Fathering: helping transition the next generation is a short article that caught my eye from my friend and brother Molong Nacua of the Philippines. The Church systems are full of information on how to pastor, but little is taught on how to properly father a disciple in the Lord. If there is something I am sure of is that in the midst of the coming darkness the Lord will raise up real spiritual fathers who will truly care for this next generation.
When God wanted to reveal His loving nature to humanity He chose the Father and Son relationship to express himself among man.
When the Apostle Paul describes Timothy to another congregation, these are the words he uses. Not he can preach up a storm, he heals the sick and casts out devils or he know scripture!
But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.
How can something so important be overlooked by the Church for so long? I will let Molong tell you why. JLB
Fathering: Helping Transition the Next Generation
I once was invited to teach ‘house church’ with the leaders in one of our island Dumageute. I told them, “I’m not going to share about house church at all because you can just read a book about it and you can know. Most of you are probably better than me with that. However, I will talk to you about fathering and mothering your next generation.
As I went on explaining how our generation has no fathers and mothers ‘in the Lord’ and that’s the reason why we suffer in many ways. In fact. the worst result is many have become ‘spiritual orphans’ roaming around churches (without changing their lives). They’re not really looking who can preach a better sermon or sing better but I believe deep down they have a longing for who can become their dad and mom in the Lord. Who can ‘treat’ them like a daughter and son, and not just another member.
We may have our own natural parents, but they have never really done some real parenting to us. For example, we have a father but have not taught how to do carpentry or driving. We have mothers but have not taught us cooking or teach us some piano lessons? Think about it, if they, the older folks have not done this to us how much more our NEXT generation? If they’ve failed most of us it is probably accepted. But if we fail ourselves again doing this to our next generation? That’s not good hey? Now, don’t get me wrong, surely the older folks have done some very good things to their next generation. They did their best and tried their best.
I can call up names of good and godly people who influenced my life. But they should have been more ‘relational’ people than ‘religious’ ones. Too much focus on the doctrine and church system than on people. Valuing relationships must be the priority, not systems.
I ended up saying that we have the job of “Helping transition the next generation” to not become a fatherless and motherless one. We are a transitional generation.
As soon as I was about to finish, a lady, one of their house church leaders, was already in tears. So, I gave her time to talk. She talked about how she really wants someone to father and mother her. Other older leaders, including their pastors gave her a hug and affirmed her saying they would be glad to become their father or mother in the Lord.
It’s not that fathering and mothering or parenting in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1) was ignored in most churches. It just was not recognized and so it was not valued. How have church systems and making sure our programs are “in the order” become more important than a person’s feelings?
We have so many leaders, pastors and teachers but lack fathers and mothers. Parenting is not automatic, it’s intentional. So not all leaders or pastors are good fathers or mothers. Most good fathers, mothers to their own children that I know are leaders, and no one says to them “you’re a leader of your children” But instead “you’re a father to your children.”
Someone ask me, “Molong, how do you father someone?” I smiled and replied “simple, treat him as if he is your own son.” As much as I can whenever I want to talk to someone because he errs or needs some rebuke, I always ask myself “what if he is my son what should I say and how would I say it?” And that one question alone changes my perspective of how to speak to that person.
See, Church is family. “He who can manage his children well, can manage the household of God.” It is easy easy to father or mother someone if you yourself have fathered or mothered your own children “intentionally.” The book of Proverbs says to “train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is old, he will not forget” The meaning of the word “train” means in Hebrew “initiate.” That is quite intentional. You better know “why” you do what you do.
When I was teaching about making disciples in Singapore I asked “If Jesus says ‘go and make disciples’ it means that there are going to be people on this side (waving my left hand) that we can make disciples and people on the other side (waving my right hand) who made us disciples of Jesus. Right? Sure enough they agrees. If so, does these two kinds of people know each other?
“Nope” a guy named Hezekiah quickly said, “we don’t need to know. We don’t have to.”
Then I said, “then what kind of father you are who do not know your children? And what kind of son you are who do not know your father?” This statement earns me my next meal after the meeting 😉
Oh, how we love to do “hit and run” type of evangelism. Lack of relationship. We are only interested of their soul to be saved and after that we trust the church system and it’s leadership to grow that person. You don’t raise a son or a daughter by a book or program. That’s not a very good fathering and mothering method.
Good fathering or mothering takes a lot of time, effort and yes, money. Books? Of course. Put a lot of relationships into each page and it will be worth it. Remember that what you will find in the last book of the Old Testament, in the last chapter, in the last verse is about bad parenting. Do you have an idea what is the result of it? It’s the last word of the Old Testament: Curse. Where? In the family.
Sorry to say that Satan will never destroy God’s people through the church, but by destroying the relationships in the family.
Are you ready for more parenting skills?