Posts by DuncanM

#Wanted#  Spiritual Parents

#Wanted# Spiritual Parents

By on May 19, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Recently my encounters with young people in the church and my experience of being a father has led me ponder the idea of father figures and discipleship. This got me to thinking about my own experience of being a young man in the church and the how I matured under the discipleship of several men I would consider to be spiritual role models. In my church I recently encountered a 30 year old who asked if he could spend some time with me and my family, as he wanted to gain a better understanding of how to do family. He wanted to know about fatherhood: the good, the bad, and the bits we don’t often talk about. When asking him about his upbringing it was clear that this was not a happy part of his life, losing his father whilst he was young. This led me to question the role of men in the church when it comes to nurturing, encouraging and helping other men develop strong spiritual character. If I were to look for examples in the Bible where God seems to have used this type of relationship, and the effect this had on those people, there are numerous examples two of which are: Elijah called Elijah to follow him and started the discipleship process with great benefit to Elisha (1 Kings 19:19), and in the New Testament Paul disciples Timothy with success taking interest to see him grow and mature. Paul was a father figure (1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Timothy 1:2). I would also like to add that I don’t believe our need for spiritual guidance and character affirmation ends when we reach 20. In a recent conversation with a church leader in his mid forties I realized he was looking for affirmation and identity, much I have often done. He was saying how he really wanted to find someone from the older generation who would invest time with him to work with him and help him strengthen and deepen his relationship with God. You may well be thinking that our identities and security should be rooted in God (incidentally I would agree with that), but I would suggest that having someone to dialogue with is part...

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