By Mike Rothwell, Board Member/Director of Community Partners for Father’s Club
As a dad who is trying to do the best he can in a world that is full of battle, loss, and heartache… I seldom take a moment to pause. Some days, the struggle is so real and exhausting that I easily succumb to feelings of failure. In many ways I have tried and failed miserably. However, when our dear friend and founder of the Father’s Club, Vince Stephens, recently passed away I was quickly reminded of his words, “You are not alone. You’ve got what it takes.”
This summer, I have intentionally taken time to pause and reflect on my friend Vince and his life. I routinely come to a point in my thoughts where questions reverberate through my brain. What is the Father’s Club? Why does this even matter?
Like many, I struggle with the problem of filling my plate so full that I have limited margin for what matters most in my life. At the core of the Father’s Club is the mission to live life intentionally. Our mission statement is so clear. Yet I often forget that the mission must be lived from the inside out.
As dads, we have to do our best to be intentional at home first before we step out to serve in our community. Many times these two things go hand in hand. My hope is that by showing up for another dad or another kid in the community that we will all be better men in the most important relationships in our lives.
So what is the Father’s Club? Why does it matter?
In my five years of being involved with the Father’s Club, the word I cling to in the Mission Statement is “simple”. We are not a bunch of dads who are out trying to save the world. Most of what we do at the Father’s Club seems trivial or not important. We do things that others have been doing for years and years. We align ourselves with resources that are much more qualified than a bunch of dads. But for some reason, and this is very hard to articulate in words, when a dad shows up, it really matters. It is so, so, simple. Just show up and be present. It seems too simple, but it’s profound!
In those moments, when we pause from our schedule to invest our time in a kid’s life, another dad and the community, impact slowly starts to really happen. As dads, we are called to be leaders. For the Father’s Club Dad this is simple. Just show up and be present!
We believe that right here, right now, you matter.
The school year is about to start in a couple of weeks. Some guy in your community is going to ask you to show up this fall at your kid’s school. Probably to give a kid a fist bump and some food (FB4F). Sound silly? I promise, if you simply show up, you will see how excited these kids, teachers and administrators are to know you are there. They feel loved and appreciated. They feel empowered to conquer the day. And all this because you showed up and let these amazing people know that they matter. Right Here. Right Now. You Matter!
Then you will walk to your car, after investing one hour of your day, and your soul will be refreshed. It is in that simple moment, you will know, that you have what it takes to be a great dad. And it will be apparent to you, as it is to me, why Father’s Club matters!
Now is the time to show up!