Pastor Lovelace St. John of Progress Church in Toronto spoke on inter-generational Father-Son relationships at the FCA Canada Convention in Winnipeg on Thursday, October 18, 2012.

He stated that there is a need for father-son relationships in the Body of Christ. There are scores of men and women in FCA that God desires to raise up as mothers and fathers. As we go back into the Old Testament, we see that parent-child relationships were extremely important. We need to walk not only with the generation after us, but with the one before us. We need to not only do ministry, but to do relationships.

When God created man, He created him successively. Man is born, fulfills his purpose and passes it on to the next generation. The geneologies outlined in the Bible make this clear. In the New Testament, however, Paul tells Timothy there are many teachers, but not many fathers in the faith. Fathering is more caught than taught.

Every one of us needs to walk with others, not only for affirmation, but for correction to help us understand what’s important and what’s not important. Fathering today is very different than it was in the past. In many cases, fathers spend 12-14 hours away from the family to make a living. This leaves a vaccuum for sons to be able to take strong correction from a father. This has dire spiritual implications on our society and the Church.

Jesus came to reveal the Father to us. The Father places a premium on identity through the Father-Son relationship. Biblical father-son relationships are never about structured hierarchy. God wants us in healthy relationships where we can connect with one another and receive life-giving impartation. God is a relational God.

Modern society’s idea of teaching and training is to show you how, whereas Jesus simply came and walked with twelve. He spent time with them. Who is walking with you? Our discipleship has become more intellectually-based than relationally based. We need to be with people where we can share not just our successes but our struggles and failures.

God has a plan and a purpose for us to fulfill. God is turning the hearts of the fathers back to the sons and the sons back to the fathers. A shift is taking place to come back to our Biblical roots and calling. Every generation is called to declare God’s work to the next generation. As pastors and leaders, we need to go beyond our professional titles. We must have the heart of a father and carry the spirit of fathering in our messages. If we stand behind the pulpit without the heart of a father, we will bring forth a hollow message. But with God’s Father-heart, we can impart vision and speak life into their hearts and ministries.

If Jesus came to model the Father-Son relationship to us, we need to take note of what He did. We need a reformation of relationships. A son can approach his father and be heard and understood. Many churches run slick programs, but in reality, we are losing the next generation because they lack the relational component that is needed. We have a responsibility to ensure that we declare the works of God to the next generation not only through our messages, but through father-son relationships.

God wants us to realize that we are here because we stood on someone else’s shoulders. There are many in FCA who are here today because they stood on someone else’s shoulder. Those who went on before us and laboured paved the way for us. We must honour their work because they laid the foundation for our success.

God wants us to recognize that we are called to multiply ourselves. Many of us have been hurt by a father or authority figure in our lives, making it hard to trust and relate. We do not want to give anyone access to our lives because we do not want to be hurt again. It bring with it a desire to be independent, with roots in an orphan spirit, resulting in us not allowing anyone close enough to speak into our lives. Yet we cannot fulfill our purpose and destiny this way. God wants to heal those broken places in our hearts so we can receive and impart His heart to the next generation.

True fathers are not just leaders of networks. They are the heart that reflects the heart of the Father. It is a two-way relationship wherein we know one another in depth. How many would not love to have a father who would point out areas we need to watch out for in life and ministry. If you can find a father, it will make up for 10,000 instructors in your life.

If you have been hurt, rejected or suffered abuse by a father or authority-figure, God can heal you today. He will bring you to a place where you can trust again. God wants us to move beyond just a surface relationship where we can walk with one another, to encourage one another, esteem one another and walk together as fathers and sons.

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