By: Katie Sobiech
There is a cry in this nation that isn’t necessarily coming out in tears, but in drug abuse, gangs, suicide, crime, teenage pregnancy and homosexuality. Our generation of youth is now known as the “fatherless generation” because of the fact that so many fathers are willfully abandoning their children. Forty percent of children will go to sleep tonight without a father (www.fatherlessgeneration.org).
So where are the men? This question seems to echo itself over and over in many circles as we are faced with more and more youth crime, kids raising themselves, and destructive patterns of behavior in the youth.
So what is the answer?
Bill Thompson, founder of Tool Box Ministries, believes that the answer is getting men back in the picture. The entire goal of Tool Box Ministries is to get men involved in their families, churches, and communities.
“Our vision is that men learn to pursue God, become spiritual leaders and impact the world that they live in,” Thompson said.
Time for a Change
Thompson formed this ministry nearly seven years ago, shortly after Promise Keepers, (an international men’s ministry with the mission to unite men to become passionate followers of Christ) came to town. After this event he noticed a need for follow – up with the men that attended the conference.
“It’s a great program,” he said “but it’s just a once a year deal; guys go, they have a great time, but there’s very little follow through.”
This led him to design Tool Box Ministries, which comes alongside pastors to help them develop sustainable male leadership in the local church through the men’s ministry. They do this by helping pastors key men develop a “tool box” uniquely designed to help them fulfill their vision by gathering men in ministry together a couple of times a year to compare notes and get ideas from one another. After this, he creates a package full of the information that he’s gleaned from the gathering, to give to pastors.
“The reason that I call it Tool Box Ministries,” he explained, “is because my brother is an electrician, I’m a machinist, and my dad is a woodworking craftsman. Each one of us has a significant toolbox, but they look entirely different. Everybody’s toolbox is different, and every church is different from another church.”
Therefore, he realized that pastors could benefit from taking notes on each other’s ministries and learning from one another.
Along with Toolbox Ministries, Thompson is hosting this years Iron Sharpens Iron conference. Being one of the founders of Kingdom Builders and having worked in youth ministry for 30 years, one of his main passions is to see men become good fathers.
A phrase that has stuck with him for a long time states that since the Second World War, men have abandoned and abused their relationships with God, their families, and their communities.
“And there are some things children can only get from their fathers,” he said.
One of the programs that he is designing is titled “Why Kids Eat Dirt”, which explains the power, role and responsibility of a father. “Dad’s Coaching Clinic” is another program which shares 16 points on how to be a great dad. Thompson also works with Akron Pregnancy Services, and helped put together their program “Forever My Princess” for fathers and their daughters ages 7-12. Forever My Princess is designed to help them learn to make good choices and have good communication with each another.
How You Can Help
Coming alongside men like this will make a difference in individuals, our families, our cities, and ultimately our world.
If you are interested in being a part of this ministry, Bill Thompson is currently in need of someone to make phone calls during the daytime or evening, an administrative person, and an intercessory prayer team.
For more information: www toolboxmen.org/