Promise Keepers (PK), the evangelical ministry known for its focus on making men better fathers and husbands, is inviting women for the first time to its main 2009 conference, the ministry announced this week.

"This year we are calling men to bring the women in their lives," founder and chairman Bill McCartney announced Monday. "To celebrate our 20th year of ministry, we are called to do three things: honor our wives, daughters, and sisters, be a tangible blessing to the poor and oppressed, and embrace our Messianic Jewish brothers as our spiritual fathers in the faith."

"The time for Proverbs 31:31 is long overdue!" PK's website announces. "It's time to bring our wives and daughters so that we can honor them together. They need to stand side by side with us as warriors of the faith. Coach will issue a two-minute warning. Like the men of Issachar (1 Chronicles 12:32), we must understand our times and know what to do. It's time to get ready!"

At its height, PK held more than a dozen large conferences a year across the country and gathered hundreds of thousands of men on the National Mall in a 1997 event, but it has diminished in size and staff in recent years. The lone 2009 event will be held in Boulder, Colorado.

McCartney, a former University of Colorado football coach, returned to the helm of the ministry in 2008 after resigning in 2003 to care for his ill wife. After he left Promise Keepers, he started "The Road to Jerusalem" ministry that focuses on Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah.