Why our churches need more fathers and fewer teachers.


1 Corinthians 4:14-17

14 I am not trying to make you feel ashamed. I am writing this to give you a warning as my own dear children.15 For though you may have ten thousand teachers in Christ, you do not have many fathers. Through the Gospel I became your father in Christ Jesus,16 so I beg you, please follow my example.17 That is why I am sending to you Timothy, my son in the Lord. I love Timothy, and he is faithful. He will help you remember my way of life in Christ Jesus, just as I teach it in all the churches everywhere.

Teachers here refers to a hired tutor. There is no shortage of hired teachers in the Christian community. There is no shortage of people on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube trying to be the next Christian Justin Beiber. Our culture doesn’t need more tutors.  It doesn’t lack for knowledge. It lacks for fathers. It lacks for people who lay down their lives because they would rather see their sons do more and be more than them.

Paul – “rebuking those who, by a misdirected ambition, transferred to themselves the glory that belonged to another.”

Why don’t we release more leaders?

How do we get stuck in being one of many teachers? 

1. We want more fans than we do sons. Fans adore us.  Sons require something from us. Stats will lie to you. How many followers on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest will seduce you into a trap of false success? Fans praise you. Sons know you.

2. We so often care who gets the credit more than who gets the glory. When we move beyond who did what, who said what, to how can I live my life to bring glory and majesty to Jesus, the better off we will be.

3. We get so caught up in building us and not building the church – we build monuments to ourselves. Don’t trap your best leaders in your system so you can look good and feel safe. Let them go. Release them to serve. Release them to lead.

2 Samuel 18:18

18 During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.

How do we lead as fathers?

Realize that God is far more interested in our obedience than our success, and He has called us to go and make disciples but first to wait and pray. Sending comes from an understanding of the gospel and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Our going has to empowered by the Holy Spirit’s coming.

Provide an environment where you allow for and expect people to fail. If people don’t fail, they will never succeed because failure increases our dependence on God. Our God is not a tame lion but he’s good.

Give up what you like to build up what you love.

Conclusion – We can only be a father because of the radical love our Father showed us. How can we let go and release our best and brightest? Because God so loved the world that He gave His only son. God loved – He gave.

The audio of this talk is available soon at the INCM store.

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