A cell group for fatherless people of all ages...

This came to me in church today...

This idea is all about using the cell group concept to especially minister to those of any age...
who grew up fatherless. It would be a hybrid of a support group and a cell group.

There is an old saying attributed to people from Mark Twain to Benjamin Franklin, 
that says in effect, 
He who is self-taught has a fool for a teacher.” 
This is how I learn banjo, and it shows.

I had a father at home as long as he lived, and I have raised my children as a present-father. 
(Too present at times, according to them.)

But there are a lot of men who grew up without a father to teach them how to be a boy, 
a man, or a husband and a father

Some of these faherless males become husbands and fathers 
and kind of go through the motions, 
hoping they are doing things correctly, but are not really sure.
As a tradesman, working on my own properties, I learned to mud and finish drywall by reading books, and experimentation. It was truthfully 25 years before I was confident in my ability to finish drywall, to give a quality-finished product, though I’m sure there are many still tricks of the trade 
I am ignorant of. I could have done better, faster if I had had a mentor.
I suspect the same is true with fatherless men stumbling through marriage and parenthood. 

Such a cell group wouldn’t even have to gear every lesson toward marriage or parenthood. 
Prayer requests and end-of-the-hallway counseling can be a learning place to prevent or fix problems caused by ignorance of family matters.
Here’s what I might suggest for initial guidelines for such groups.
Though leadership might be a married couple, the man is the lead, because this is all about fatherlessness. 
The man in charge should have been raised by an on-site bio-dad and should have raised children that are as old as the ones he in mentoring. 
Two men as co-leaders would be better.
For example, I, being about 70, should deal with men 25-45 years-old. Fatherless teens should have a leader whose children are young adults. In other words, the leaders should have skin in the game, and be the same age as their father would be.

Other points:
1) Every teen group should have an older adult female present, for safety on both sides of the fence. Perhaps a grandma figure who brings cookies. Not any relative of any of the teens present. (This would inhibit the teen from openly sharing their difficulties.)
If there is email contact, a special church email address should be used and monitored.
2) A group might just last for one set of lessons of 6-12 weeks, then disband. 
 Any relationships that have begun would likely continue privately. 
 (with the teen group members have special accountability).

3) The fatherless group ministry would put older men in the center of the action, 
 in some ways apart from the influence of his own wife, 
 because this ministry is about fatherless-ness, not motherless-ness.
4) And yes, this would mean older men ministering to younger women who grew up fatherless in a way that no woman can, no matter what else she knows how to do. In this circle, women can’t really fix it. Only a man who grew up with his dad and raised his own kids can be that special link that helps fatherless women, with proper cautions and accountability measures in place.

Eric Rose
Sept 9, 2023