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What Happened to Promise Keepers?

In his book, The Promise Keepers: Servants, Soldiers, and Godly Men, John Bartkowski chronicled the rise and fall of the Promise Keeper movement. He points out, most significantly, that at the height of the movement’s popularity the leadership eliminated the conference admission fee after laying off its staff in a budget cut. The result was dramatically reduced event attendance. The organization’s success was based on repackaging faith for men as something other than “organized religion,” even as it focused on connecting men to a local church. That contradiction worked against its long-term appeal. Though the movement has run its course among its original constituency, it continues even now targeting youthful males, interracial reconciliation, and an international following. Read the entire article, with lessons drawn about American culture, on the website of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

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