SPRINGFIELD, Va. – Some 1,000 men joined "Courageous" co-writer and co-director Stephen Kendrick at a Virginia church on Saturday to learn about biblical manhood.
Kendrick told the crowd gathered at Immanuel Bible Church for the regional "Iron Sharpens Iron" men's conference that modern societal problems can be linked to a lack of good fathers.
According to Kendrick, there were many factors and causes that have led American society to lack good fathers and male role models in the home.
"When the Industrial Revolution happened in the 1800s everything shifted where dads went off to work. And so instead of dad being the primary influence at home, now mom by default has to take over," said Kendrick.
"What happened then was that the dads were no longer passing on as well their faith, their values, and especially to their sons, because masculinity is not passed on from a mom."
The "Iron Sharpens Iron" event was sponsored in part by the Washington Area Coalition of Men's Ministries and Immanuel Bible Church of Springfield, Va. The event featured 18 different seminars being held at Immanuel throughout Saturday, as well as two keynote speeches held in the worship center.
Kendrick delivered the keynote speech in the morning before men broke off into different groups to attend the seminars on various topics pertaining to biblical manhood and fatherhood. In the afternoon, another keynote speech was delivered, this time by Dr. Randy Stinson, president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
"When you research what is going on in our country, crime, gangs, drugs, violence, unwed pregnancy, the number one predictor of that in a child's life is whether or not the dad is in the home," said Kendrick in an interview with The Christian Post on Saturday.
"A kid who doesn't have a father in the home is twenty times more likely to end up in prison. And so that is the number one predictor of the success of a child is the involvement of the parents and specifically the dad."
Others involved in the seminars included Rex Tignor, founder of Man UP Ministries; Lee Truax, president of the Christian Businessmen's Connection; and Chris Van Brocklin, training director for WACMM and member of the board of directors of the National Coalition Ministries to Men (NCMM).
The "Iron Sharpens Iron" name comes from Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." It also took place a week after Kendrick's film "Courageous" won awards at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.
"Men in our generation have lost sight of their identity. And so a lot of them will be like 'I want to be a strong leader, I want to be a great dad, but no one has shown it to me,'" Kendrick told CP.
"'Courageous' was an effort to show them here's what it looks like, here's what it looks like when you are failing and then here's what it looks like when you begin to embrace that role and responsibility."