I’ve been enjoying reviewing products with my boys but was thrilled when something came up for my husband to get involved in. The Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit from Manhood Journey & City on a Hill Studio is a Biblical study of manhood for boys to do with their dads. The recommended age is 8 to 17 and is also suitable for a small group setting. In fact, the Starter Kit includes a Group Guide and a 1 on 1 Guide. Also included is an introductory DVD, 10 map brochures, and a copy of Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom From the Men Around You by Kent Evans. Each module takes 6 weeks to complete.
The DVD has short videos that introduce the six modules that comprise Manhood Journey. The Starter Kit includes the Embarking module which is the starting point of the program. After completing Embarking, you can proceed to another module in any order. The other modules are Manhood Myths, Working Well, Standing Strong, Leading Lessons, and Clean Hearts.
My boys liked looking at the map brochures. One side explains the modules and how they work and the other side is a map of each module
The Group Guide is designed to be used by the group leader. It gives detailed instructions for conducting a weekly meeting with a group of dads and their sons. There’s plenty of space for writing down notes throughout the lessons. Directions to the leader are printed in italic blue and what the leader should say to the group is in regular black letters. Discussion questions are in blue boxes and each lesson ends with a closing prayer suggestion and father/son homework for the coming week.
The 1 on 1 Guide is meant to be used with the dad (or any man in a “dad” role) and his son(s) in a small setting to go deeper into the concepts talked about in the group session. It can be used without the group session or in the week following the group meeting. Each week begins with a word to dad, then a group session review. What the man should say is contained in conversation bubbles and there are many tips and suggestions throughout each lesson. The guide has you ask your son to read a passage of scripture and then follows with discussion questions. Sample closing prayers end each lesson.
A special bonus included in the starter kit is the book Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You written by the Manhood Journey co-founder, Kent Evans. In the introduction which he titled, “Read This First,” Evans proclaims his aim with the book: “to help men once more learn how to learn from each other.” He lays out 16 personal stories of men who have taught him important life lessons in the hope that men will search out mentors in their own lives.
My husband and our three sons worked through this program as a nightly devotional, using the group guide first then doing the 1 on 1 guide a little each evening throughout the week. When I glanced through the lessons it took me a bit to understand the layout because it has a lot going on and my husband said the same thing, but once he got started the format became more clear.
I think this would be a great tool for a church to use, for a group of dads to do together, or even like how we used it with just our family. There are so many thought-provoking questions that I believe are important in raising godly young men in today’s fast-paced selfish culture.
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