Fathering, the way to form 5- fold leaders

As I have studied spiritual fathering and being a spiritual father for about 20 years, I can quickly see the benefits of this for the sons and daughters being developed. I see the great need in the Body yet so many in need of this are sitting under leaders that have no idea of what spiritual fathering is.

The Lord has led me to start a new school in the fall of this year that is to be both a ministry school and a school of fathering. I oversaw a ministry school for 13 years and I knew this had to look different. As I looked around, I didn’t see a model so I have had to work through many things to put together a school that trains for ministry but has fathering within it. We won’t be charging for fathering but for the training part of the school. I am really excited for the school to begin and I see a more solid Biblical pattern for training leaders than ever before. This is leading me to write this blog.

I don’t want to just turn out students; I want strong and true sons and daughters. I know the approach is relationship based and is not forced. Our current models of training leaders is to send them to school, train and equip them with knowledge and some opportunities, and then send them out to do ministry and establish new works. My heart recently broke when a young girl who was in a school of minsitry I talked with was crying out for a father to speak to her. You guess it I was the one and it was fantastic. I realized for all our training we are still not touching the real heart issues needing to be shifted. Yet, as I look at the early Church, there is no real Biblical pattern showing forth the training of five-fold ministry. There is no pattern on how to form a prophet, apostle or any other grace gift. It appears all the emphasis we place on these graces is not as important in the early church. Perhaps we have missed something.

What we do see though is the training of sons and daughters. We see spiritual fathering and sons and daughters responding to that fathering. We also see those same sons and daughters being given responsibilities from the fathers and assignments to complete. We see them laboring along with fathers and knowing their hearts. I wonder if the reason Jesus only appointed apostles and spoke of them was because all true apostles are fathers. We know that the apostle’s role is also to father the future leaders. Of course we see the best dynamic unfolding with Paul and Timothy.  Timothy moved from his son ship to be a leader in the Ephesus church. Along the way, Paul’s heart was reproduced within him and Paul’s voice was heard through him to the Corinthian church as he delivered and read the letters to them. Paul was forming a future apostle by forming a son.

Could the recognition of false apostles and prophets that Paul talked of be more about them having no real father than trying to be something they are not? At least, some of them?  True fathering can easily be seen in a leader’s life. Look at David after defeating Goliath. King Saul asked a simple question of Abner, the captain of the host, “Whose son is this youth?” (I Samuel 17:55) He knew it took a certain type of father to form a certain type of leader.

Paul was adamant with Timothy about his lineage. He told Timothy he saw the heritage in Timothy through his mother and grandmother. Then he told him to look for faithful men who can teach others also. He never told Timothy to go train five-fold leaders. Paul actually never gave a single example of training fivefold ministers but all he taught can be applied to sons. He did tell him to find those qualified as faithful and from those, create sons who will teach others! This sounds like a Biblical pattern of raising five-fold ministry gifts.

I have come to a conclusion that we have created five-fold ministry by more of a worldly pattern with the giving of knowledge in schools of ministry. By knowledge, we define giftings and to a large degree, callings. We set people into the place of five-fold. Some make it while many struggle or even fail. Many were never ready but their schooling says ‘you have graduated or are ready’. Then from that foundation of knowledge, we try to form fathers from five-fold leaders who were never really sons. I believe the more Biblical pattern of forming five-fold leaders is to father them first, to pour life experience in with the Biblical knowledge.  Then from the depths of fathering, the gift will be seen and recognized. The father would release the sons and daughters into ministry.  In other words, five-fold giftings, which are really graces, should be coming forth from fathers. By having true sons and daughters doing ministry, I believe we would see a tremendous impact with ministries and the face of Christianity would appear very different.

I know this is a tremendous paradigm shift of the current approaches and way of training. We have defined so much by Greek and Hebrew language instead of the Kingdom language of heaven. Perhaps the real “equipping” needed in the Body is not just the knowledge of Truth but application of Truth coming from fathers who have made that Truth a part of their life. In other words the equipping is really spiritual fathering! If that is the role of the five-fold, then how can the five-fold father equip the Body without them first being true sons and daughters?

So my premise of this blog is to announce my own paradigm shift concerning training leaders and what is really expected from sons and daughters. I, like William Penn as the nation was being formed, am starting a “Holy Experiment” in a new way of raising sons and daughters and five-fold leaders in our school this fall starting in Sept. If you’re interested in this forerunning, pioneering school, you can find more information on our FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1468560813402697/.

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Spiritual Fathering

Spiritual Fathering

This is indeed the season of the sons and daughters returning to fathers. If you have been a son or daughter and have a broken relationship with your spiritual father, you need to repent and turn back to the heart of the father. Perhaps in the past, you experienced abuse by one you looked at as a spiritual father. They may have been that in words but not in heart and actions. Let me tell you there are real fathers out there, not a huge number, but ones with huge hears who can heal your brokenness. But fathers can only invest into those whose pride is removed and allow that investment to come to them.

The spiritual fathering relationship is more than getting some counsel from time to time, or being another number in a network, or just another stop in a preaching circuit. That is not fathering. A spiritual father invests into the life and purposes of the sons and daughters. They do this unreservedly and not based on the return from the son or daughter. They see their hidden potential and see it fully healthy and functioning. There are many claiming sons and daughters with no real relationship and the motive is not for the betterment of the person but to add numbers to their own tribe. The motive was wrong so the actions were also. This sickens me as many are getting only a portion of fathering without full investment.

All spiritual fathering relationships are required to have the expectations in them understood by all involved. They have safeguards in place as well to make sure things do not get off base. If Jesus could only father the 12, Paul had less, and Timothy was instructed to look to find them, then fathering is limited in the number you can truly be effective with. In the past few years, spiritual fathering has become another buzz word. I have seen many claiming sons who never spent any time investing in them but “absorbed” them already matured to claim they have sons. Or they absorbed them into their network without really helping to perfect them in the faith. To me, this is having the rewards and affirmation of peers, over the reward of seeing a son or daughter blossom.

Relationships change as seasons of fathering are completed. You can have 50-60-100 sons but you probably are only truly fathering a handful into the very depths of fathering at any one time, because if done right, like natural fathering, there comes a day when they stand on their own and have grown up. You will always be their father but it will change in function. If a spiritual father has many immature sons, then it is a sign that the father is still lacking in how to father properly.

Fathers love it when their kids come to see them and I love it when my spiritual kids come to see me. I’m in a season of life where many of those I have fathered that went out across the world to do ministry are reconnecting with me again realizing the investment I have done in their life has led to the current motion of God in their ministry. Many have come and spent time with me in my home. I also am seeing many, many come back that were prodigal or disconnected in the process. (As I write this another comes home.) This is equally rewarding as though they had never left. I can testify firsthand for the fathers who never disconnected their heart from their sons and daughters, no matter how they treated them in leaving, the hearts of those sons and daughters are being convicted and they are turning back to their fathers. I have some specific ones I am waiting on right now with faith and expectation for their heart to turn. My prayer for them is that it won’t take calamity like one of my sons overseas. He had been successful in ministry and became a “big man” in his nation. His wife died and in his ‘bigness’ he had no one to share his grief. I had heard his wife had died and reached out to him. Three months later, he contacted me in heartfelt repentance confessing he used me to climb up the ladder. The relationship was restored but his shame has kept it from being the same as it once was.

Once the spiritual fathering relationship is started, the father’s heart is always there for the sons and daughters. As I tell my sons and daughters, if I started this relationship, I already have decided the investment needed, the time required and the privileges I will give. I tell all my sons and daughters they have the same privileges as my own natural sons. They can call at any time and they have both privilege and priority. This is the hardest thing most sons and daughters seem to struggle with the most. They don’t want to be a bother or to take my time, yet ministry opportunity tends to come when it is not convenient and will always cost something if it holds any value. This is my first test starting in the relationship, will they even call me? Do they want this so badly that they are willing to take a chance in calling?

For the most part, sons and daughters are coming from an orphaned spirit. Perhaps their relationship with their natural dad is skewed. Perhaps they have been spiritually rejected, deemed of no value or pushed aside. These things are the second things I begin to press into to see them get healed and whole. Without these things complete in them, then all other perspectives and perceptions are really out of focus. These areas are probably the reason for the relationship. Identity is also a large part of this second step. Without a proper identity, you may never function correctly as function comes from identity not identity coming from function. This reversal is a hard one for most sons and daughters as they have always performed to have a place in the ‘pecking order’. For them to see the value of who they are to God takes time. This is the real heart of fathering. Patience. Long suffering. Right perceptions. This step is about helping the person to become whole in the midst of their confusion, perceptions, and self determined value.

The third step is the step of releasing potential. Giving opportunities for that potential to come forth and walking out life together. It is about helping with mistakes together and learning together. This is where ministry truly begins to happen and the person’s ability to rise above their past and into the future becomes present in their life. The core spiritual DNA is now drawn upon to see stimulated growth. This is new territory not fully explored, even if the person is currently doing ministry. This is destiny of the person’s life and how they will leave their mark on the earth.

These steps are paraphrased here to the simplest terms. Some of these steps will be occurring at the same time. Some will need to be done in a set order. Each relationship is different and requires truly knowing the heart of God for the person and having vision for who they are to God.

Spiritual fathering is an art form more than a taught way of ministry. You cannot read about it in a book and do it but it comes from a heart that has been formed over time. That same forming of the heart in the spiritual fathering is forming young hearts after they have been made whole.

Investing the Revelation Again

Tonight I got into a conversation with my wife about all the people we have invested into over the years. As I began to reflect on the investment I have made, not just in conferences and speaking to people along the journey of life, I also started to once again remember the past investment of all the sons and daughters we invested into as well. Perhaps I should explain that so you fully grasp what I mean.

We started and ran a school of ministry for over 12 years. We had a high attendance of 45 students teaching 450 hours in a first year and 70 additional hours in a second year. This along with 2 services a week and hours weekly in mentoring and spiritual father the students. Because we housed students and our offices were right there, and with our open door policy we spend a lot of time investing. It would be equal to almost 10 years of teaching in a weekly church service done in one year. In other words a lot of investing and more than most leaders could ever imagine. These students for the most part became my sons and daughters.

Over time some students left and moved on with life. Some to go out and only be involved in life. Still others to do ministry and have impact around the world. A few went backward to old mindsets. Over the years I have been asked a single question repeatedly. How do you keep investing when so many seem to later deny the investment in their lives and dishonor you in their decisions? I hear this about every 3-4 months minimum. Well first they dishonor Gods investment in their lives and second the next person coming along deserves the same chance of investment as the previous ones. You see it’s not me to decide what to do with the investment, it is up to the individual. They will one day have to give an account for was given to them.

Recently we had a prophetic word “do it all over again”. My first thought was “really God are you serious.” You see before we started over 50 schools internationally. We did 3-4 major conferences a year drawing a couple hundred people. We ran a daily school, traveled overseas at least 2-3 times a year with teams and traveled speaking in conferences. All in all raising a family, birthing ministries and coming along side leaders all at the same time was quite the task. I have started down the journey again and even though most think things are moving I feel we are just getting started and are at the beginning stages.

Today the investment continues but this time it is different. This time God has brought me not a bunch of young adults but more mature and seasoned. He has brought me leaders from across the nation who are serious about investment and who immediately put it into practice. God is bringing the prequalified. In all honesty I feel honored by those I’m currently investing into, following my post, listening to my message, and reading my books. It is very different this time in many ways. The influence of Gods working grace in my life makes me feel humbled and very much serious about the next steps to take as we will “do it all over again”.

But what I am investing now is greater wisdom and revelation than any time in the past. Within the last 2 years I feel what I am releasing now does not compare to what was invested in times past. It seems like all of the past was training in “how” and now is the release of “what”. Now what I am believing for is the “who”.

The prophetic word said “Young people would come from all over the nation and live here at the BASE to be spiritually fathered”. I’m believing for another group of young adults, another group of radical warriors, a group that has been presorted instead of post sorted. I believe for those God would relocate here to be a part of things not just for a season, but possible long term in building a Midwest center, a major ministry in Iowa. God has put in my heart to build his throne here in Iowa in the heart of the nation, the first place his throne is really built is the heart. To build a dwelling, to build a spiritual community, to build a people into true sons and daughters who are active not just in faith but in impact.

The Orphaned Spirit in Culture

Here is a portion of my new book I am writing on… “Kingdom Discipleship, Changing the Culture of the Church”. My other books are on Amazon and Kindle under my name.

With so much of the cultures problems today coming from a fatherless generation it has created a culture of orphans or an orphan spirit that is dominate in society. Kingdom discipling will correct this problem. But mentoring and instruction will not because there is no commitment to lifelong investment. It is having vision for a person and who they can become. There are many good materials on the orphan spirit so I only want to touch it briefly and how it realties to culture so we understand what we must change.

If a culture is going to shift with truth then the way truth is presented and those applying that truth become key to cultural change. Especially in the church today we have very little spiritual fathering and much watered down instruction.  God designed families as a model of culture. Without true leaders being fathers investing into sons and daughters we will lose culture. In a nature once people do not reproduce at least to replace themselves the culture can be lost. The actual statistic is 1.62% barely maintains a culture and any less the culture will be lost. If we look at the church we see why we are losing our culture, we are not reproducing the right kind or number of sons and daughters.

Fathers are given to develop there sons and daughters, to impart to them, provide for them, encourage them, love them, and give them security. Much like a natural father would do. But just like a family requires a certain culture to accomplish this so does it require that culture was in the local family of believers. Without that culture present all you have is typical instruction. Rom 8.15 speaks of the spirit of adoption. The word adoption means to be seated as a son; it means God is pleased to associate in relationship. To be seated as a place and position and in this case to receive an inheritance. But in the same person speaks of the spirit of bondage. The word bondage can be defined as the state of a man cannot enjoy his inheritance. So Sonship is all about inheritance.

When we abandon our position we abandon our inheritance. That abandonment is best described as being orphaned. In the Hebrew the word orphaned means bereaved and lonely. In the Greek it means parentless or fatherless. Webster’s defines an orphan is one deprived of parents by death or desertion. In the Old Testament know one was orphaned as the priest adopted any person whose parents had died. An orphan spirit is contrary to the kingdom of God which is all about relationships. Without this key relationship being taken care of we cannot have a change of culture within the church. So what are the hallmarks of an orphan spirit?

  1. Inability to have lasting relationships –
  2. Hatred of authority, general distrust for leaders –
  3. General lack of direction for your life –
  4. Inability to make key, strategic decisions –
  5. Drawing near, then backing away from intimacy –
  6. A sense that they’re just going to reject you anyway –
  7. A gnawing sense of failure, never quite good enough –
  8. An inexplicable drive to succeed, win, prove yourself
  9. No home, No inheritance, No name
  10. Fight for everything

Satan first introduced the orphaned spirit to Adam and Eve. He knew that if he could bring these 10 things to bear in their life that he could be a control the culture of the Earth. For too long we have misinterpreted the gospel message of us receiving Christ, when in reality the gospel is about a father who came to find that which was lost. It’s about a father who came to break the orphan spirit off of his creation. I came to a great realization of my own ministry because of the fathering spirit upon me that everyone associated with our ministry has come because of an orphaned spirit that they had.

An orphan spirit has great emotional pain most the time started by traumas associated with loss. It can be a loss of security, a loss of trust, a loss of value, and also a loss of belonging. They can come to the point of not trusting their leaders or those in authority. They can experience rejection that leads to damaging them. Fear hopelessness sadness any critical spirit can set in.

With an orphaned spirit relationships are very shallow. Relationships in the business world can sometimes hold greater value than the family of God. When these relationships are shallow person is private, isolates, and become self-reliant. They are suspicious and very manipulative. They easily pick up the offense of others. The words that come out of their mouth are generally, God is all I need, God in me, and I don’t fit. They destroy the relationships and find fault with leaders and others as a defense mechanism for their own life.

An orphan spirit needs constant current encouragement. But when you try to correct them they generally abandoned. They look at the correction is attacking their identity because the identity of being a true child of God is not intact. They strive to be accepted and weigh the value from that affirmation of their own self worth and being a child of God. When there is not enough affirmation they soon abandoned the spiritual parents.

For most of those with an orphan spirit it may not be that actually happened but how the person perceived the event. They may have made circumstances to be larger than what was really there. But many times orphan parts expect leaders to do everything, fix everything for them but they do nothing for their leaders. They have three lies that they believe constantly. First they have a sense of rejection that no one loves them and wants them or accept them. The second lie is that they are useless and therefore was and have nothing to offer in their life does not count.

The third lie is that they will never amount to anything or are unable to cope with life. They believe they are incompetent and have tried and failed to look at their self as a failure.

If you look at this outcome of an orphaned spirit we soon see that this is prevalent in the current church culture we have today. It actually is even very current and prevalent in the leadership of the church we have as well. We have many leaders that never have settled their identity of who they truly are in Christ. They are orphans producing other orphans. If we truly want to change the culture of the church we must also accept the responsibility and role of changing those things internally that are affecting our culture. The orphan spirit is one of these things that must be addressed to change the culture of the church. It will require great investment and sacrifice of leaders and emerging leaders to see true spiritual sons and daughters come forth.

The key of course is the spirit of adoption Romans 8:15 talks about. It is having spiritual parents, who reflected God who will totally accept you and not disown you. You see you cannot disinherit an adopted child. They have an equal share in the will and testament of the parents. This gives the adopted child unshakable confidence that they will always belong and have a place that they can call home. Our spirit ceases to feel orphaned when we have confidence that we belong to a family – God’s family. It enables us to connect with our brothers and sisters, and yield ourselves fully to those in authority in the church. The spirit of adoption says I belong, I’m included, I am no, I am desired, I am wanted, I am cherished, and I am treasured. This has to be done more than by instruction and teaching but by modeling and living this out in relationship.

So the moment of time we are in this hour is God is indeed turning the sons and daughters towards their spiritual fathers. It is a season of sons and daughters pursuing their fathers and fathers pursuing them. Malachi chapter 4 talks of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children’s father least he comes in smite the earth with a curse. The word curse means to be utterly destroyed. But it has a far greater meaning. It actually means to be ineffective in service. The verse is not talking about the Earth being ineffective in service, but about the sons and daughters not being effective in service, thus the whole Earth feels the effect of. Which means cultures and societies are going to be directly impacted by whether we fulfill this verse of truly fathering in investing in the next generation of sons and daughters.

Romans 8:18-19

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us . 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God .

The glory that God wants to reveal through his sons and daughters is a glory that has on her splendor opinion and praise within it. These are all descriptions of the word glory that is revealed in us is true sons and daughters. It is a Doxa glory which is a glory of the most exalted state where God honors that which is being talked about, specifically the sons and daughters.

Part of the problem that we have with the current structure is that people are not really looking for fathers looking for grandfathers. Grandfathers affirm and bless but generally spoil. But true father’s affirm and bless but also know how to develop their children to the fullest potential. Grandparents may create an inheritance but an inheritance is only passed from fathers to children. Part of this inheritance that we are to receive and pass on is a greater weight of glory. It is the manifestation and revelation of the relationship that we have with the spirit of adoption. 

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God .

The whole Earth is groaning and waiting for this manifestation of this adoption. The word manifestation means the disclosure of truth and instruction. It also means events by which things or states or people are brought into view. That description of that word is a total description of a culture emerging upon the Earth. A truth is come to establish a doctrine to form a culture to changes society. It is truth manifest that creates the change. In this case the greatest change that will touch the Earth and all creation is the manifestation of the truth that we are truly a sons and daughters. This above all things is how we will change the culture of the church.

This Adoption is based on 3 things

  1. Revelation  —- privilege
  2. Relationship —- place
  3. Legal document — covenant

Romans 8:14

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God . 

Led = 1a to lead by laying hold of, and this way to bring to the point of destination: 1b to lead by accompanying to (into) a place.

This is about joint partnering with the Holy Spirit in relationship. It also is about being led by the Holy Spirit not just in an event but a process for destiny.  It is about the revelation of being a true son and daughter so cemented in our heart that we could never doubt, not even for a moment. 

John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name : 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God .

Something born means something has been fathered. We are fathered by God! Spiritual fathers are only extensions of father God. In some ways they are tools that God uses to be the example of his fatherhood upon the Earth. When read receive the provision of what God has done through his son he gave us the legal right to become his sons and daughters. That means what he has his ours and what we have is his. He took our sin, and we take his inheritance. That once again is a transfer of culture that is resting in heaven and the earth.

Today we have prodigal sons and daughters setting in the church. Much like to prodigal son in Luke 15:14 the orphaned spirit has led them to join himself with the citizen of another country. It is caused them to be hired out as servants but into the spirit of bondage not being able to enjoy their inheritance. A fear is gripping them of returning back or father. When the sun came to himself he received the revelation that he was truly a son. He knew that no matter what he was still be accepted and loved. Return back to his father and the father turned to him with expected eyes to meet him. Just recently have had several spiritual sons and daughters return back that for some reason had left enjoy themselves to something else.

In Philemon 1:10 Paul appeals to Philemon for his son Onesimus who was begotten (won over to sonship) to the Apostle Paul while he was in chains suffering for the Gospel. The word “begotten” comes from the Greek word “gennao”, which is a term used of a men who has fathered children. Onesimus was not just made a believer in Jesus Christ, but Onesimus was literally won over to the Apostle Paul’s way of living. This process of fathering goes beyond leading someone to and instructing them in Christ. A man can biologically make a child and give the child instructions or advice (that may not be followed), but Paul’s begetting of Onesimus refers to a father who lives as such an example before their children that the whole heart of the individual has been won over to their way and example of living in Christ.

But God wants us in this hour as fathers to turn and apply covenantal blessing upon their sons and daughters. God desires that spiritual fathers would nurture the seeds of prophetic promise and impart their own spiritual maturity and wisdom and faith and until their children reach the age where they in turn can beget spiritual sons and daughters. This is the long-term goal of changing the culture of the church. The church is not just a program but is a true relationship of investment. It is walking life out together as sons and daughters who share the common faith of their fathers. That truly is a cultural shift.

President, A Father To The Nation!

The Role of a President

With the election coming upon us what are we truly voting for and do we understand the role a president plays to a nation? Here are some examples we might not have thought about.

First he is our head of state. This means he is an example and representation of our nation and its people to other nations.  A president’s role is a role of example and reflection. Their live reveals the nature, morality, and values of a people. This is done on how a president conducts themselves publicly and how they value the interpretation others see in them. They are a role model to their people and an inspiration to aspire to.

Second they are the chief executive. They are the boss for all governmental employees. They are to establish policies of how government employees conduct themselves with foreign governments and are responsible for the safety and welfare of all government employees. This includes international ambassadors and embassies The president is also responsible for how government employees treat and interact with the people of the nation.. They’re responsible for how the government conducts its business as a representation of the people, and with the people’s best interest at the forefront of all decisions. They choose the officials and advisers to help run the executive branch of the government. They make sure law is upheld by judges being dictated by constitution and not party affiliation, interest groups or preferences of private interpretation. Every president will appoint roughly 850 judges in all areas of power from supreme court down to district courts. As chief executive he is responsible for the government’s budget and the financial decisions he has made.

 The president is also the chief diplomat. He oversees and sets foreign policies of the United States. He also is to understand foreign policies of other nations and knows how best to respond to the policies of other nations. He establishes what is to be said by the representatives through ambassadors in foreign embassies representing the United States. He is only to make decisions in the best interest of ensuring that the current policies of the United States and its freedoms is upheld, and does not put his own personal interest or policies in place.

 

The president is also the Commander-in-Chief of all the armed forces of the United States. The armed forces is in place to protect our freedom and maintain our culture. As Commander-in-Chief is the final one responsible for all military decisions, mistakes, and victories. If there is military failure the Commander-in-Chief is the one who ultimately is to blame. He is to know all that is going on under his command is not exempt from not knowing as the ability to have full understanding is in place for him as Commander-in-Chief. He is to inspect and maintain our Armed Forces in a readiness to defend our nation, its Constitution, and his freedoms.

The president is also the chief legislator. Congress makes the laws of our nation but the Constitution gives the president power to influence Congress and its lawmaking ability. Since the president holds so many different places of influence and understanding within our nation he has the ability to veto new bills and laws that are not in favor of the People’s rights were not representative of the people’s wishes. As a chief legislator he addresses Congress and gives a state of the union address so Congress has a greater understanding of the course of the nation and events it may be experiencing. This is to help the Congress create laws or maintain the laws for the welfare of the people.

 

These are the main descriptions that we can find almost anywhere about what our president is to do and how he is to act. An underlying belief since our nation was founded as a Christian nation is that our president would represent a standard of morality and honesty as well. I like what Jim Hodges told me his wife Jeanne said, “We are really voting for a real father of our nation”. If we take that statement it means as president he has the best interest in all actions for his family, the citizens. He will look towards their future and building opportunity for them. He will not put them in a place of jeopardy, but will sacrifice to see them fulfill a destiny upon the earth. A father does not leave indebtedness to their kids but an inheritance. A father protects them at all cost and ensures ample provision is made to do so. A father tries and relieves current stresses by not creating new ones. A father will listen to all sides before making decisions. These were things our “founding Fathers” did as they looked at the nation as their family, so could they pledge their fortunes, their lives and sacred honors. To me this defines a leader, the one who sets their well being aside for the sake of others. I can say this will humility that this is what I have done repeatedly in the ministry. The complications it brings, the financial limitations it brings and the burdens you carry that others are not aware is the seasoning to be a father, and a farther to a nation. As we have heard it said so many times, the same courage it took to birth this nation is the same courage now required to save it. This courage only comes by value, valuing people over agendas, valuing principle over accolades and valuing God over systems.

Heartaches of Spiritual Fathering

This post is for those spiritual fathers who have invested time and life into spiritual sons and daughters. Many of us have had great disappointments and frustrations at times over the low or no return on all that is invested in persons live. There is an expectation, and rightfully so, of a return on the investment. But many times we either do not see it or the return is slow in coming.

Coming from experience in this area there are several reasons a person does not seem to produce fruit with what we teach or invest. The lack of movement on a son or daughter is not due so much to a father teaching something wrong but what that son or daughter is willing to do with it. Many times we are looking for them, as the hope of a spiritual father, to excel in spiritual dynamics. We need to be realistic and ask if what is asked of them is within their potential? Is it out of their understanding or gifting? Or are they in rebellion or pride etc. Probably more than the lack of fulfillment of seeing sons or daughters excel is the heart ace of abandonment in relationship.

This has happened to me many times and as a spiritual father it is one of the most gut wrenching things that can happen to you. It is easy to say with words one thing but far different when words have to be backed by actions. In the relationship of those who did walk away I wish I could say they have been restored or the people went on to great things for God. But the majority of the time it is the opposite. I have seen those who walk away go backward in their walk with God. A lose of anointing and even spiritual understand seems to cloud them at times. Some ended up self deceived, while others became a part of worldliness again. When these things occur spiritual fathers reexamine what happened, why it happened and does a self examination of the relationship.

What we as spiritual fathers must realize is for every 1 that stops process or walks away there are 10 more desiring a chance of investment. Will we continue to mourn for the one when 10 more really want it? Jesus had multitudes following and it came down to 12. Paul had a great following but in the end only a handful stood with him. God always reduces things to what is most precious and valuable. Those that remain, though it seems unlikely, will be the ones to keep all things sustained.

I will leave you with this encouragement. I have seen some heartfelt repentance from sons and daughters who were at one time connected. Though it took years for God to work things in hearts the relationship was restored. This has to be the greatest joy a Spiritual father can experience as those who are prodigal and self orphaned request to be adopted again in fellowship.

Fathering, Sufferings, Restoring Hearts

I just want to share my heart on some things as I reflect today of all those invested into. I am reflecting back on the multitude of pastors overseas, the students in our school of ministry and the current group of connections. One thing that seems to happen is different people connect in different season and for some reason then disconnect I have to honestly say I don’t see a kingdom pattern for the disconnect. Paul connected with Timothy for a life time. The 12 apostles hung around  together. Paul had certain teams who were still connected with him. But still Paul had those who abandoned him while in prison. It was only a handful who remained with him to the end! So what causes the disconnect?

As I am going to my 35 class reunion this weekend, I just got word of the death of a man who was a classmate of my son, who graduated from the same high school I did. He did not see his 15 reunion.  A young life taken so quickly and unexpected. I thought of the parents and grief their heart must be feeling. I thought of the wife and young child left. How does a heart go forth without becoming callused? How do you not become disheartened with life?

I know Paul and Jesus felt this same type of lost concerning those they had invested in and a nurtured in  spiritual growth. We say it is not permanent like a natural death when one walks away. But in many ways the eternal consequences could be the same.  The Father of the prodigal son must have felt some of the same feelings of lose as he stated my “son who once was lost is now found”. He had hope of the return as he was looking for him, but I imagine his faith had to supersede his disheartened state.  He was suffering as he carried the lose of his son daily. Yet through suffering we learn obedience. We see to the obedient state he responded with, when his son came home. He was able to reveal the heart of restoration to his son.

I have felt the disheartened state as sons and daughters have disconnected and seemingly become “dead” towards me. For those spiritually fathering it is very real feeling like the lose of a son or daughter. In some ways the grief is very similar. All those who spiritually father know what I am talking about. The desire to go on with life and keep trying can be overwhelming. But then God sends another towards you to minister to.

That is what happened again this week as I talked with a young woman this past Wed night. She is 20 years old and wants to serve God with her life. She is moving into full time ministry and taking training.  In the conversation I just heard  the Holy Spirit to say, “you need to be healed of your father’s wounds as this is hindering your identity.” She then told me her dad had left her a few years back and she has no contact with him. My heart again reached out. I think this is the key to fight dis-heartedness, to reach outward and not keep looking inward. There are those in need of answers and truly desiring help.

The hope all Spiritual fathers have, is not only the fulfillment of their sons and daughters fully functioning and impacting, but also a hope exist in all those who have disconnected to reconnect. This reconnecting helps ignite faith again and gives hope back. It I believe it helps heal the loses we suffer. This to in the last week has happened as I re-connected with a spiritual daughter who was out of contact with for almost 4 years. We talked as if there was no gap in relationship. This to has encouraged my heart greatly.