On Saturday, Feb. 1, thousands of men will gather across the country in local churches and homes to huddle up for a task bigger than the Super Bowl—the challenge to step up to courageous manhood. Former NFL quarterback Jeff Kemp is inviting men in any field of work and every stage of life to become everyday heroes in their homes and workplaces.
“America has a crisis of manhood. Men have an inborn desire for greatness, but that desire is a constant target for hijacking. All sorts of messages are telling men they can find that greatness by mastering the latest video game, having the champion Fantasy Football team or reaching a certain number of Twitter followers. As a result, far too many have dismissed themselves from the responsibilities and joys of serving their family,” says Kemp, a spokesman for Stepping Up, a video series that helps teach men to be better fathers, husbands, friends and leaders.
“Men desperately need to come back to reality and be team leaders in their own world. Responsible men need to counter society’s messages that lead men and boys astray. Real success can’t be found by pushing family aside. Few little boys will grow up to be football stars, but every son can grow up to be an honorable husband, father and citizen when it is modeled in their home.”
Seventy thousand men have gone through the Stepping Up in its first year of release. Stepping Up is based on the principles in the book Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood by Dennis Rainey and includes group interaction and personal reflections from top Christian leaders such as Dennis Rainey, Tony Dungy, Robert Lewis, Matt Chandler, Bill Bennett, Voddie Baucham, and Crawford Loritts to help men develop their courage, character, love and leadership.
“The ingredients that make up a super husband and father are no different than what goes into a Super Bowl champion,” says Kemp, who played in the NFL for 11 seasons for the Rams, 49ers, Seahawks and Eagles. “They include a vision of the goal, a dedicated commitment, and a game plan to build a successful team. Heroes are also resilient. They know an occasional bad play is part of the game but not an excuse to quit playing. And heroes know humility is a vital ingredient for long-term success, because true champions sacrifice for each other and the good of the team. These lessons are what Stepping Up is all about.”