By Dr. Francis Akin-John
It’s a lie to say you can’t have two fathers. You sure definitely can have more than one father or mentor, because the one who gave birth to you, either biologically or spiritually, may not, or do not play that role in your life to any app-reciable degree.
- Types of Spiritual Fathers in Ministry Today
I need to repeat again and again, a good and godly mentor will add good value to your life and set you in the ways of God, to realize His assignment for your life. A mentor or father that only takes from you but doesn’t add to you is an aberration.
Over the years, both in my pers-onal experience and research work, I have come across many different types of fathers in mini-stry. Check out these:-
- Self-imposed Fathers
These are senior ministers that feel that you should be under them, because they see the good work God is doing through you. They behave as if they are your mentor and impose themselves on you. They place a demand on you and get offended if you don’t treat them as they expected. Without much ado, they proudly refer to you as ‘my son in the ministry’, when you invite them to preach in your church, yet they are not con-tributing anything to you, but only interested in your seed, tithes and gifts.
- Absentee Fathers
They are truly your father, but they are never available. They are not there for you when you need them. They only collect your tithe and write you a receipt. To see them might take months. They see you as a pest in their lives, just a number or meal ticket. In most cases, they don’t know you, visit you nor call you to ask of your welfare. But when they don’t receive your tithes in time, they threaten to place a curse on you.
- Abusive Fathers:
They take advantage of you and inflict pain on you. They demand for money, respect and things you cannot afford. They see whatever you give them as a right and never really appreciate your sacrifices. They castigate, backstab and in-jure you. They sided with your acc-users and run you down at every opportunity.
- Cash Fathers:
They are only after money, gifts and benefits from you. They will never correct nor rebuke you for any wrong. They relate with you on cash and carry basis. They sing and talk of their needs in your ears, and you only get close to their good book when money is flowing from you to them. Once the money stops, you are a bad boy!
- Backsliding Fathers
They started with God, but have somehow gone back into sin and error. They now live against what they once preached. Their lives and ministries have become cor-rupt, immoral and against the scr-ipture, yet they are laying hands on upcoming young ministers here and there, thus contaminating the-ir future. Moreover, they see you as their son and they keep a hold on you. They find it hard to accept their errors. Some of them have dabbled into occultism, spurious prophetic acts and strange mira-cles in ministry, and they want to lure you in too by your close pro-ximity to them.
- Selfish Fathers.
These are fathers that are like King Saul of old. They are jealous, insecure of the graces, potentials and giftings of their young David. They are threatened, reactionary and will do anything to keep their protege in bondage and not re-lease them to fulfill their God given purposes. They only think in terms of Me, I, Myself.
- Nurturing Fathers
They spent time, talent and trea-sures to nurture and empower sons in the Lord. They discipline and correct where possible. They demonstrate concern for the person than their gifts. They hold relational meetings, counseling sessions, question and answer sessions for their mentees. They visit, call, pray for and intercede for those who look up to them as spiritual parents. They are willing to provide resources that will uplift their dependents in the Lord. They are fruitful grounds to sow.
What kind of spiritual father, mentor or coach are you to those looking up to you?
It is important to strike a good balance in this write up. In the last two installments, I have dwelled much on the fathers, permit me to use this third part to peep a little into the sons in ministry. One way or the other, we are all sons to someone at one point or the other in our life and walk with God.
Sons Responsibility to Fathers – I Samuel 17:55, 58
Who is your father? Whose son are you? If you are not a son, you cannot raise true sons. You cannot go far if you don’t have a father – Matthew 3:17
In ministry today, we have different types of children and sons:
- Vagabond sons – Unsure, prostituting and immoral sons. These are sons that spun the teach-ings of their fathers and do what they like. I know quite a lot of these type of sons in ministry.
- Disobedient sons – a pain to their father. They live way-ward,ungodly and shameful lives that doesn’t reflect who their father is ungodly and shameful lives that doesn’t reflect who their father is.
- Fatherless sons – responsible to nobody but themselves. These are sons that deny having a father and sees no need to have one. They want total freedom from any father figure in their lives and are a law to themselves.