I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. 1 John 2:13
I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 1 Cor. 4:14,15
Where are our spiritual fathers? Why does The Church not talk about spiritual maturity? We talk around it, using words like intimacy and relationship with God, yet where are the people to model it? John describes spiritual fathers as they that have known Him who has been from the beginning. He is talking about depth and breadth, the kind of knowing that only comes with experience of God. Men that have walked the journey of life in partnership with the Heavenly Father are our spiritual fathers. Men that have lived through the Dark Night of the Soul and found fullness of life beyond it are our spiritual fathers. Men that hear the voice of God and have a history of abiding are our spiritual fathers.
So where are they?
In truth, they are out and engaged. If a man knows who he is, why he was created, and walks in the authority of the King of Kings, I guarantee you that he is not parked in the Senior Adult Ministry of your local church. Sure, he may show up, because that is where his age group congregates, but that is not his peer group. He is out of the office, out in the field, operating as a high ranking Colonel or General in the Lord’s Army.
It is critical to the health of the Body of Christ that we reinforce the relationship between spiritual fathers, young men, and children. Pastors, hear my words! We cannot relegate seasoned veterans in the faith to the far wing of the church campus. If they choose to disengage from the fight, then they will have to answer for that. But, what hope does the emerging generation of Church leaders have if we cannot catch the mantle of those who have gone before us? If we scan the horizon and see no one, what anxiousness can you imagine grips our hearts? Worse yet, what of blind arrogance, in launching out with no regard for the lessons of our fathers?
Spiritual fathers, we need you. We need your leadership. We need your wisdom. We need your encouragement as we press on toward the high calling in Christ Jesus. We want to fight alongside you.