14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children. 15 For even if you had ten thousand others to teach you about Christ, you have only one spiritual father. For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 16 So I urge you to imitate me.1 Corinthians 4:14-16
We can feel the temptation to be many different things to the people we shepherd. Sometimes I feel the call to try and be a cooler older brother. Sometimes I want to be the wise uncle. Sometimes I just want to be the friend they know. Paul saw the need for more. He saw the need for spiritual fathers. I would say the same goes for spiritual mothers.
This generation doesn’t need more information. I would dare to say they don’t even need more inspiration. They need transformation that can only happen in relationship. Our society is lacking in spiritual fathers and mothers. Church isn’t a club or a outlet to fulfill our egos. Church is a family.
The problem is that all of us have flawed earthly fathers who skew how we see God. We can’t help but see God the Father in the same light we see our earthly fathers, good or bad. His character is vastly beyond that of our earthly examples. He has none of the flaws, limitations, or hangups of our Fathers. He is greater in all ways. Tap into His vastness and be a Father to this generation.
Youth Pastors, be a spiritual parent. Kid’s Pastors, raise up moms and dads who can be an example for those kids. Senior Pastors, build systems where you are empowering men and women of God who can parent the people God has you stewarding. Man of God, woman of God, show them the way.