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Father-focused group for WC dads invites new and returning dads to join in

A couple of years ago, a small group of dads from Worthington Christian School began meeting with the desire to encourage each other in their roles as followers of Jesus, husbands, and fathers. They reached out to then-Assistant Head of School Jim Parrish with the hopes of connecting with more like-minded dads at WC. After lots of prayer and planning with Parrish, as well as receiving counsel from faith-based business and ethics expert Chip Weiant, WC’s father-focused, parent-strengthening initiative “DadLab” came to life in the fall of 2019.

In its first year, WC’s DadLab saw dozens of dads with young warriors in Kindergarten through sixth grade take part in a five-week session, meeting together in small groups, to talk about their personal spiritual growth and ways to love and lead their families. Following that initial launch, several of the small groups continued meeting together once a month to further encourage each other toward being more intentional husbands and dads. Even as most of our lives shut down in the spring of 2020, DadLab groups made it a priority to stay connected.

DadLab co-leader and WC alumnus David Taylor (WC ’00) sees the initiative as filling a void in our culture, “There is a huge need for men to get together and be in community with each other as we seek to love and lead our families well.” It seems that moms more naturally seek out other moms with whom they can share the joys and struggles of parenting and life, so DadLab creates space for men to be in community to do the same. Taylor explains, “DadLab provides a framework for building up our personal relationship with Jesus, our relationships with our wives, and our relationships with our kids.” Of his own time of being involved with DadLab, Taylor describes, “My group has given me an outlet to other guys in the same stage of life as me, facing many of the same challenges. It has provided me simple ideas that have helped me to lead my family better.”

Fellow DadLab participant Matt Devenne describes his experience this way, “DadLab has yielded positive fruit in my life. In addition to establishing and growing relationships with other dads in our school community, it provided a blueprint for living intentionally first for Jesus, second towards my wife, and third in relationship with my children. During some storms of life, over the past year, this blueprint helped to simplify some difficult challenges.”

DadLab strikes at the heart of one of WC’s core values, “promoting a genuine community within our students and their families.” Karey West (WC ’94), another WC dad involved in DadLab, speaks to this reality, “DadLab has been a great opportunity for me to connect with like-minded WC dads who are taking the initiative to disciple their kids in a world that increasingly tries to distract us from that mission. Sharing resources and ideas in a non-judgmental group of guys just wanting to raise their kids in Christ’s love has been such an encouragement for me and my family.”

As the 2021-22 school year begins, Taylor and WC’s DadLab co-leaders are looking forward to re-launching. They invite any new and returning K-6 dads to join in on this incredible journey of growth and encouragement.

Learn More about DadLab

To learn more about DadLab and see some recommended resources, check out the DadLab page on WC’s website.

Connect with DadLab

To connect with its leaders or inquire about joining a group starting this fall, fill out the following form.

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