I once was invited to teach ‘housechurch’ with the leaders in one of our island Dumageute. I told them, “I’m not gonna share about house church at all because you can just read a book about it and you can know. Or most of you are probably better than me about that. However I will talk to you about fathering and mothering your next generation. As I went on explaining how our generation has no fathers and mothers ‘in the Lord’ and that’s the reason why we suffer in many ways, in fact the worst result are many have become ‘spiritual orphans’ roaming around churches (without changing their lives) and they’re not really looking ‘who can be able to preach a better sermon’ or ‘sing better’ but I believe they are longing ‘who can become their dad and mom in the Lord. Who can ‘treat’ them like a daughter and son, not ‘members.’ Because we may have our own parents but have never really done some parenting to us – like we have a father but have not taught how to do carpentry or driving. We have mothers but have not taught us cooking or teach us some piano lessons? Think about it, if they, the older folks have not done this to us how much more our NEXT generation? If they’ve failed most of us it is probably accepted. But if we fail ourselves again doing this to our next generation? That’s not good hey? Now, don’t get me wrong, surely the older folks have done some very good things to their next generation. They did their best and what’s best. I can call up names of good and godly people who influences my life. But they should have been more ‘relational’ people than ‘religious’ ones. Too much focus on the doctrine and church system than people. Valuing relationships must be the priority, not systems.”
I ended up saying that we have the job of “transitioning our next generation” not to become a fatherless and motherless one. We are a transitional generation.
As soon as I’m about to finished, a lady, one of their housechurch leader, were already in tears. And I gave her time to talk. She talks about how she really want someone to father and mother her. Other older leaders, including their pastors gave her a hug and affirmed they can become their father or mother in the Lord.
It’s not that fathering and mothering or parenting in the Lord (Ephesians 6:1) was ignored in most churches. It’s just was not recognised and so it wasn’t valued. Seems like church systems and how we handle programs that it ‘must be in the order’ has become more important than a persons feelings?
We have so much leaders and pastors and teachers but lack fathers and mothers. Parenting is not automatic, it’s intentional. So not all leaders or pastors are fathers or mothers. But most good fathers, mothers to their own children that I know are leaders, and no one ‘calls’ them “you’re a leader of your children” But “you’re a father to your children.”
Someone ask me, “Molong, how to father someone?” I smiled and replied “simple, treat him as if he is your own son.” As much as I can whenever I want to talk to someone because he errs or needs some rebuke I always ask myself “what if he is my son what should I say and how would I say it?” And that one question alone change my perspective of that person.
See, Church is family. “He who can manage his children well, can manage the household of God.” How easy to father or mother someone if you yourself have fathered or mothered your children “intentionally.” When the book of proverbs says to “train up a child in the way he should go so that when he is old he will not forget”? The meaning of the word “train” means in Hebrew “initiate.” That is quite intentional. You better know “why” you do what you do.
When I was teaching about making disciples in Singapore I asked “If Jesus says ‘go and make disciples’ it means that there are gonna be people on this side (waving my left hand) that we can make disciples and people on the other side (waving my right hand) who made us disciples of Jesus. Right?” Sure enough they agree. “If so, does this two kinds of people know each other?”
“Nope” a guy named Hezekiah quickly said, “we don’t need to know. We don’t have to.”
Then I said, “then what kind of father you are who do not know your children? And what kind of son you are who do not know your father?” This statement earns me my next meal after the meeting 😉
Oh how we love to do “hit and run” type of evangelism. Lack of relationship. We are only interested of their soul to be saved and after that we trust the church system and it’s leadership to grow that person. You don’t raise a son or a daughter by a book or program. That’s not a very good fathering and mothering method.
Good fathering or mothering takes a lot of time, effort and yes money. Books? Of course but put a lot of relationships in each page. And it’s worth it. Remember that what you will find in the last book of the Old Testament in the last chapter, in the last verse is about bad parenting. And do you have an idea what is the result of it? It’s the last word of the Old Testament: Curse. Where? In the family.
Sorry to say that Satan will never destroy God’s people by church, but by family.
Are you ready for more parenting skills?