Have We Become a Church Without Fathers?


                   Recently, I took a trip to a small county in North Carolina. No big shopping centers, no great entertainment places, not many distractions in comparison to the big cities. Life is truly slower in Gates County! However, after visiting a few friends, I saw the beauty of these small communities. People ask you “how are you doing” and actually expect and desire an answer; people actually enjoy the simplicity of talking! Those communications open doors for greater and closer relationships. For years, I have been very concerned about how shallow our relationships in the Body of Christ are becoming. I am particularly concerned about the lack of spiritual fathers/ spiritual sons relationships.

 

            It seems like in everything, we are following behind in the ways of the world. We still carry that same spirit that the Children of Israel had when they asked for a king. They wanted to be like everybody else! So, we have Christian Rap, Christian Rock, Christian Clubs, Christian Dances, etc. I am afraid that we are approaching relationships the same way.

 

            As it refers to relationships, the world has a very interesting and popular term called: “networking.” The word “networking” is defined as: “The process or practice of building up or maintaining informal relationships, especially with people whose friendship could bring advantages such as job or business opportunities.” Networking is not about building a true relationship where we can share our lives, deal with heart issues, experience loving accountability, be able to confess our sins to one another, enjoy the blessings of life in the community of believers and grow together in Christ. The networking approach is about building our business; you are seen as potential costumers…period! It is the law of the jungle where only the strong survive! The central idea of relationship in networking is based on what you can get out of that person to expand your business.

 

            The problem with this secular approach of networking is that the key thing is to “…bring advantages such as job or business opportunities.” So what happens when there is no advantage, no business opportunity and no benefit that directly comes out of that relationship?

 

             I am one that, still today at my age, long for a Spiritual Father. I have many friends; good teachers, good preachers and in general good ministers; but I have yet to have a Spiritual Father. I remember some years ago this pastor invited me to his church. He allowed me to minister to his people through songs. He put me in a nice hotel, took me out to eat, etc; all part of a personal agenda on his part. His plan was finally revealed as he proposed to me the opening of a Hispanic Church in Jacksonville Florida for me to pastor and for him to oversee. I told this man that I was going to pray about the matter and in a matter of days, I gave him the answer. The answer was “no.” After that answer, I never heard from him again. He never returned my calls nor responded to my e-mails. To this day, over five years later, that man has closed any communication between us. Our relationship was based on a task; it was a ministerial related relationship with very little or no substance.

 

           I also know pastors in the city that unless you are involved with them in a task (ministry), they really can care less about what is going on in your life. The church is filled with the “networking mentality” and it’s sad to say, but if you are not of any use for the expansion of their little kingdoms, for the most part, they will quickly disconnect from you. I know of a well-known writer who is considered by many a father and an Apostle; I connected with him through another pastor and this apostle was interested in some of my writing, so we exchange a few e-mails. Our communication was all about the writings, nothing personal. All was well until one day I e-mailed him about some very challenging things I was facing. This Apostle answered by saying: “I am not anointed to help you,” and went on about his business.

 

             So my questions are: Where are the Apostles of our day? How can you be an Apostle without any spiritual sons? Where are the Fathers?  Beloved, we have a crisis of fathers in this country. In the natural; these are some of the alarming consequences of homes without a Father Figure:

 

Suicide. 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bureau of the Census)

Behavioral Disorders. 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (United States Center for Disease Control)

High School Dropouts. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)

So I leave you with this thought, if in the absent of natural fathers we face such devastating consequences, how much more when we are faced with the absent of Spiritual Fathers. The Bible tells us in Malachi 4:5-6

“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.  He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

 

           Have we become a church without Fathers? I surely have not found one that has truly turned his heart towards me. This is the cry of many men; we are crying out because we want a spiritual father. But, because they are absent, we have many men quitting the ministry (Spiritual Suicide). We have many men with character issues (Spiritual Behavioral Disorders), and we have many men with little or no interest in knowing about God (Spiritual Dropouts). Do you see the picture?

 

            I believe that these are the days that we are seeing our land being struck by God as we can see great destruction taking place around us. I strongly believe that it is time for Natural and Spiritual Fathers to turn their hearts towards their children; it starts with us! We must stop making ministry about our own personal agendas and selfish expansions and find excitement in seeing our children grow in character as they use their God-given talents for the benefit of God’s people and for the Glory of our King. It is time for fathers to find enjoyment in equipping, ordaining and sending out; as we stop moving with the jealous and selfish spirit of the Soul. The time is truly NOW!

 

 

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “Have We Become a Church Without Fathers?

  1. AMEN Brother Angel ! On that Note let us Draw closer to the ONE FATHER who will never leave us nor forsake us…on the ONE that will NEVER LET US DOWN.. and pray for an increase of Faith and Fullness of the measure of JESUS CHRIST in all of us , especially among those who have been anointed to lead HIS KINGDOM Flock here on earth that is surely becoming the KINGDOM of THE LAMB .. any year now the KING Shall Return in ALL HIS MAJESTY and SPLENDOR and POWER ! ARISE MEN OF GOD! THE TIME IS NOW! THE KING DRAWS NEAR and HIS Harvest is being Gathered as we speak! Blessings Brother see you soon ! Miss u ! MUch LOVE IN CHRIST!

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  2. The apostles reported everything to Jesus. But they also did it in community. My spiritual father, Roy Ellis, taught me long ago to pay attention to the pronouns. In Mark 6:30-31, the pronouns are plural, indicating that what is occurring was happening to all of them. One of the consequences of churches without spiritual fathers is isolation, independence, and individualism. I think you would agree with Three Dog Night: “One is the loneliest number.” It is also the number that cuts us off from others, leaving us extremely vulnerable to temptation.
    It forever amazes me that I share things with others that I shouldn’t and withhold things from others that I should be sharing. The criterion for doing this is simple: I share things about others and withhold things about myself. This is actually a reversal of the way things should be. But I am guilty of it, and I know a lot of ministers who are as well.
    We cannot leave this point about reporting without noting that the apostles shared their lives with Jesus, but did so with one another as well. Transparency is a major weapon against “Spiritual Suicide,” “Spiritual Behavioral Disorders, ” and “Spiritual Dropouts.” It is the weapon by which we cure the ailments you named above.
    Community begins as soon as we connect our lives to the life of another. One trusted spiritual father or spiritual mother is not only a precious gift; it is a hedge of protection, without which we are “sitting ducks” for the Evil One.

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  3. Beloved, Heaven only knows How serious this issue is. As we say in the Island Bro. “estas poniendo alchol en la llaga”. This is painful, this is deep and deeply disturbing to say the least. Today the vast majority of us found ourselves Fathersless,That pastors are cluless about pastoring, that there is no parental concern on behalf of our pastors, that the vision is more important than the people and their reputation more valuable than our spiritual condition. I tell you what I have experience since I left The Father House, I was fatherless, I’m still fatherless, Guilty by association, marked, condemed, rejected, not welcome, no good, etc. Pastors look at me and only see my past, my credentials, my failures and lack of suscess. They don’t see who I am, they don’t see my heart, my potencial, my capacity to love, to help, to serve. They don’t see me and at the end its Ok if I’m there, just seat on the back and stay quiet and if you do Pacheco then you can stay.
    I feel I want to say more, but is better if I go pray now. Thank you again beloved. I’m sorry that you are fatherless and feel for you. Perhaps it hurts me more to know you feel like that than to know that I myself feel like that also.

    Love,
    Pacheco

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    1. The only place to find our identity is in God, Pacheco. Otherwise, we will try to find it in our damaged egos (either inflated or deflated) or in what pastors say about us. We are God’s beloved sons and daughters. And one of the things I have seen in mentoring 9 year old boy at Windy Hill elementary school is how quickly he respond to parental love. The look in his eyes and the sound of his laughter is a joy to behold.

      Watching him has given me a new insight into my own heart, and Jesus simple promise to his disciples: “I will not leave you orphaned.” Life has been good to me. I have been blessed in many ways. I have been well cared for. But there is something in my heart made for a Father’s Love. I am made to receive and respond to God’s love in Christ.

      Jesus did not want his disciples to fear losing that love. They stared into great uncertainty, even danger. But Jesus left no doubt in that darkness: “I will not leave you orphaned.” The period of separation would not last forever. Reunion would happen, and rejoicing would return.

      We are made for God’s love. Our hearts bond to it quickly when we are taken up into our Father’s arms and adopted into the family. We are no longer orphans; we are Abba’s children!

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      1. I don’t think this is a matter of identity; for we understand from where our identity comes from; this is a matter of looking at this crisis of father/son relationships.

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  4. My heart is saddened by the challenges that relationships face in ministry today. I can think of men that I invested in (with some patience and longsuffering) that I have little or no relationship with presently. This should not be.

    I am a firm believer that we all need 3 very valuable people in our lives as ministers at ALL TIMES — 1) Everyone needs a PAUL / someone to invest in them. This is your joy of having the spiritual FATHER in your life. 2) Everyone needs a TIMOTHY / someone to invest in. We all sharpen one another and are all at varied places in our walk/ministry. This is shown biblically in the life of Paul/Timothy. 3) Everyone needs a BARNABAS / someone to simply encourage..

    My friend God has tremendous examples of healthy biblical relationships. David/Jonathon….Paul/Timothy….etc. I’m saddened today that it appears that once a son receives what he wants he’s ready to leave the father with a sense of arrogance; like “I know longer need you.” OR “I function better without your influence.” I have a young man that came up with me in ministry. I say this quite humbly…..I am honored that he came into the ministry with some of my influence. In the same token, I am a recipient of ministry and tutelage every time I am in his presence. He sharpens me. He has often called my attitude into question and yet, I ushered him into the ministry. There was even a time in our ministry life when we “agreed to disagree” and parted ways. Today, our relationship is healthy and strong. And…it’s not about me the greater and he the lesser. We mutually sharpen each other as iron does iron.

    Thanks Pastor Angel for sharing your heart. And thanks for bringing to light the great problem we have in ministry today. I think you could say that we DO have the absence of FATHERS for sure, but I also think you could say that we have the absence of the spirit of humility that desires the influence of a FATHER.

    Keep writing my friend!

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  5. It is unfortunate that the early Christians so quickly began to follow others, often dividing themselves into camps (e.g. “I follow Apollos” or “I follow Paul”). It is even more unfortunate that after two thousand years we have not learned better, so we continue to do the same. We want to preach like some “celebrity pastor” or build our church like some “effective minister.”

    All the while Jesus stands and speaks the same two words to us that he spoke to the first apostles, “follow me.” There’s a lifetime of learning by simply doing that. An old hymn captures the message, even though it was not written with preachers in mind, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”

    It is very important in the course of our ministry to ask ourselves, “whom am I following?” For we will always end up where that person takes us. And we will, in turn, lead others to the place where we have been taken. So if you follow the fatherless you will be fatherless.

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  6. Its truly precious to read your words of encouragement and sympathy pastors, all three of you. I sincerely mean that. By just reading them I feel already blessed, lifted up and encouraged. It is important to say that without a doubt, there are many precious and true pastors out there. Who deeply care about the people of GOD.
    Dealing with this sentiment has helped me to look deeply into my theology of ministry, so that I can understand thruth about this serious issue. My conclusion is based on 2 different scriptures, one is 2Tim.2:10 “For I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they can obtain the salvation which in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory”; and the second one is Neh. 2:10 When Samballat the horonite and Tobiah the ammonite official heard of it, they were deeply disturbed that a man had come to seek the well-being of the people of Israel. Paul stated that he endured all things for the elect; Nehemiah stated that he went up to Jesuralem to seek the weel-being of the people of Israel not to simply built a wall. My point is that in the work of the ministry, the key is not How much you love GOD, but How much you love people. Once again is not about visions, or ministry, or been the protectors of GOD’s reputation but about loving, serving, pastoring, guiding, parenting, building, forming, discipling people. I know must ministers feel that is all about JESUS. Truth is ministry is not a profesion, is a call. Truth is we don’t need a ministry to love the people. It may be that CHRIST see our desire to love and to serve and call us into ministry. Truth is that GOD is not just our mere religion, but our “EVERYTHING”. He is our way, He is our truth, He is our life, not religion but our whole life, anything that is worth having or experiencing. Truth is that the First commandment its attached to the second one, for it is impossible to say we love God if we don’t love people; yet it is impossible to love people if we don’t love GOD.
    I sound like someone who is discourage, maybe I am. But I’m sad that I hear nothing from the pulpit but ideas, philosophies, methods and mere human exhortations and I’m sad that no one cares to invite me or my family to a cup of coffee, to ask who we are, where we are or what is in our hearts. I’m sad than when I visit the house of God, no one truly see me or see us my wife, my son and I, and our hunger for GOD and for godly relationships.

    Pacheco

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    1. What does it mean to think theologically — to cultivate a thoughtful faith, Pacheco? In short, it means to respond faithfully and persistently to His call to become like Christ. Or as Paul said to some of his friends:

      “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
      When the apostles had come together with Jesus, he reiterated the fact that they were meant to be sent into the world (Mark 3:14). He extended this commission in the form of a great challenge: to preach and to have authority to cast out demons.” [Rom 12:1-2 MSG]

      Both of these tasks demand more than we have to give in our own strength. Who of us would dare to “preach the Gospel” drawing solely on our intellect, speaking skill, or personal experience? Any study of the preachers of history shows that the Message comes as we pray to God, asking for guidance, wisdom, and courage.

      And who of us does not see casting out demons as challenging? This includes more than confronting the principalities and powers, it means challenging the status quo and exposing a fallen-world system wherever it exists.

      At the end of the day, preaching and demon-casting leave us “drained”—soul drained. And that’s the challenge—not only the ministry itself, but also the fact that doing it leaves us vulnerable and depleted. That’s why Jesus brought them into communion and community before he issued the challenge. The apostolic system is the symbol of the way it is to be for us in the practice of our ministries: communion, community, commission. We cannot change the order without consequence. We dare not leave anything out.

      The only way to accept the challenge Jesus gives us, and meet it in his Name, is to be with him and with those who are similarly invited to respond to his call.

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  7. Thank you Beloved. I welcome your exhortation and your Godly wisdom Dennis. Our happiness, our deire to love, our desire to serve and our motivation cannot be based on the circumsatnces that surround us, but in CHRIST. We must continue to put our eyes on Jesus, The author and the finisher of our Faith. And so where ever we see a fault then we must try to correct it without being judgemental.
    I want to take a moment to say that I still see GOD all over the place. That no matter how much evil is out there, there is a lot of goodness, kindness, compasion and godliness. That CHRIST still reings in many many hearts and that there many churches that move under the annointing of the Holy Ghost, doing great things in the name of JESUS and for the glory of GOD.
    I have been an eye witness of that myself. For that I praise JESUS for ever and ever! to Him be all the glory! Amen!

    Pacheco

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  8. Absolutely lovely to read the transparency that is often missing among men today. Thank you for your comments. Definitely agree that fatherlessness is one of the greatest social disorders today. It is not just the lack of fathering but mothering. Fatherless actually means orphan. There are many orphans including within the church walls and preaching from pulpits. Unless we speak into the hearts with compassion, we are only speaking to one’s intellect. It is difficult to do differently, when you yourself have not been nurtured; so we continue to produce more orphans. However, the sons of God are rising, ever so slowly, yet they are!
    Enough said…appreciate you very much. Thanks Angel!

    Daddy God’s Little Girl,
    Deborah

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