Big Brother CJ Neglect of the Fathers, Cry of the Sons
Neglect of the Fathers, Cry of the Sons
Neglect of fatherhood responsibilities in developing the next generation of ministry leaders has gotten to epidemic proportions. Fathering the next generation of church leadership seems, by and large, to be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, because of this, many passionate neophyte ministers and pastors are forced to fend for themselves in their pursuit of effective ministry.
They have to figure out on their own how to establish a leadership team, how to deal with administrative issues, how to grow the church and even how to put together messages. Ultimately, because of this lack of effective generational leadership development in the church, the people suffer.
Of course there are Bible colleges and seminaries that teach the bible and church history in depth, but they really don’t teach church structure nor do they replace the need of spiritual fathers. Instructors at Christian institutions of higher education are valuable human resources, however, they cannot replace the intimacy and importance of the presence of a father in ministry. In 1 Corinthians 4:15 Paul writes “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” Paul was, by example, teaching the importance of training the next wave of leaders.
Perhaps the lack of fatherhood in ministry is a direct result of the lack of visible and active fathers from natural perspective. There is no secret that fathers across the usa, in particular, are notoriously absent. Much of the absence of fathers in the lives of their children is really not their fault. In fact, they have been conditioned to only breed and not commit to a family structure . However, I believe that if you knew better you would do better. Ministry leaders have the Bible to guide them on how to lead and develop the next generation of church leadership. The Scriptures are very clear on the importance of this issue. For example, Moses fathered Joshua. Elijah mentored Elisha. Paul taught Timothy.
There are several reasons, I believe, that ministry leaders fail to develop or falter in the development the next generation. First, they have not been taught how to develop the next generation of ministers. They have experienced this notorious neglect like the generations of ministers preceding them.
Secondly, many do not realize the importance of training the next generation of church leaders. They just believe that those around them will just absorb the intricacies of ministry by osmosis.
Thirdly, many potential spiritual fathers are fearful that they will lose their current followers to the ministers they train. These leaders have a false sense that God is bankrupt or will run out of resources. They think that “I had to work for mine without any help, so you have to do the same thing”. This kind of leader is one who is insecure in his ability in fatherhood. He actually makes all those who labor with him servants and not sons. This is not covenant relationship, but the management of hirelings.
Structured denominations have helped the Church of Jesus Christ grow tremendously. Many do wonderful things for the Kingdom, however, these structured organizations cannot replace the organic relationship between a father and son in ministry. In Luke 3:21-22, the voice of God the Father thundered from heaven after Jesus was baptized by John. God said “Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” God publicly affirmed His Son. In like fashion, fathers in ministry must publicly affirm sons.
Dr. Mark Hanby, in his book “You Have Not Many Fathers”, observes “Until we receive that word from Heaven into our world, we will never know our father in the ministry. Sons will not recognize their spiritual father by organizational alliance or personal history.
A ministry father is recognized by the “proceeding word” of God within his mouth.” A father speaks a word that affirms and activates the potential of the son. The fathers must open their mouths and speak into the lives of the sons. Without this spark of the father’s voice, the ministries of many sons will die before they are born.
There are sons today ready to be birthed into ministry. They are ready to preach, teach and reach another generation and help them fulfill their potential in Christ. But, the gifting and potential of these sons has not been fully activated because someone over them in the Lord has not responded to God’s voice.
As Dr. Hanby further writes “A son can be perfect in form and fully knowledgeable of his purpose, but live completely paralyzed by the lack of a father’s voice to bring life and anointing.”
Fathers, assume your rightful place and responsible purpose. Teach, encourage, spend time, exhort, correct and listen to younger ministers. Be approachable, dependable and available. Exercise the heart of a father. Do not overshadow your sons, but be willing to allow sons to operate in their gifts and grow. The sons need you!!
Sons, listen to more seasoned ministry leaders. They have a wealth of wisdom and many of the answers that you seek. Honor your father, serve him and submit to him.
My sincere appeal is that you hear the voice of the Lord in what He has inspired me to share here today.
Big Brother CJ
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