The story of fatherlessness is being written into the heart of this generation. It can be heard in our songs, seen in our movies, read in our blogs. It is a story of grief, pain and loss. A story of shame, loneliness and rejection. A story of missed potential and wasted opportunity. A story that desperately needs to be heard. But fatherlessness is more than a personal tragedy. It is a growing epidemic affecting more than the single life of an individual. Fatherless youth are the driving force behind our societys biggest problems such as: gangs, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and suicide. And all too often, the fatherless are either marginalized or ignored. How should we respond? How do we meaningfully engage the growing story of fatherlessness? How can the faith community enter into and begin rewriting this tragic story? It is in relationship that this generation has been wounded the most deeply; therefore, it is in relationship where the healing must begin. Intentional, intergenerational mentoring is the secret and foundational ingredient behind this new story of hope. Mentoring is also the most strategic way to reconcile the fatherless generation with God. As we make ourselves sacrificially available to this generation, we will begin to see a new wave of transformationhope born in the story of changed destinies and lives.
Dr. John Sowers is president of The Mentoring Project, a movement that exists to inspire and equip the faith community to provide mentors for fatherless boys. Under John's leadership, The Mentoring Project is rewriting the story of the fatherless generation. He is a founding member of the Formosa Theory and has been apart of the White House Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families. John grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and attended college at Ouachita Baptist University. From there, he received his Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and attended Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, where wrote his doctoral thesis on the crisis of fatherlessness. Having grown up in a home without a father, he is the product of faithful mentoring. John and his wife, Kari, currently reside in Portland, Oregon.