I have been a pastor for so many years that I am now seen as a spiritual father. This is a high calling and one that I hope to carry with honor the rest of my days. As a spiritual father, I want to make sure my sons and daughters finish well so that some day they will also have the honor of being called a spiritual father or mother.
When Paul wrote his two letters to Timothy he was writing to a young leader who was struggling. From the content of Paul’s letters it was evident that Timothy needed to stir up the gifts previously planted in his life. Timothy may have been trying to do ministry out of his own strength – something we all have done from time to time. Paul gave Timothy a simple instruction found in I Timothy 4:13, “Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers, and teaching them.” This was Paul’s prescription on how to hang on until his spiritual father could arrive and help him sort things out.
If you are leading a ministry, whether a church, a small group, your family or a large denomination, this prescription would also apply to you, especially in those times when you are tired from trying to do ministry in your own strength or under the burden of other peoples expectations. Call for you spiritual father or mother to come and spend time with you. Until they arrive chose to get simple once again. Stir up the gifts that were placed in you in the beginning and when you gather those under your care, read the word, encourage people and teach them the way of faith. This is the kind of simple life God loves to visit with a fresh outpouring of power.