Together for the Gospel: Fathers and Sons (Part 1)

Be sure to read the introduction and first part of this series of posts on healthy, gospel-centered, mission-driven unity. This series was inspired by conversations I participated in and themes I heard at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting three weeks ago in Louisville, KY.

Almost everyday, I talk with young church planters and pastors from all over our state and around the country. Inevitably, the conversations turn in the same directions and land on the same challenges.

The church planter is struggling to raise money and to make wise leadership decisions in planting his church. His inexperience and hidden fears are being exposed more and more everyday and he knows it.

The young pastor of an already established church is dealing with the inevitable discontent that comes with leading change. He just can’t figure out how to lead his church to renewed focus and gospel-effectiveness. Patience is what’s required and he’s running dangerously low.

At the end of every conversation, I’m left with two feelings. One, an increased level of gratitude for the pastors/leaders who have invested and who are investing in me. Two, an increased brokenness for my brothers in ministry who do not have that kind of relationship.

Fathers, it’s time to step up and love your sons. I’m talking about older, established pastors loving…really loving…the younger pastors and church planters that God has placed around you.

My dad and I were about as different as a father and son can be. He was short; I’m tall. He was stocky; I’m skinny. He was a handyman and could build or fix anything; I call people to build and fix stuff. He was a quiet administrator; I’m a loud motivator.

As different as we were, one thing I never doubted: My dad loved me and supported me. Always.

When I screwed up, he still loved and supported me. When he didn’t agree with me, he still loved and supported me. When I wouldn’t listen and then paid for my mistakes, he still loved and supported me.

Older pastors…us younger pastors need the same kind of relationship with YOU! Yes, we’re different – our hair is different, our dress is different, our worship styles are different, our church strategies are different, our church names are different, our preaching styles are different…

But on one front, we are the same. We love Jesus and we are laser-focused on the Great Commission! And we need you to help us succeed…and by helping us succeed, you are helping the gospel succeed in your city!

This got a little long, so I am breaking it into two parts. Part 2 has some stories and ideas and will post tomorrow…


3 Comments on “Together for the Gospel: Fathers and Sons (Part 1)”

  1. great word here Jay! Love the correlation from your dad to that of a pastor who is a father or mentor figure…man, if those who have gone before us would build into and encourage those who are beginning in ministry today what a blessing each would receive individually and from each other…it’s all about a ‘laser-focus’ in fulfilling the great commission…love following you, Awaken, and above all seeking to grow the kingdom together with my brothers…

  2. Hey Jay,

    I think it goes both ways we need the older pastors and they need us. However on both sides so many of us are threatened by each other. But you are so right its not about our egos, worship styles, pews or movie theater chairs, or attendance records, or building funds, or hymns or Rock and roll…its about loving and sharing God’s unconditional love.

    We pastors have forgotten that in so many ways.

  3. paulpeterson says:

    Right on Jay! Right on!

    I’m thinking these days that senior saints may be one of the most valuable constituencies in the church, for three reasons:
    1) experience
    2) financial margin
    3) time margin

    When seniors buy-in the vision is much closer to being fulfilled! Let’s not push them aside let’s embrace them AND seniors… don’t sideline yourselves or write us off! Get in the game! The Kingdom needs you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s