Applying to be a Fathers in the Field Regional Field Missionary is a two-step process.
Please fill out the form below. After submission you will be directed to Step 2.
Applying to be a Fathers in the Field Regional Field Missionary is a two-step process.
Please fill out the form below. After submission you will be directed to Step 2.
Godly Heroes for Fatherless Boys
Today’s fatherless boys are America’s future pastors, providers, and protectors.
Men have an ordained purpose. Women suffer when there aren’t Godly men around them. Masculinity is a good thing — and it is great thing when it is Godly. Fatherhood wisdom falls on the shoulders of the men. They are the future warriors of the Kingdom. If boys are destroyed we’ve destroyed a nation and the prospect of a spiritual revival in America. Healthy Godly men are needed on the front lines of the great commission but they need to be rescued as fatherless boys first.
This is why we are so laser focused.
Men without God are barbarians. God is the only one who has elevated the value of women over the course of history, and Godly men must protect them today.
Why is the fatherless boy so damaged?
The father-son relationship is the foundation of this world. Our God sent his only begotten son to die on the cross to restore a spiritual lifeline between the father and his children. When that relationship is broken it creates a deep soul wound. If not healed, it will fester and manifest itself in dangerous and destructive ways. Without a lifeline and a tether of forgiveness and healing, Satan will have his way.
Laws do not stop evil men – good men stop evil men. Where are all the good Godly men? Satan is picking them off through fatherlessness.
Jesus gives us a glimpse of how painful it is to be without our father when he was on the cross and he cried out, “Father, Father, why have you forsaken me?”
God our father has given us a great promise when he says I will never leave or forsake you. Forsakenness that these boys feel is a deep, penetrating, seemingly inescapable soul wound.
We are rescuing the Fatherless by providing freedom from the anger and bitterness of the father wound, of being left behind and forsaken.
Every fatherless boy believes that their abandonment is their fault, but we talk to the boys frankly and directly about the lies they’ve been told. We tell them, “What your dad did was terribly wrong and will matter greatly in your life, but by the power of Christ you can be the man you were intended to be. There is nothing wrong with you, you’re not a mistake, and you’re not the problem. This doesn’t mean you won’t have scars or walk with an emotional limp, but the wound won’t be festering and will not control your life.”
When I talk to fatherless boys their eyes light up because they know I understand their deep soul wound, and because I give them hope for a path to healing.”
– John Smithbaker
The fatherless boy learns biblical truths that challenge what the wounds that being abandoned have taught him. Through the intentionality and the commitments made and kept by his Mentor Father and the supporting church, a new narrative can blossom in the boy’s life. He is shown and not just told that he is time-worthy, valuable, capable, important, powerful, special to the Lord and others, and can overcome what has been done to him by no fault of his own.
Because of the healing power of the Holy Spirit and the love demonstrated by his Mentor Father and local church, the fatherless boy’s life often takes a significant turn that is inspiring to others among his friends and family. It is not uncommon for family members to accompany the boy to church. When the boy’s protective walls are broken down and he learns how to forgive his earthly father, the fatherless boy can become the helper to others who suffer from the pain of abandonment and worthlessness.
Boys who are confident, spiritually-connected and made whole by the love of the Heavenly Father are more empathetic and less troublesome within their communities. Set on a new path of self-worth, they pursue more productive lifestyles. These boys then draw less upon the corrective resources in the community in the form of subsidies, law enforcement, and counseling, and can become contributing members of their community.
The Lord places a special charge of leadership in the lives of men. As the crippling wounds of fatherless boys are addressed in their adolescent years, they become free to develop and grow into their full potential in adulthood. Instead of producing weak and soul-fragmented men, we add to our nation’s resource pool of strong spiritual soldiers.
When a father is taken out of the life of a boy at a young age before their masculinity is developed, it throws everything into confusion. Without the resident male figure to imprint lessons of Christian manhood, fatherless boys are raised instead with a largely feminine perspective, which can lead to gender confusion, passivity, and homosexuality.
America desperately needs more leading men and who will give sacrificially of themselves to the greater good of our nation and share the love of Christ with all God’s people. It will take brave and righteous Christian men to raise the future generations who will rescue America from the captivity of Satan’s plan.
Without question, America is uniquely exceptional. Our beloved country is one of a kind and we give all glory to God Almighty.
Freedom in not man’s idea. Bondage is man’s idea.
The American ideal of freedom comes only by upholding God’s righteous laws, rigorously promoted and defended within the nations’ founding documents.
God Almighty is sovereign and worked mightily through His followers in the formation of America. He created a beacon on the hill that has helped spread the Gospel to the isolated, lost, and the oppressed people groups and countries around the world.
When disciples of Christ do not hide their shining light under a bushel of wheat, but rather join together to bring glory to their Creator by honoring and following His decrees in its organizing documents – it (America) cannot help but become a bright beacon for the world that millions will see and become drawn to.
That is why we pause and celebrate her ideals.
What a privilege it is to be part of God’s great rescue mission of the lost, and to live in a country where we can openly and freely learn about our Heavenly Father.
Each of us has much to be grateful for and to give thanks in our prayers and patriotic celebrations and anthems.
Other countries could also be beacons on a hill, but it would require courage, sacrifice, and resolve by the country’s organizers or citizens to follow Him and His wisdom as the defining law of the land. Or, perhaps the Lord intended for America to uniquely occupy this global role.
To date, no other nation is even close in holding up God Almighty in its foundational declarations. Not one other. America stands alone.
Ultimately it is these God-inspired ideals, memorialized in America’s defining documents, that makes the nation unique and allows it to be exceptional. Our democracy is neither compromised by the rule of a majority mob or is an anti-god socialist government ruled by elitists. Rather, America was forged to be a Constitutional Republic governed by God’s laws, where our individual rights are bestowed by the Divine Creator. How we should live, treat our neighbors, uphold justice, and exercise our freedom and individual rights has been prescribed by God – not a sinful man or a government.
As such, these rights cannot also be taken away at the whim of man.
The founding fathers and many others sacrificed their lives, their families, their homes, and their wealth by signing the originating constitutional documents that made clear that the Heavenly Father alone is Creator and all powerful. They affirmed His laws as righteous, proclaiming that America’s people are not and will not be subjects to any type of government, tyrant, or king.
It is the obligation of its citizens then and now to defend these precious God-given rights against foreign and domestic threats.
America’s citizens, Christians, who do not clearly understand why the nation is uniquely exceptional run the risk of standing idly by while others with a sinister agenda erode America’s greatness and attempt to re-write its history. Still others are being blinded or are overlooking the purpose for these blessings – so that we can live fruitfully, faithfully, and share the Good News to the end of the earth.
Much is required of us because of this mighty blessing. Blinded ungratefulness is sin and a scheme of the Evil One.
Because of what they uphold, America’s ideals are worthy of celebrating, honoring, and protecting as a nation and as citizens – even unto death. Countless men, women, families and neighboring citizens have given the full measure of sacrifice with their lives here and around the world. Many God-honoring missionaries have been raised and supported to give up the comforts of our special freedoms to bring the Good News of the Gospel to distant and oppressed lands.
In order to continue answering God’s call to fulfill the purpose of the unique exceptionalism He’s granted America, we must boldly and immediately tend to the defense of these ideals.
May we resolve again and acknowledge our special heritage as One Nation Under God and help bring restoration to our besieged freedoms and this shining beacon on the hill.
Our Great American Rescue Mission is on the frontline of battling for the souls of our country, our families, and our children. May the Lord lead the way as Fathers in the Field charges forward for His glory and bring a revival to our land.
Thank you, God Almighty, for your ideals for America, for faithful and courageous souls and for allowing us, in a time as this, to be part of seeing your mission accomplished. May you continue to bless your creation.
“Defend the cause of the fatherless...” Isaiah 1:17
Fathers in the Field is a non-profit, non para-Church ministry that trains and equips the local Church to “Call” and raise godly men to intentionally mentor the fatherless in their own community.
Our mission is to rekindle and establish the spirit of boys who have been abandoned by their fathers; mentoring them one-on-one in live skills through outdoor activities, and by sharing a Christian understanding of our Heavenly Father’s love and sacrifice.
The objective of this Great American Rescue Mission™ is to heal the deep, anger-filled soul wound that an abandoned boy suffers from and carries with him; thereby stopping the cycle of destruction and fatherlessness. Through advocacy and becoming a leading voice for the cause of the fatherless in America, Fathers in the Field will help ignite a revival of the local church as a cultural change agent in their communities.
Fathers in the Field works to achieve 3 important goals that are biblically founded:
Combining Faith, Fatherhood, and Forgiveness with the kind of blood pumping, outdoor fun that no videogame can match, Father in the Field works through local churches across America.
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Spiritually mature men in local churches are empowered and resourced to reach out to fatherless boys in their communities and introduce them to a Father who will never leave or forsake them – God Himself.
Training and Equipping Local Churches: Fathers in the Field is a complete turnkey ministry that provides all the instructions, tools and resources churches need to host this vital outreach to fatherless boys in their community. Regional Field Missionaries connect with local churches to provide methodology, materials, training and coaching, and encouragement to engage the church staff and congregation, and to reach out to fatherless boys.
Stakeholders within the ministry and the church partner to be a Voice for the Fatherless and advocates for the cause of broken families.
This powerful ministry sparks a grassroots revival of church service to the community. The intentional investment of time with the fatherless boy opens the door to pre-disciplining by building a bridge of trust that is developed when they keep their commitments to the wounded and skeptical fatherless boy.
Field Buddies: Fatherless boys ages 7-17 can participate in Fathers in the Field.
Mentor Fathers: Men from varied backgrounds and experiences open themselves to be used by the Lord to fill a gap in a boy’s life that stunts emotional growth and prevents him from fully experiencing the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of God the Father.
Single Moms: Father in the Field reaches fatherless boys through single mothers who want their sons to have a mature Christian male role model. All ministry expense is spared the single mother due the generosity of God’s Givers.
Widows and Elderly: Community service projects are an integral part of the Fathers in the Field ministry, giving boys an opportunity to serve widows in the community and in doing so, gain a sense of accomplishment, helpfulness, and self-worth.
Church Body: A Church Champion becomes the liaison between Fathers in the Field and the church, working with the Pastor and men’s groups to identify Mentor Fathers and make an anointed pairing with fatherless boys. Church Elders and Deacons identify widows and the elderly in the community whom boys can serve as volunteers. Women’s groups engage single moms with support. Peers welcome and engage the fatherless boy in youth groups. The family of the fatherless boy and non-churched members of the community are often drawn to the church as result of the boy’s attendance and participation. Church pastors become advocates for the fatherless and broken families, raising awareness and encouraging the church body to support them through prayer, donations, godly witness, and modeling healthy Christian family life.
“Field Missionaries are the tip of the sword. They are battling in our own mission field in our own country, against an ill-equipped or apathetic church to address the #1 cultural issue – fatherlessness.”
“We are living in the mission field where the harvest is great, but the workers are few. The Field Missionary’s role is not a job, it’s a calling.
“They are the voice in the wilderness at this point. They depend on God’s Givers to remain in ministry full time to coach pastors, inspire men, to reach those left behind, and the broken families in the local church’s community. The spiritual attack on these men and their families, once they commit to serve, IS real. The earnest support of God’s Givers and coverage of prayer warriors provide the needed resources and protection to carry out their sacred and honorable calling.
“This is where the hope of healing begins: When a faithful man commits his life to full-time ministry and answers God’s call on his life by saying ‘send me, Lord.’
“Their bravery and heart light a fire of biblical courage to respond to the command of God to defend the cause of the fatherless and widows in their community.
“Field Missionaries respond to the cries of the fatherless and pleas of the single mom by mobilizing the local church to restore the spiritual heritage and the God-ordained role of fatherhood in America. Their pivotal role in the Great American Rescue Mission has a lasting impact on families today and tomorrow.
“Single moms and fatherless boys are desperately thankful to know that the cavalry is coming, and someone is battling on their behalf as a Voice for the Fatherless.
“They help crack the challenge of the unchurched right in their reach. They breach the door. The break the wall and inspire the church’s men to search for fatherless kids in their community as if they were their own.
“We’d do it all if it meant only rescuing one boy. But fortunately, men, churches, and God’s Givers are responding and that allows us to reach many more. And as we extend the Great American Rescue Mission across the country and deploy a Field Missionary in every state, we’ll establish lifelines to fatherless boys through their local churches. Every fatherless boy is within the reach of a local church.”
– John Smithbaker
Called by the Lord to full-time Kingdom work, Field Missionaries apply their unique relational skills and gifting to engage the local church. Part of that assignment includes challenging the church to fulfill its responsibility as leaders, healers, and proclaimers of the Good News to fatherless boys and their broken families. Field Missionaries see the Holy Spirit take their effort and use it to transform hearts. They are spiritual fire starters.
Missionary life is a family affair. The spouses and children of Field Missionaries also connect with the cause and can become ambassadors within their friends and family network. As they ‘share’ their spouse or dad with the ministry, a family’s sacrifice and investment deepens their own faith and dedication to the Great Commission. In an age where “the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few” Matthew 9:37 (NIV), the impact of passing along the heart of ministry service to future generations cannot be understated.
When God’s people give their lives to ministry work they become beacons of the Holy Spirit’s light all around them. From direct interaction with the local church body to conversations in the community where they are asked, “what do you do?” Field Missionaries raise awareness of the fatherless challenges among Christians and non-Christians alike wherever they go. They are ambassadors and a voice of the fatherless who share their critical needs to those who can help.
Each Field Missionary may be in contact with as many as 100 churches in their network. By extension, these churches have from dozens to thousands of people in their church body that can be involved in the support of fatherless boys through Fathers in the Field. We see a day where dozens, even hundreds of Field Missionaries are reaching out one-by-one to provide every church in America with the opportunity to adopt this effective ministry platform as its own. As demanded in scripture, churches can lead the nation in widespread revival by turning their attention and resources to building the faith its most vulnerable people.
David McCormick first began his experience with Fathers in the Field later than most, at age seventeen. Like so many fatherless boys, his feelings of abandonment and deep father wounds were manifest not only in his broken home, but his broken life.
“I was in a teenage sexual relationship, doing drugs and drinking, and was addicted to pornography. I was seeking love and acceptance anywhere else because of the void of that earlier in life.”
“I’d decided that I don’t need anyone but myself and my drive. But my drive was powered by my rage and it led me down a path of frustration, depression, and confusion. I was just going with it and it was destroying me. Even my successes were wrongly motivated. I tried to play sports well for the affirmation of the coach. I worked out incessantly and created an image in order to get attention from girls. But ultimately, I was a threat to myself and everyone around me, my friends and my family, promoting bad behavior and taking others down with me.”
But the Lord and his single mother had a different idea for David.
“My mother saw the importance of having a Godly influence in my life and got me involved in Fathers in the Field through our church. Even though I was older, there was a part of me that recognized the need, despite being rebellious and fighting God.”
Paired with Mike, his Mentor Father, David began a three- year process of learning about his Heavenly Father, learning about himself, learning about what it means to be a man and a father, and learning about forgiveness. But healing took time.
“I didn’t have very high expectations, initially. I was rebellious, rude, and mean. I had a chip on my shoulder and wasn’t going to take anything from anyone. I was so angry and bitter and I didn’t take the counsel of Mike. It took a while to trust my mentor father because I felt un-helpable.”
Eventually, David’s anguish drove him to the hair trigger of suicide. “I just wanted the pain to stop.”
But through their commitment to each other and the process of Fathers in the Field, David and Mike stuck at it, together.
“Mike was there for me in good times and bad, and that’s why I came to trust him. It’s not an easy process, but in order to heal it is what God must do for your life.”
“When I was a kid, ‘father’ to me meant anger; it meant disappointment”
But I know what a real father is now and it’s because we have a Father God. As I get closer to Him, I’m learning what it means to be a father one day. Something Mike always told me was that it’s not the hand you are dealt, it’s how you play your hand that defines who you will become. If you seek God to fulfill you, you’ll come up with a flush. Through my experience with Mike, I’ve learned how to be a good dad, how to trust, have fellowship, how to communicate without judgment, and about unconditional love. Even now I’m realizing the full impact and importance of the blessing he put on my life.”
Even far down the adolescent path of self-destruction, there is hope for the fatherless.
With the patient commitment of his Mentor Father and the effective curriculum of Fathers in the Field, the solid mentorship of a Christian man, the love of the Heavenly Father, and the peace that comes through forgiveness – the terminal cycle of anger of this fatherless boy has been broken.
At the end of their three-year ministry journey together, at David’s request, Mike had the honor of baptizing him in the cool Colorado river that they first shed together.
“Now, as a committed believer, I’m changed. Today I’m a threat to Satan and the evil forces of this world that are trying to tear me and other people down. I’m responding to the call to be strong, be committed, and encouraging others in righteousness. I’m fighting the wickedness that’s going on around me and standing up for what I believe in. There are still times when I am afraid, but I can have faith and trust God. It’s a never-ending process.”
As a young adult, David is now part of a second generation of Fathers in the Field missionaries, paying forward the lessons of his new reality by becoming the first ministry alumni to join the cause and serve in kingdom work.
With the support of his mentor father, after successfully completing high school David received intensive missionary training abroad before being commissioned to serve the fatherless in South Africa, ministering to orphans, building orphanages, reaching out to the local community and sharing the love of Jesus to people in a foreign county. Soon he’ll be returning to the United States with experience and an expanded worldview that will surely equip him to continue passing along the lessons of self-worth and God’s grace that he learned through Fathers in the Field to other at-risk fatherless boys.
“It is an honor to share the truth about our Heavenly Father’s love and to serve others who are shattered from the devastation of broken families. Here I am, send me Lord.”
God's Givers: Fathers in the Field's Financial SupportersFathers in the Field is a 501C3 non-profit ministry that relies upon the generosity of donors to fuel ministry work. Supporters can sponsor a specific Field Missionary as well as contribute to the general operations and cause advocacy work of the ministry.
Being a good steward of the resources entrusted to us by the Lord means empowering kingdom work that is cost-efficient and effective. Fathers in the Field provides the opportunity for Christians to confidently invest where there is a demonstrable impact on all the stakeholders that are involved in the ministry’s dynamic ecosystem. This is an answer to prayer for supporters.
In addition to supporting the local church through tithing, many Christians give to other charitable causes. As they do, they become an important part of that organization and the cause takes on special relevance to the donor. They closely follow the outcomes and challenges of the work, and regularly advocate for the mission to friends and family. As iron sharpens iron, donor’s endorsement recruits additional support, encouraging others to serve and charitably give.
Thriving communities invest in their health. They must be acutely aware of the interconnectedness of its members and be motivated to courageously step-up to help those who are underprivileged, hurt, or have been left behind. Donors to Fathers in the Field have the unique chance to simultaneously support the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, enhance the effectiveness of the local church in the community, and act as a first responder to the wounds of the next generation of men. Investing in fatherless boys contributes to the future success of families and communities.
Americans are a generous people. The United States ranks as a top world philanthropic nation per capita, and are cheerful givers, embracing as a major tenant to “love they neighbor as yourself,” Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)
Despite the enemy’s work to disrupt and divide us by attacking the family and God’s design for biblical marriage and parenting, faithful Americans have shown a dedication to lend a hand and give of their wealth when they understand the need and the scope of a crisis.
When we give, we follow in Christ’s footsteps and live out our faith. Only through selflessness can the nation be transformed. Fathers in the Field provides Americans a clear understanding of the crisis of fatherlessness, and to help revitalize the church as a unifying force across the country.
As the person commissioned with the spiritual care of members of a church, the Pastor performs a vital role for the Kingdom of Christ.
Fathers in the Field works with the Pastor to establish and execute the ministry outreach at his church with the goal of sharpening the tip of the spear in the battle for the hearts and souls of fatherless boys. But that is just the beginning. Pastors are a primary target of ministry through Fathers in the Field as well.
The Pastor, then, would represent the ‘heart of our Lord’ in the local church. It is here that significant impact is achieved with the pastor himself. In love and with respect, Fathers in the Field challenges the pastor to become better educated to the cause of fatherless boys and the related perils facing our nation. We come alongside the pastor to lead his flock in developing a committed and practical outreach that his church owns and manages. Fathers in the Field will support pastors as they become an advocate to speak, teach, and take up the cause of the fatherless. More than a gatekeeper of permission and church resources, the pastor is a primary ministry partner that we will also “never leave, and never forsake.”
Most pastors are stretched thin. They are burdened with a multitude of problems and do not receive enough assistance in serving the church body and community. Fathers in the Field understands the weight of leadership and role of mentorship that the pastor occupies. We support the pastor so that he can better personally respond to the biblical call of Isaiah 1:17 and help his church do the same.
Whether leading a small local church or shepherding a larger audience with extended reach due to related media broadcasts, pastors have influence that can spread far beyond the local church’s reach. They inspire and teach people that then carry those messages all over the country. Pastors are also very influential to other pastors. They compare notes about how effectively their church is impacting the community. Pastors work together to coordinate how faithful people in the American Church are approaching both parts to the Great Commission – sharing the Gospel and making disciples here at home, as well as around the world. We believe that as more pastors catch the vision of Fathers in the Field and implement the ministry successfully, others will be motivated to follow and a groundswell of participation will sweep across the nation.
Local church pastors are key to the bold vision of connecting and equipping people of faith across the nation in The Great American Rescue Mission. The next step in breaking the chain of generational fatherlessness is raising up and deploying more Field Missionaries in regional territories to cover the entire country, and engaging pastors of local churches so they may reach and rescue the fatherless boys in their communities.
A Church Champion is appointed at each church to be a liaison between Fathers in the Field, the Field Missionary, the pastor and administrative leadership and various church groups involved in the ministry.
The Church Champion and the Field Missionary work closely as subject matter experts to help the church implement the Fathers in the Field ministry. Their expertise and influence in coordinating church resources is invaluable in assisting the pastor with communications to the church, sharing stories of success and transformation, and working with other groups such as the men’s and women’s groups and prayer teams. Church Champions are advocates for the fatherless and can help identify candidate fatherless boys.
As with all the stakeholders in the ministry’s ecosystem, Church Champions for Fathers in the Field become educators for the cause and can fan the flame of interest and support from family and friends.
Running lead on the Fathers in the Field ministry at the church, the champion will be positioned to know different people and organized groups within the church community who can contribute to the ministry activities. Additionally, they may coordinate with outside social and city groups to find boys for mentorship and widows to help with service projects.
Lay leaders are heroes of the local church. When men and women accept additional roles of service, in addition to their jobs and regular church participation, they reflect the strength of the Church and become the body of Christ. This willingness to meet the needs of the community is what is best about America.
Becoming a Mentor Father to a fatherless boy is a unique privilege and sacred assignment. Men from varied backgrounds and experiences open themselves to be used by the Lord to fill a gap in a boy’s life that stunts emotional growth and prevents him from fully experiencing the love, acceptance, and forgiveness of God the Father.
The fatherless boy is the primary focus of the Father in the Field ministry. However, through their obedience and faithfulness the Mentor Father is blessed and impacted nearly as much as the boy. When we give, we receive. When we believe, we can be believed. And, when we serve, we teach others to serve. Putting faith and love into action impacts the Mentor Father deeply. It allows him to share his story and articulate his faith with someone whom the Lord had made a divine connection. Sometimes, the experience of becoming a Mentor Father is also a part of the process of healing from his own past father wounds.
Spouses and children of men who pledge to a three-year term of being a Mentor Father are also making a significant commitment to the ministry and are sharing dad with a fatherless boy. They learn about the needs of others, about the core societal problem that challenges stability in our communities, and are directly involved in the Fathers in the Field outreach. Families may have the fatherless boy over to their home for social events and attend church together. Mentor Fathers’ family gain admiration and respect for him as his compassion for others is not limited to those of blood relationship. Sometimes the fatherless boy and Mentor Father continue their relationship after the ministry term completion, and he becomes an extended family member.
Mentor Fathers and their Field Buddy share time together in and outside of church. They share fellowship out in the field and in the community doing everyday activities, as well as special events and service programs. When Mentor Fathers enthusiastically share with others about their ministry participation, they’re raising awareness of the plights of the fatherless and can inspire others to selflessly serve others.
The participation of Mentor Fathers is particularly important because it bucks a disturbing trend. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, volunteering in America is in a ten-year decline, year after year. (1) Some suggest this is attributed to a paradigm shift in people living and “connecting” online. Others reason that insufficient resourcing of the nonprofit sector depletes the capacity to effectively engage volunteers. Another explanation is more convicting; That generation after generation we are seeing less volunteerism because we’ve failed to teach the next generations to volunteer and we are growing more insular in our worldview. The church must be an antidote to this moral threat by hosting ministry efforts like Fathers in the Field that provide an outlet for volunteerism in the congregation and community.
Over more than ten years, the Lord has guided the developmental path to great impact with Fathers in the Field.
From the lessons learned by engaging hundreds of local churches, pastors, and volunteers to the individual coaching and game plan provided to Mentor Fathers as they intentionally commit to a multi-year relationship with their Field Buddy, to the teaching materials, collateral, and gear that’s so important to the restoration, inspiration, and discipleship activities in the field – every part of this robust ministry’s outreach has been refined and works well together for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
Scalability and sustainability are also important when evaluating the potential to maximize impact over time.
Another powerful distinctive of Fathers in the Field is its gifts multiplication financial model that transcends from a traditional expense-based missionary subsidy to an investment-driven paradigm that achieves individual sustainability and fuels the expansion of The Great American Rescue MissionTM.
Fathers in the Field initially invests the generous donations of God’s Givers to underwrite the first couple years of a full-time Regional Missionary’s service, while he develops a financial support network and engages hundreds of local churches to expand the ministry to fatherless boys. Soon, however, each Regional Missionary’s support goal will exceed expenses.
Therefore, God’s Givers’ early backing of the missionary’s formative years is returned to the ministry exponentially over the lifetime of his service, providing critical resources greater than the cost of the missionary’s individual efforts for further outreach growth, cause advocacy, and service to broken families in communities across the nation.
Together, with the addition of each vocationally-called Regional Missionary to the team, not only do we inspire and equip many more local churches to be the hands and feet of Jesus and bring hope and restoration to fatherless boys in their communities, but we increase the scope, scale, and sustainability in doing so. Now that’s true, biblical stewardship that we call Momentum MobilizationTM.
Listening to the heart of God
Elders, Deacons, and Church Administration
The local church is a family and a team. Leadership within the church has an important role in the execution of the Fathers in the Field ministry. Not only do they coordinate resources, but they carry forward the heart connection and commitment of the pastor. Elders, Deacons, and other administrative staff help manage the efforts of the Church Champion, the men’s and women’s groups, and serve as a liaison with the community to identify service projects and potential participant families.
To effectively launch Father in the Field at their church, Church Elders and Deacons are educated on the issues surrounding the broken families in their communities. They become connectors with men and women in the church who are available to serve. They get a front row seat to the life-changing work of the Holy Spirit that is accomplished with fatherless boys and are themselves encouraged and inspired. Friends and family of church leadership also become more aware of and sensitive to the needs of broken families and cast a wider net of outreach in the community.
Local churches have the challenge and responsibility of shepherding limited resources. By adopting a fully-developed ministry like Fathers in the Field, Elders and Deacons secure for the church a practical blueprint for impacting single mothers and fatherless boys. Additionally, they bless widows and the elderly through service projects offered by Mentor Father and his Field Buddy. Not only does church leadership then become advocates for fatherless boys, but they help promote the importance and purpose of the local church to the community it serves.
Fathers in Field trains and equips Elders and Deacon to mobilize the church and the church body to go out into the community and intentionally engage the broken family.
Church Elders and Deacons are part of national networks of Christian leaders who work together to make the Church a more effective entity in bringing our nation’s people to the Lord. They help their local church meet basic human needs. They look to use new tools and ministry models as they come available. And, as leaders of the local expression of the body of Christ, church leadership are faced with emerging social trends that threaten to separate us from the Lord and weaken our country. Fathers in the Field provides these faithful leaders with an exciting platform to match opportunity with capacity and need with compassionate service.
Providing a Turn-Key Solution for Ministry to the Fatherless
Fathers in the Field seeks to reach, connect, empower, and support fatherless boys because they are dysfunctional and not yet reaching their full God-given potential. The same can be said of the Church in America. As a non-para-church ministry, our role is to equip the local church to call upon godly men to mentor the fatherless in their own community.
Sadly, local churches are not always the healthiest of organizations. Though full of Christ-following and well-intended people, our sinful nature can sap a church’s spiritual power with unbecoming internal politics, struggles over resources, conflicting vision, and theological struggles. These distractions can erode a church’s ability to clearly recognize and mobilize to meet the needs of those within their reach. This is one reason many churches fail to have a specific ministry to the fatherless. Another reason is they lack a clear methodology to recruit, train, and activate Mentor Father volunteers in their church with fatherless boys. By providing a turn-key ministry and helping the local church to communicate the scope of the needs of the broken family to the church body, Fathers in the Field empowers the local church to be more effective and obedient to the Lord’s command:
A primary function of the local church is to impact the whole community – both its members and others. Fathers in the Field provides the local church a bridge to fatherless boys and broken families who are unchurched and draw them to the sheepfold.
Local churches have a tremendous influence on one another and contribute to important movements of the Church. To manage limited resources, local churches often follow one another in who and how they approach service missions, such as sending missionaries overseas to preach the gospel or coordinating with local food banks. All good works, but this approach can meet some ongoing needs and leave important others, such as healing the heart wounds of fatherless boys, underserved or unmet.
Fathers in the Field helps the local church expand its outreach horizon while focusing on a critical need – the broken family – right here at home. That’s why we thematically call our ministry Mission Home Front. The local church can lend its voice to the Great American Rescue Mission™ – a national narrative that identifies the Christian mentorship of fatherless boys as being a lynchpin to the health and success of future families and our nation.
Men of Faith and Action
“God made men for a glorious purpose.
“At their best, they are divinely wired to become pastors, providers, and protectors. But, as our culture continues to marginalize men’s impact and redefine manhood itself, the church as a reflection of society, has fallen suit. Part of a Christian man’s purpose is to be on the front lines and push back against the culture. But sadly, Christian men are sitting on the sidelines of local churches because their God’s given gifts are not fully valued. Therefore, the greatest underutilized asset in the local church are men.
“By in large men believe that the church has left them behind. Churches have become feminized and are unintentionally geared more towards women, having adopted a culture that observes and discusses crisis instead of developing a strategy and stepping boldly into action to fix them. Instead, men’s ministry in the church can become pep rallies that inspire their hearts but do not connect their hands and feet to meaningful action. Men are relegated to mindless ministries that don’t satisfy their masculine aptitudes or they are one of the few theologically trained leaders. The sad result is that most of the local churches’ men are simply disengaged.
“Men are meant for more. Men are the answer. They have warrior hearts that ache to be deployed to the righteous battlefield to uphold justice and bring help to those in distress. With its men leading the charge, the local church has the opportunity to challenge and charter this powerful asset into meaningful service where the impact is tangible and leverages all of men’s unique strengths.
“The intentional community outreach that Fathers in the Field brings to the local church liberates men to do the work that is closest to God’s heart – defending the cause of the fatherless and widow.
“When a Mentor Father responds to the pastor’s call and is commissioned by the local church, he courageously stands in the gap for the fatherless in their community.
“How the Heavenly Father’s heart must leap for joy!”
– John Smithbaker
Mentor Fathers and boys meet four times a month, using the tools of the ministry to gain insight and understanding, serve others, worship, and plan a special end of year celebration outdoor activity.
This multi-faceted experience develops a connection between the Mentor Father and Field Buddy that builds his self-esteem and confidence, instills hope, and helps overcome the hurt of abandonment by showing him he has value and is worthy of time, attention, and love. Through years of practical service in the field, this proven and effective outreach includes four primary activity endeavors:
Care for them…
Do not take advantage of them…
Defend their cause…
Show them mercy and love!
The Lord has many specific commands when it comes to the fatherless, widows and the elderly. He directs us to be champions for those who are alone, who are underprivileged and who may feel left behind. He tells us that we are to help meet their physical and emotional needs through our assistance, prayers, by giving of financial resources, and by sharing our time – all as members of the local church.
Fathers in the Field leads a movement to restore broken hearts and help clear the path for a connection with the Heavenly Father.Acts of service and compassion can be profoundly impacting those who are hurt and alone. We draw those most vulnerable in our society to the safety of the church’s sheepfold, providing education, fellowship, and protection from isolation and the lies of the enemy.
One important part of the Fathers in the Field ministry involves fatherless boys doing service projects for widows and the elderly in the community. By serving others, boys gain self-worth and esteem. Widows and seniors in the community are contacted by Deacons or Church Elders and can be connected for fellowship and faith with the local church. Special relational bonds can develop.
Fatherless boys are like modern day orphans, absent of their fathers in the home to mentor and build up their faith. They desperately need the attention and modeling of a Christian man and the support of the local church to navigate perilous cultural times. When they are still young these boys need to be taught about what it means to be a Christian man and receive guidance in developing a biblically-based masculine identity that is increasingly absent in the “selfie” generation. Setting out into the community to serve others is a key element in the maturation of fatherless boys.
Communities that take care of their vulnerable are more connected and stronger.
Advocacy: A National Voice For The Fatherless
Since its inception, the Fathers in the Field message has been shared with millions through exceptional national and local media attention.
Not only is John Smithbaker the ministry’s founder, but he is a living example of overcoming the wounds of fatherlessness through a combination of forgiving his earthly father and acceptance of the grace and love of the Heavenly Father. Today, John carries the burning torch of truth and conviction to Americans both inside and outside the Church.
Educating the public about the nature of this crisis will begin a conversation that can inspire action and begin a national movement. John and Fathers in the Field are stepping up to the next level of activism and faithful service. In the coming years, Fathers in the Field will set out to ignite a fire of righteous indignation through advocacy on a national scale for the plight of America’s fatherless boys.
Using digital and social communication platforms, the press and major media outlets, partnerships with churches and Christian organizations, and collaborations with compassionate relief organizations, Fathers in the Field will increase the awareness of millions of Americans to this fundamental epidemic that erodes national and spiritual health. With its growing family of participants, volunteers, and supporters, the ministry will equip hundreds more churches to become to be the hands and feet of Jesus for fatherless boys and their broken families.
Fathers in the Field provides an exciting and significant opportunity for supporters and charitable foundations to fuel this critical mission work. Our plan and prayer is to raise and place at least one missionary in every state.
Resources invested wisely to commission missionaries, for ministry operations, to empower and sharpen the church through its community impacting outreach, and to educate, advocate, and motivate a national movement in support of the fatherless.
The Epidemic of Fatherlessness
Fatherlessness is an epidemic in America that has a direct influence on an overwhelming majority of societal problems.
The statistics are irrefutable and chilling. Prisons, hospitals, social services and welfare offices, rehabs, unemployment offices, and the streets are full of men who were abandoned by their earthly father. Increasingly, rehabilitation organizations have not been able to keep up with growing demand. Jails are overflowing, spilling mentally and socially ill boy-men back into society.
Welfare systems are overloaded and burdened by adults who are socially or emotionally unable to cope with life, who have failed at home, failed at work, and who are miserable and addicted. Adult dependency on handouts and welfare systems is commonplace. It is even becoming tolerable in our culture for able-bodied adults to intentionally “milk the system,” even if that includes dishonesty, cheating, moral compromise, and lawlessness.
* Source: National Center for Fathering
Social services and law enforcement are intended to serve the minority issues of society, the aberrant behavior and situations, not to correct a culture-wide moral decline that stems from the breakdown of the family. Our emergency response teams need help! We believe the local church plays a critical role in reaching the overflow that social services and law enforcement will never be able to effectively handle.
We must come alongside social workers, law enforcement, and the federal government to fix some of the escalating problems at the source – the broken heart of fatherless boys.
Fathers in the Field calls out culture warrior men in churches and points out the front lines in their community. Through the church, it recruits men to start speaking up and acting up for the next generation of faithful leadership-capable men in America.
The harvest is great, but the workers are few. The Bible tells us we need to start our own Jerusalem. The home front is our Jerusalem. Fathers in the Field is a Mission Home Front outreach. We see our work as being part of a national emergency response team. We must recruit, train and send warrior men – field missionaries to stand in the gap for our boys.
A love for God, others, and a selfless dedication to defend one another has defined every period of security and times of blessing in our nation. In times of peace and in times of war, a strong church has made a strong America.
But America is changing…
The proliferation of wounded boys that grow into compromised men is killing America economically, socially, and spiritually. Men that carry around a lifelong millstone of hurt often draw more from the nation’s resources than they contribute. That’s an unsustainable system.
Who are America’s next generation of defenders learning from? The abandoned class lacks critical mentoring and modeling that imprints character and establishes a connection to the responsibilities of a family, to a job, to communities, to the country, and to the world. New heroes are few today – but “victims” are many.
Our nation’s founding fathers would be shocked with the state of the family and selfishness among its men today. America is losing its soul as boys are left behind by their fathers. Sadly, not enough ministries and Godly men and women are picking up the slack in the local church.
In serious denial, we feign belief that America remains globally dominant both economically and militarily, without looking honestly at the condition of the fragmented family. In our hearts though, we know the truth about America’s infrastructure and that our safety is much more fragile.
At Fathers in the Field we believe that true security comes only from an authentic and loving relationship with Jesus Christ. As an extension, national security will come not come primarily from weapons of warfare and a battle “out there,” but instead by equipping the church to call to arms and train up an army of American men “in here” (in the local church). We are ready and capable of introducing fatherless boys to new life security through Christian discipleship.
Together we will strengthen and challenge the Church to be culture changers once again and to lead a renaissance of morality, Christianity, and support for strong families.
When God Calls You
A career is something you choose; a calling is something you receive. A career is something you do for yourself; a calling is something you do for God. A career promises status, money, and power; a calling generally promises difficulty, suffering, and the opportunity to be used by God. A career may end with retirement and lots of toys; a calling doesn’t end until you die.
A career can be disrupted by any number of events, but God enables you to fulfill your calling even in the most difficult circumstances. For some people in Scripture obeying the call of God meant living in slavery, being captured and sent into exile, or being put to death. Their career trajectories didn’t look promising, yet they fulfilled their calling in extraordinary ways.
Chuck Colson had one of the highest profile careers in America. He had access to power and influence in the Nixon White House, yet he landed in prison. His career was over, but his calling was just beginning. He was called to reach others just like himself. He reflects: “The real legacy of my life was my biggest failure—that I was an ex-convict. My great humiliation—being sent to prison—was the beginning of God’s greatest use of my life; He chose the one experience in which I couldn’t glory [and used it] for His glory.”
In the providence of God, the end of your career can be the beginning of your calling. So whatever God has called you to do, the Bible says, “Give yourselves fully to the work…because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
The word vocation comes from the Latin word for “voice.” Discovering your calling involves listening very carefully. If you close your ears and pursue something you’re neither called nor equipped to do, you’ll end up living with anxiety that whispers, “You’re trying to do something God didn’t tell you to do.” The courage to acknowledge what you’re not brings great freedom; the lack of it imprisons you. Parker Palmer writes, “You cannot choose your calling; you must let your life speak.”
Sometimes we view the call of God on our lives through rose-colored glasses. But hearing His call isn’t the same thing as falling into your dream career. When God called Jeremiah to preach to a people who refused to listen, he cried so much he became known as “the weeping prophet.” Our first response to a God-sized assignment is generally—fear.
Henry Blackaby writes: “Some people say, ‘God will never ask me to do something I can’t do.’ I’ve come to the place in my life that if the assignment I sense God giving me is something I know I can handle, I know it’s probably not from God. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They’re beyond what people can do, because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength…and His kindness…to a watching world.” It is not a general stirring, but a clear direction.
There are two parts to one’s calling. One is the inward call that an individual receives and “believes.” The other is the external call that one receives by the verification of that call by others. There should always be a seeking of advice and counsel of others who know you well and simply won’t be a “rubber stamp” on your internal call; those who will be honest and truthful. This requires a close walk with other believers in fellowship and worship on a regular basis. Many who have entered into ministry solely based on their internal call, when it has been evident to others that that call doesn’t match their apparent gifting. But through the continuous seeking of God’s face and the counsel of others, one can hear and align both calls.
That is not to say that God doesn’t grow us into His calling and equip us as we continually and humbly submit to His refining fire. We enter our calling through our weaknesses, not our strengths; not our natural abilities, but with supernatural equipping.
Saying yes to God’s call often means putting in hours of effort when you’d rather not. And it doesn’t always reward you with the kind of recognition you’d hoped for. People may disapprove of what you’re doing and try to block you. For sure, it’ll involve trial and error and some false starts.
And natural talent alone isn’t enough to honor your calling; you’ll need ideas, strength, and creativity beyond your own resources to do what God requires of you. Paul says, “We are laborers together with God” (1Co 3:9), because in order to succeed it has to be God and you doing it together. He doesn’t just call you to work for Him; He calls you to work with Him!
And, one day we can look forward to the commendation: “Well done…good and faithful servant” that God promised to those who hear His call, accept it, and devote their lives to fulfilling it.
By Dillon Smith and with additions from Fathers in the Field Ministry
One Nation Under God
Prayer is the one of the most intimate ways to connect with our Heavenly Father. Incredibly, He invites us to commune with Him directly. He hears us and we hear Him when we reach out through our prayers. Praying for someone or something regularly not only strengthens our commitment to it, but in so doing we solicit the help and intervention of the Holy Spirit.
Fathers in the Field prayer warriors uplift the ministry efforts of everyone involved. We share the issues that are closest to our hearts and the testimony of the love of Christ with those in our lives. The local church can take a leading position in rallying a community prayer force that supports fatherless boys’ healing, growth of self-esteem, and their identity in Christ.
Education drives advocacy. Advocacy leads to activism. Activism drives greater participation in activities that can transform communities. One of the strategic roles of Fathers in the Field’s increased efforts to educate communities is to invite them to pray with us and appeal to the Savior on behalf His hurting children.
Our great country was established by the unwavering belief of its founders that we are “one nation under God.” Intentional and organized prayer has been an important part of everything from forming America’s original identity to addressing every major threat to its people’s lives since then. We believe that the wounds and developmental scars borne by generations of fatherless boys are an imminent threat to national health and security. Therefore, we must pray as a nation for faith, families, and for the welfare and salvation of fatherless boys.
Fathers in the Field rallies prayer warriors at every level of engagement today from the direct participants to local church bodies and extended friends and family networks. Soon, using digital and social platforms as well as the media, we’ll coordinate and call to their knees a massive national network of faithful prayer warriors to raise a voice for the fatherless of unprecedented scale.
A boy without a father in the home often does not deeply understand or accept the love of his Heavenly Father. He is denied healthy modeling about how to navigate, grow in relationship, and stay true to the marital covenant. He doesn’t understand that the blessing of children is a sacred, God-given responsibility that includes being the head of household in a two-parent nuclear family. He can be influenced by a culture that has taken a cavalier attitude towards marriage. He may come to believe that marriage is unnecessary or undesirable; something wholly unhinged from fathering children. Therefore, the cycle of fatherlessness continues.
Future families then carry forward the dysfunctional and broken model, with each generation drifting further away from having firsthand examples of strong biblical marriages and Godly parenting. What comes next? The tipping point for marriage slides downhill when most marriages fail, and eventually, most boys will lack their father in the home. Friends and families will have to scramble to help raise children who lack both parents, diluting their ability to invest time and energy in their own children.
Communities across America are reeling from the impact of broken families today. The lack of stability of the family spreads like a sickness that manifests in a myriad of social ills. Increase in illegal activities, lower high school and college graduation rates, dependence on welfare and government assistance programs, an explosion of sexual and violent crimes, and an erosion of morality and ethical behavior can all be traced to the breakdown of the family. When communities become unsafe, they will be destroyed. Instead of future families being the foundation of healthy communities, they become its undoing.
Ultimately, a thriving nation is simply a connection between successful communities. When future families fail because today’s fatherless boys do not learn how to be Godly family men and parents, our nation will surely follow suit. Historically among the world’s most generous and philanthropic nation, America’s ability to help others around the world will die out when it must feed a broken family system with its every resource. Therefore, the very potential of future families and America’s long-term position of strength is directly connected to the plight of the fatherless today.
In 2012, I received a phone call from a friend telling me about a unique ministry to fatherless boys called Fathers in the Field. The ministry intrigued me because of the children’s lives I had witnessed growing up and their struggles related to not having a loving father.
My wife and I knew that God was calling us to this ministry to help them but my fear of failing was overwhelming. Thankfully, we overcame our fear and made the decision to trust God’s calling on our life: to fight for the fatherless. Since then, God has allowed us to witness many fatherless boys come to faith in Jesus Christ, and many churches and pastors being challenged to help defend their cause!
As a Fathers in the Field missionary, we not only help carry a banner for the fatherless but we stand on the back of faithful missionaries who through discipline and hard work have gone before you to chart a path. By becoming a Fathers in the Field missionary, you will ignite success both for yourself and the Kingdom. Though it requires discipline and hard work on your behalf, what a blessing it is!
My prayer for you is that you will prayerfully examine your interest in this vital mission and ask yourself: Is the calling of God so strong on my life that I can do nothing else?
Being a voice for those without an advocate is a humbling and sacred thing...may our Heavenly Father lead the way!
If all for one,
Southeast Regional Missionary