It's a fatherless world. Thousands of men leave their wives, children and responsibilities and tack on to crime or pornography. But one ministry wants to bring the father back – and back to the cross.
Men at the Cross launched on Friday the beginning of a movement to help men reach men for Christ and break the "transgenerational curse" of men handing down bitterness and inactivity to their sons. The ministry's first ever stadium event is being held in St. Louis, Mo. this weekend where thousands of men are expected to converge.
"Men at the Cross is just men at the cross," ministry founder Dr. Joe White told The Christian Post. "It brings men together in arenas just to teach men to be Paul's in a fatherless world."
In the New Testament, Apostle Paul discipled a young man named Timothy. Paul considered Timothy like a son as he personally trained him in faith and charged him to teach others as well.
White hopes to equip men across the nation to find their "Timothy" and commit six months to teaching and discipling him until he reaches maturity in his own faith and can disciple another man.
Eventually, the goal is to reach every man around the world.
Men at the Cross was birthed out of a large need for a disciple-making movement. White has worked with men's ministries, including the prominent Promise Keepers, for three decades and wanted to create a movement where denominational walls would be dropped and all men would unite under one banner.
The ministry is launched at a time when Promise Keepers, which has reached hundreds of thousands of men since 1990, has scaled back its stadium-sized events and is in a period of recalibrating.
Out of demand from thousands of men, White founded Men at the Cross not as a competing men's ministry but to meet the need, help plug in more men to the local church, and help build men as Christ-like.
With the pervasion of crime, divorce and pornography, White is hoping to tackle the root cause of it all – fatherlessness.
He described fatherlessness as men not having a "dad" who can teach them how to serve their wives, children and church and who can mentor them to follow Christ.
"We want to equip men [so] that every man eventually will have a spiritual dad in his life who can train him in difficult principles of living," White said.
And it all begins at the cross.
"The cross is the greatest symbol of meekness that there ever has been," he noted. "It's strength under control. Christ humbled himself – that is the picture of meekness. There is nothing stronger and more humble than God on the cross."
It's a struggle for many men, who have grown up with a "macho feeling" and have been taught to overpower, to embrace the cross.
But White says the beauty of the cross is "when a man realizes there is strength that washes feet, that says 'how can I serve you, will you forgive me, I made a mistake.'"
Men at the cross are "men who are willing to lead in a different way. Men who are willing to lead by serving," White says.
This year, Men at the Cross will hold eight stadium events across the country. The ministry hopes to expand to 19 events in 2009.