Early this week we met with a student from another church. The longer we talked the more amazed we were. Mature, a clear thinker, reading substantive books, forming opinions about how life works, and making plans for the future.

Throughout the conversation, two words kept popping up. “My Dad.” Over and over.

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of intentional fathering. And it doesn’t matter whether a dad is into sports, hunting, motorcycles, or whatever. It’s the intentional part that matters. Talking. Listening. Bringing healthy influence into the student’s life. Setting — and achieving — bodacious goals together. The sky’s the limit.

Of all the tools in a youthworker’s toolbox, few are more powerful than encouraging healthy fathering.