Kent Evans is a native of Louisville Kentucky. His parents were middle class, hard working people. They divorced when he was 17 or 18. He says he became bitter as a result of that traumatic experience.
Vowing to change his own narrative, Kent was able to lean on a community of men who challenged him to understand the concepts of Biblical manhood.
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His life began to turn around during counseling sessions. The counselor, a “super helpful” man, said, Kent was focused on what he did not want to be when he grew up (i.e., his parents). “You cannot become the ‘un-something.’ Your brain does not know how to not become something. It’s chemically impossible.” The counselor advised Evans to mentally picture who he wanted to be when he grew up. The counselor told him to find other men and women and figure out what they do that he liked and what they had and become a learner of others.
Kent said that changed his life. He is now in his mid-40s, and for 30 years he has done exactly that. He decided he wanted to be a godly father and husband. He spent time around such people; that turns out to be a biblical concept, whom your friends are.
Now, blessed with a solid 20-year marriage and four sons (with a fifth to be adopted in 2016 from Ethiopia), he is passionate about encouraging men to learn from one another and helping fathers build the next generation of godly men. Kent wants to fight the fatherhood exodus that has taken place for at least the past 40 years.
“I have a much better shot of being a godly father if first I’m a godly husband,” he said. He sees many men try to compensate for not being a good husband by being “the world’s best father.”
His godly wife, April, makes it easy to love her despite the ups and downs they have had. “I’ve been dealt a good hand,” he said.
Kent’s new book “Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You” (June 1, 2016, City on a Hill Studio, $14.99) proposes the case that any man has the power to influence the life of another for the better. It encourages men to embrace mentorship — both to seek out and provide the godly guidance all men crave. The book shares Kent’s personal stories of 16 men who offered their time, presence and wisdom to help him. The men featured are ordinary guys who brought extraordinary experiences and insight into his life. “Wise Guys” can help you find these types of men to enrich your life.
Kent also founded Manhood Journey, a small group program for fathers and their sons that can help fathers be intentional and engaged. The program has been turned into a small group curriculum kit. It is a non-denominational, Bible-based approach to building young men through the discipleship and mentorship of fathers. It features guided Biblical discussion with fun, hands-on, interactive activities. Men can include other young men in their lives – nephews, neighbors or friends.
Manhood Journey can be done with one father and son, or in a group. Groups ideally consist of 6 to 8 dads, who each bring their son(s). Young men without engaged dads can participate with another caring man who wants to pour into their life. Groups meet in 6-week sprints at a church or someone’s home, with discussions guided by modules that cover various topics including purity, leadership, temptation, work and career, money, and manhood myths. The young men are normally between the ages of 8 and 17.
The program has been used by more than 5,000 fathers and sons in 46 states and 8 countries. It is also used and endorsed by Trail Life USA, the nation’s leading Christian adventure, character and leadership program for young men. Instead of a “top-down” method, Manhood Journey takes a “4D” approach to mentorship – father to father, father to son, son to son and father to the other sons in his group.
The Manhood Journey Father’s Starter Kit retails for $29.99 and contains everything a dad needs to start a Manhood Journey Group, including The Embarking Group Discussion Guide, an accompanying 1 on 1 Discussion Guide, a DVD of the introductory videos for all six Manhood Journey modules and a free copy of the new book Wise Guys: Unlocking Hidden Wisdom from the Men Around You.
Each Manhood Journey Group Discussion Guide retails for $19.99 and provides direction for the group leader. Each Manhood Journey 1 on 1 Discussion Guide retails for $9.99 and includes discussion points and activities for fathers to use with their sons.
Wise Guys and Manhood Journey will be available June 1, 2016 at http://cityonahillstudio.com/wise-guys and at retailers nationwide. A free, condensed, e-book version of Wise Guys is available at http://www.manhoodjourney.org/wise-guys.
Kent has a powerful testimony regarding manhood and families. I highly recommend that you consider Manhood Journey and Wise Guys.
— Jason Reynolds