved in the lives of the fatherless, both boys and girls, to instill in them self-worth and value that they are not getting from their own fathers.
Men and fathers were created by God to stand up for integrity, character, righteousness, courage, honor, respect and protection. We need to start doing it now.
G.F. Watkins is an international leader, author, speaker and church planter. He is the founder of Jordan Ranch retreat center and has planted churches in Texas, Africa and Peru. His latest book is entitled Test Me: The Malachi Mystery. As the founder and leader of GenesisTeam.org he now oversees and trains ministry leaders worldwide. He is considered an authority in the area of men's ministry and on the topic of fatherlessness. Visit gfwatkins.org.
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