Get fathers and sons having fun in competition, and then mix in some real conversations. For grade schoolers or junior highers.

Most dads don’t know how to talk about stuff that matters with their sons. This event can help. Get dads and their kids throwing balls at each other and laughing while they do it. Then take breaks between games and introduce a few important topics in small group settings (choose topics from pursueGODkids.org). It’s the perfect combination of talk and fun!

Before the Event:

Form a leadership team and pick a competition (dodgeball, cornhole, etc.) and a night for this event. One month before the event, start promoting it at church and on social media with the slide and promo video. For everyone who signs up, send a series of emails to start prepping them for this event, one immediately after sign up and a second just a day or two before the event (see samples below).

Sample Email #1 - After Sign Up

Hey dads!

Thanks for signing up for our Father/Son event! Our goal for this event is to help you get connected with your son in a meaningful way. Sure, we’ll be playing games and having fun. But more than anything, we want to create an environment where you can start talking about the stuff that matters with your kids. Our hope is that this event catalyzes a meaningful discipleship relationship that goes beyond the event itself.

We’ll get you and your kids competing with each other and laughing while you do it. Then we’ll take breaks between games and introduce a couple important topics in small group settings. It’s the perfect combination of talk and fun! This event features the 3-lesson Habits series from pursueGODkids.org. We encourage you to preview that series on your own before the event so you can start thinking about the conversation.

So, we’ll see you at the big event! Don’t forget to put it on your calendar:

[Include Event Title, Day and Time. Include link to calendar invite if applicable.]

Sign

P.S. This event is still open to others. Know another father/son duo who might like to join us? Invite them along, and make an impact on another family in your world!

Sample Email #2 - Before Event

Hey dads!

Our Father/Son event is almost here! Are you ready?

Remember, we’ll get you and your kids throwing balls at each other and laughing while you do it. Then we’ll take breaks between games and introduce a couple important topics in small group settings.

This event features the 3-lesson Habits series from pursueGODkids.org. We hope you had a chance to preview that series on your own before the event so you can start thinking about the conversation. If not, do it now!

Got questions? Just ask! And we’ll see you at the big event:

[Include Event Title, Day and Time. Include link to calendar invite if applicable.]

During the Event:

Here’s a basic agenda you can use for this event. Feel free to customize as needed:

  1. Welcome and opener. Greet fathers and sons as they come in, and let them start mingling with each other. Tell them about what to expect for the evening, and if you’re doing a pizza party, it might be best to start with the food. Be sure to have some music playing during this time to help create a fun and energetic atmosphere.
  2. Game #1: Half on Half. For the first game, split the group down the middle or find some other way to choose teams. Keep fathers and sons together. Once teams are chosen, let the teams vote on team names. Then let the games begin! Dodgeball is a favorite, but you can promote this event with any game at all!
  3. Conversation #1. After your first game, separate the group into small groups with fathers and sons together. Show the first video for the night to the entire crowd, then give the groups about 15 minutes to talk about it. We recommend having fathers and sons view the topics on their phones, since this is how they are likely to do it at home. But if you’d like to print out the discussion questions ahead of time, go for it.
  4. Game #2: Fathers vs. Sons. For the next game, we recommend pitting fathers against sons. This should be fun! If you need to, make the fathers play left-handed to make it more competitive. 
  5. Conversation #2. Same as before, only with the second topic for the night. 
  6. Game #3: You Choose. For the final game, let the sons vote on the format they’d like to use. 
  7. Closing Ceremony: This is where you can hand out prizes or simply gather the men and boys to pray. Tell them that the last topic in the series is for fathers and sons to do at home on their own. 

After the Event:

Follow up is important for this event. Be sure to reach out to the fathers with at least one more email that encourages them to make a habit of talking with their sons. If you have another event on the schedule, this is a good time to plug it.

Sample Email #3 - After Event

Hey dads!

Our Father/Son event was awesome! Thanks for coming. Now let’s talk about next steps.

Remember that our goal for this event was to help you get connected with your son in a meaningful way. We tried to create an environment where you could start talking about the stuff that matters with him. Now it’s up to you to keep the tradition alive! We covered the first two topics in the 3-lesson Habits series from pursueGODkids.org. Be sure to cover the third topic on your own with your son. Then, make a habit of talking through topics from pursueGODkids.org. It’s easier than you think, and it will be one of the most important habits you ever form! Here are some tips:

  1. Let you son pick the topics to talk about. This will give him more buy-in.
  2. Don’t over-share. Be sure to ask questions to get your son talking.
  3. Keep it short. A 5- or 10- minute conversation is still a win.
  4. Be patient. Over time, your son will appreciate these little talks.

For more tips on using the pursueGOD tools with your kids, check out the training videos. And keep pursuing God!