Vision For Dominion Skills

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In 2009 I had one of the men from our church express his frustration at not knowing how to weld. He lived on a farm and was taking broken things to someone else to have them welded. When I grew up on a farm, it was one of the basic skills you had to have. I didn’t know of any farmer around that didn’t have the basic welding skills and sufficient tools to repair his own equipment.

From this, I realized that most men, young and old, lacked skills that used to be common knowledge. They also lacked the ability to “think outside the box” and figure out how to work with whatever they had to get through problems. Because the vast majority of things in our society come “prepackaged in a box” (directions and all), many men are intimidated at problems. Instead of fixing things themselves, they call in “professionals” to take care of issues for them.

With this in mind, I had a desire to help men, fathers and sons, interact through skill-building workshops. I wanted both the fathers and sons to be exposed to as many different skill sets as possible and to have the opportunity to work alongside each other. Most fathers today leave the home for their job and their sons never have the privilege of working alongside them. Another issue our culture has bred is that most fathers today are so specialized in their area of training, that they lack sufficient skills outside of their “expertise” to keep everyday life running (i.e. fixing the lawnmower, changing oil or sparkplugs, fixing a leaky faucet, etc.) Therefore, their sons are never exposed to anything other than text books. They have formal education with no practical experience. ShopTime has the fathers working and learning alongside their sons. The sons can get exposure to other skills they might later be interested in making it an occupation.

We have found the ShopTimes have been equally valuable for the ladies and young girls. Though we have divided the ladies into separate workshops a few times (herbs, haircutting, cloth diapers, etc.), we have found that they generally enjoy being out in the shop working and learning with their fathers and brothers. It is important that we train our young ladies that being a “help-meet” doesn’t box them into only domestic skills. It means helping/supporting the men in their life, whether it is a father, brother, or husband. This may mean hanging drywall, pounding a nail, working in the garden, or slopping pigs….

This vision is part of a comprehensive goal for creating a thriving family economy where the family works together as a unit to take dominion for Christ’s kingdom and for His glory. We would like to encourage others to seize the opportunities in discipling and training other families within their influence to strengthen the local church and communities. Please see the Host Your Own page for ideas on how you can start yours!