FARMINGTON — A day-long event next week aims to help men become better partners and fathers.
Stepping Up Four Corners is putting on the event. It is not connected to any church, and people of all denominations are welcome, said Farmington resident Travis Johnson, who founded the local organization.
The event on Oct. 5 at McGee Park will be broken into video segments and discussion. After an hour of video, the men will have a 30-minute discussion about incorporating what they've learned into real life.
Family Life -- a Christian nonprofit focused on strengthening marriages and families -- partnered with Stepping Up Four Corners to organize the event.
"There's so much confusion about manhood," said the organization's vice president, Jeff Kemp, a former Seattle Seahawks quarterback.
Kemp said he grew up in a Christian family and had a strong belief in Jesus. But, he said, "I kind of ran my life my own way in college."
In 1981, Kemp graduated from Dartmouth College. At 21, he had a degree from an Ivy League school and a contract as an NFL quarterback. But he said all that success felt empty. He described himself as selfish.
"I realized I was more about me than I was about God," Kemp said.
At that point, Kemp said he decided to trust God and follow Jesus.
After retiring from the NFL in 1991, Kemp said he wanted to help children. He decided the best way to do that was to help parents strengthen their marriages. He ran a Seattle nonprofit that focused on marriage, and, in 2012, he joined Family Life and moved to its headquarters in Little Rock, Ark.
"Family Life is a leader in empowering families with tools and resources so they can be strong," Kemp said.
He said once families are strong they can strengthen others.
The materials Kemp uses are based on 30 years of research.
"They're really centered around God's love," Kemp said.
He described the Oct. 5 event as an IMAX experience with interviews, testimonies and stories, as well as information from 15 experts on manhood, marriage, relationships, fathering and the Bible. He said the aim is to help men reach "courageous manhood."
Men have been discouraged from being leaders and have been told they are the same as women, when in reality they are not, he said. Other men are aggressive and bully people, he said. Neither of those types of men are able to step into "courageous manhood," Kemp said.
"Those are all counterfeit to real manhood," he said.
What: 2013 Stepping Up Four Corners event for men
When: 8 a.m. Oct. 5
Where: McGee Park, 41 Road 5568, Farmington
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org