I had the privilege this morning to be part of an interactive webinar, with a diverse group of International Fathering Leaders, where this subject was part of the discussion. It was quite refreshing to be with Kingdom Leaders and have open dialogue, sharing at a higher level than normal. There was no “keeping up with the Jones’” or “I am more important than you”, going on, but simply how can we redefine, bring clarity, and a good working definition to Spiritual Fathers.
As with many things in Ecclesia, we have a tendency to take a “one size fits all approach” to much of what we do. For example, as we look at the New Testament we have several examples of Apostles, but as we compare them, we find out that no two really operated or functioned the same. Yet, we have taken Paul as the example of the “Prototype Apostle” and made him the measuring stick of what all Apostles will look or function like.
Well, we have done the same thing with Spiritual Fathers. It seems that what many are longing for today is the Intimate Personal Spiritual Father. There is a great need for this type of Father, but it is not the only type. There are also National Fathers that Father us, but from a different way than the Intimate Personal Father does. Where we get into trouble is when we expect the Intimate Personal Father to act like the National Father, and vice versa.
Let me speak from my own experience. As a teenager growing up and being groomed for ministry by my Father, Leo Fram, it was a very hands-on, intimate relationship. He sat me down in the living room of the house I grew up in and taught me how to write sermon outlines, how to correlate Scripture, organize my thoughts in a systematic pattern so it would be easy for folks to follow. He told me the things I did right, and corrected me in the things that I did not do right, by explaining how I could do them better.
At twenty years of age, right after I got married, I enrolled in Rhema Bible Training Center (Now it is Rhema Bible Training College, but back then it was Training Center) and I was able to sit at Rev. Kenneth E. (Dad) Hagin’s feet for two years. Before I enrolled in Rhema, I had already read most of his books and had listened to many of his teaching tapes. Brother Hagin was every bit of a Father to me as Leo Fram was, but clearly on a different level.
I carry the Spiritual DNA of both Leo Fram and Kenneth Hagin, but their impartation did not come the same way. I think I actually said hello to Brother Hagin and shook his hand twice in the ten years I lived in Tulsa, where Leo Fram laid hands on me many times through the years (and as I tell my son now…not for blessing) as there was much correction…as well as impartation. Yet they both Fathered me.
Kenneth Hagin was not going to Father me the same way Leo Fram did, and Leo Fram did not Father me the way Kenneth Hagin did. Which one was the most important? They were both important to my development of growing as a Son and developing to the place where I could grow into becoming a Father myself.
Many are looking for the National Father to act like the Personal Intimate Father, and when they don’t or can’t because of the demands of their Metron, folks get upset with them. Many are also just looking for the National Father, sometimes because of unrealistic expectations, or because they are looking for someone with a large platform that can increase their own platform, all the while overlooking the Personal Intimate Father that is right in front of their nose, that God has put in their path to pour into them one on one.
Please hear me Brother and Sister. The Personal Intimate Father will give you their Cell Phone Number and will go out of their way to make time for you that the National Father will not be able to, but that does not mean that you don’t need the National Father, and that they aren’t just as important to your development as the Personal Intimate father is.
Can we please be delivered from the either/or mentality that has plagued the church and embrace the both/and mentality? The National Father will not interact with you like the Personal Intimate Father will, and the Personal Intimate Father will interact with you in a way the National Father can’t. Please Accept and Honor them both for the role that they play in your developing Sonship, imparting their Spiritual DNA to you according to their Metron and Assignment in your life. If you receive both as they are designed to function in your life you will grow exponentially in the days ahead!