The 2020 Urban Light Ministries Strategic Plan The 2020 Urban Light Ministries Strategic Plan reviews the organization’s history and strengths to identify opportunities to further develop a vision and direction. The plan is to identify ways to expand Urban Light Ministries achievement in biblically-based awareness, education, and online services to support the improvement of racial relations, the father’s role in the family, the growth of God’s love in the hearts of our youth, and strengthening community unity beginning in the church, for the cause of Christ.
Urban Light Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was established in 1995. The current mission is increasing the number of responsible fathers, nurtured children and strong families in Jesus’ name. The primary programs offered by the organization include community-based and online fatherhood programs such “POPS 101” and “Father Love” and elementary student ministries – Sonshine Clubs that was started in 1993. Urban Light Ministries is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was established in 1995. The current mission is increasing the number of responsible fathers, nurtured children and strong families in Jesus’ name. The primary programs offered by the organization include community-based and online fatherhood programs such “POPS 101” and “Father Love” and elementary student ministries – Sonshine Clubs that was started in 1993.
The work of the organization is strongly community-based in the Springfield, Ohio, and the greater Miami Valley area and continues to expand through the use of online resources. From the very beginning, the board, staff and volunteers have been intentionally ethnically diverse as we seek to serve the whole community as representatives of the kingdom of God.
Urban Light Ministries was a pioneer in addressing a growing systemic problem in America: the need for a father in a child’s life. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America – one out of three – live without their biological father in the home. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the societal ills facing America today.
Research shows when a child is raised in a father-absent home he or she is affected in the following ways:[I]
- 4 times greater risk of poverty
- 7 times more likely to become pregnant as a teen
- More likely to have behavioral problems
- More likely to face abuse and neglect2 time greater risk of infant mortality
- More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol2 times more likely to suffer obesity2 times more likely to drop out of high school
- More likely to commit a crime and go to prison
Urban Light Ministries was established to address this crisis. Research now proves that fatherhood programs, similar to those developed and implemented by Urban Light Ministries, improve outcomes and children: [ii]
- Perform better in school, both academically and socially
- Have higher self-esteem and lower rates of depressionLess likely to display aggressive or hyperactive behaviors
- Less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors (e.g., drugs, truancy), and
- Boys are more likely to become responsible fathers themselves
Future direction - Building on Opportunities
Urban Light Ministries has over 25 years of experience in developing and implementing programs that meet the needs of fathers and children. A SWOT analysis has determined ways to use the strengths built over the years to address the new opportunities associated with reaching the target audiences. Urban Light Ministries has over 25 years of experience in developing and implementing programs that meet the needs of fathers and children. A SWOT analysis has determined ways to use the strengths built over the years to address the new opportunities associated with reaching the target audiences.
The mission of Urban Light Ministries will remain consistent to the values and purpose established over 25 years ago and be based to Biblical truths: Turning the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to the Heavenly Father, while endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Biblical cornerstones:Malachi 4:6; Ephesians 4:3
Objective 1: Establish a unified fatherhood brand to build programs and communication vehicles to reach over 1 million fathers, incorporating Christian unity messages throughout
Strategy 1.1 – Bring all current fatherhood programs and resources under one brand name (TBD) leveraging the “Father Love” program and book developed by Rev. Eli Williams and use as a platform for all future Fatherhood programs. Build the curriculum and study guide for online training execution and integrate the other Fatherhood Program curriculums into one cohesive deliverable.
Strategy 1.2 – Build a network of fathers and father figures for mutual support, skill-building, and family strengthening through providing a Fatherhood Toolkit using an online community, social media and blogging to improve the awareness and importance of fatherhood issues and teachings.
Strategy 1.3 – Develop and implement the Fatherhood Toolkit through a Church-based video group learning program to foster action by local church congregations within their own communities.
Strategy 1.4 – Continue working and building partnerships with local outreach programs that connect with fathers and new mothers to continue building strong curriculums, outreach programs and resources.
Objective 2: Develop the “Sonny” character and build online programs and communication vehicles to reach over 1 million elementary students, incorporating Christian unity teaching
Strategy 2.1 – Leverage the Sonshine Club program curriculum and publish a marketable curriculum that can be sold to churches and other Christian organizations.
Strategy 2.2 – Build an online community through a specific “Sonshine Club” focused website and social media to resource, encourage and strengthen families
Strategy 2.3 – Develop a smartphone app for elementary students that incorporates Biblical teachings and education through storytelling and active decision making. Show outcomes of good and bad decisions.
Strategy 2.4 – Leverage the Sonshine Club program curriculum and build online resources for parents of young children
Objective 3: Become a thought-leading resource for information and facilitation concerning racism in the church and that drives the messages of brotherly love, unity and peace.
Strategy 3.1: Leverage the work done locally to facilitate discussion groups on the topics of improving race relations and building unity within the church
Strategy 3.2: Provide resources to educate the different outlooks and positions on racism that help facilitate productive discussions and understanding.