Dr. Francis Akin-John
Even though I have not finished with my Kingdom Minister series, yet I feel the urge to start this series too. So I will be posting them intermitt-ently.
One of the major dysfunction of the church today has to do with the issue of fatherhood. The cala-mities and corruptions of the church today can be traced to poor fathering. Too many so called ‘fathers’ have not been good fa-thers, while some have abused their fatherly positions.
Consequently, many ministers are without father figures in their lives and the ministry has been the worse for it. Furthermore, many teachings on mentoring and fatherhood have been grossly one sided and the results have been unpalatable on all sides. Its time we take a dispassionate look at this major dysfunction again with a view to strike the needed balan-ce for the good of all.
- Scriptural Basis – Matt. 3:9; 6:9; Exo. 18:13-21; Acts 18:24-28; I Tim. 1:2
Jesus introduced God as our Father. Abraham is addressed as the Father of Faith. Fathers are the foundations of our lives and faith. Fathers are the spiritual giant overseeing, covering and backing us up along the journey of life and faith. Everyone needs a father, but not everybody can and do function as good, godly father to those under him. The place of a good father cannot be over-emphasized. A fatherless generat-ion is surely a lost generation. There can be biological fathers, spiritual fathers, church fathers, ministry fathers and eternal fathers.
Moses had Father Jethro. Young Joshua had Moses. Young Samuel had prophet Eli. King Saul had prophet Samuel. Prophet Elisha had prophet Elijah. King David had prophet Nathan. King Solomon had king David. Appolo had Priscilla and Aquila. Paul had Simon, Barnabas. Timothy had Apostle Paul.
Spiritual fathers can be called several names, such as mentors, coaches, leaders and overseers (I Cor. 4:15). A spiritual father is someone who brought you to the Lord; develop and taught you; disciple and grow you; nurture and believe in you; gave you platform and introduce you; train and hone your gift and calling; prays and intercede for you; gives you fore-sight out of his own hindsight. A pioneer in ministry and someone who has brought much challenge, inspiration, instruction and bless-ings to your life by his own exam-ples, teachings and ministry.
A true father invests time, trust and resources in his children over a long period of time. A true father spends and continues to invest in the future potentials of his child-ren. He is really happy to see them grow and fulfilling potentials. In some occasions, your spiritual father can also function as your mentor and coach, but in other occasions, your mentor will be radically different from your spiritual or biological father. I will still expantiate on that later.
- Need for Spiritual Fathers in Ministry – Acts 18:24-28
By its nature, ministry is a thank-less job and it kills. Without spirit-ual fathers, you can be easily con-sumed by the vagaries of ministry. If you are to last long and survive the contaminating effect of mini-stry, you will surely need a father figure in your life.
*For training, instruction and leadership *For direction, coun-seling and guidance *For cover-ing, protection and upliftment *For accountability and respon-sibility. *To avoid error, false doct-rine and drifting *For blessing and favour *For platform and open doors *To avoid mistakes that ruin ministries.
No matter who you are and the level of your encounter with the Lord, you will surely need a father figure in your life. Without a good and godly spiritual father, you will fall prey to the machinations of the devil.
How can you really go far, when you are the all in all of your life and ministry? Robert Liadon had no father in ministry and he fell. Ted Haggard failed to open up to his father, but when he fell, his father saved His ministry. Larry Stocktill and John Maxwell cre-dited their life and ministry succ-ess to their biological and spirit-ual fathers.
Don’t ever do ministry without a good and godly father that will hold you accountable. You will always NEED someone to report yourself to, someone to speak candidly to you, someone who can call you by your first name and spank you on the head, if need be,: someone that will sharply rebuke you, someone you are truly afraid of and who have authority over your life and ministry.
You need someone who have the permission to discipline you when you go out of line. You need some-one you can submit your “revelat-ions” to before you start teaching them.
Unfortunately, lots of young ministers of today don’t have this kind of person in their lives and ministries, small wonder many are going astray and dabbling into erroneous practices.
I know that this issue had been grossly abused today, to the extent that many ministers have no father figure in their lives and ministry. Many are practicing distant fathering-that is calling someone your father whom you don’t have one on one relationship with.