Helpful Tidbits for Organic Church Life                                             June 16, 2008
The Father's Role
My Reflections
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I'm not entirely sure what's happened to my body in the past few years (no emails explaining the obvious, please), but I don't move like I used to. My two boys, on the other hand, seem to move with the fluidity of a sleek sports car. The differences between me and my boys can be, well, comical.
Yet, and often to their amazement, I still run faster, jump higher, throw harder, and often beat them at just about anything. Welcome to Dad World where skill shaped by years of experience reigns supreme.

Fathers and Young Men 
Excerpt from 1 John (2:14) by John the Evangelist
I write to you, fathers,
because you have known him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.

My Reflections
These days I sit behind a computer a lot, writing. I read a lot, too. And much to my amazement, I speak less than I used to and have fewer acquaintances. And yet, my effectiveness as a minister of the gospel has only increased in recent years, often much to my surprise. Slowly but surely I see a transition taking place; I'm becoming a father in the faith.
And along with "fatherhood" comes two important-to-understand transitions. First, there's the transition from "young man" to "old man." Whereas John tells us that young men are "strong," old men, by implication, are not-so-strong; old men often find their energy levels depleting. As such, old men, by necessity, need to give increasing amounts of responsibility to young men, those that will carry the torch.
Second, along with the transition comes a sort of leadership backlash, for young men often question the wisdom of their predecessors. I've done it to my predecessors. Others will do it to me. And hear this; in spite of the pain it often causes, it's good. It's good because "questioning" usually aids in one of either two things happening. Either the questioner will come to know the wisdom of their predecessor or they will overturn the folly of their predecessor, thereby breaking new (i.e. closer to the Kingdom ideal) ground.
Oh, how I'd love to write more on this, but space simply will not allow. What's important for our purposes here is this: spiritual fathers, don't neglect your role! Spiritual sons, fight the good fight and do so in godliness!
These thoughts come to mind, of course, because of Father's Day. Ladies, don't feel neglected; although John's text is men-specific, the same principles apply.
Hope this was of some benefit to you.

Traver Dougherty
The Banqueting Table