Summit Recap. Tim Johns (2)
More on the teaching by Tim Johns on Spiritual Fathering and Family. See yesterdays post for information on Tim.
What constitutes a Spiritual Family. There is a lot of talk in churches these days about being a family but calling something a family doesn’t mean it is one.
- A true spiritual family is covenantally connected at the heart and mind. This means the basis of their relationships is the cross of Jesus. Acceptance, forgiveness, love, mercy, grace in relationship is not based on performance but choice. In other words my acceptance of you or forgiveness of you or extention of grace towards you is not dependent on your behavior but on the reality of our relationship as Family.
This way of relating is so different than most churches I have experienced (Greg writing here). Most decisions in “church” groups are based on political norms and discipline for the common good as opposed to handling failure and sin in a committed family relationship. (my comments are in italics)
Tim goes on: Families do not accept or reject on the basis of performance. Relationships involve deep commitment, sacrifice and care. Conflicts are resolved through communication covered in grace. Gossip and slander are unacceptable.
- A spiritual family has a clear set of values, vision and mission. Goals and strategies come from God and are delivered to the group leader (Father). All family members own the same set of core values that flow from a God given vision and mission. This is what creates oneness and unity.
- A true spiritual family has identifiable Spiritual parents who have accepted the responsibility of giving an account for the members of the Family. There is long term commitment to the family because of calling and Sovereign joining together, not because of a paycheck. (…ask yourself how long your spiritual leader would be committed to you if it was not their job.) Spiritual parents lead by example and do not influence through control or manipulation. They are not abusive of dominating. (How many church decisions are made by people who use their titles to exert control?)
- Spiritual family creates atmosphere and opportunity for all members to grow in character, gifts, callings and responsibility. There is no ceiling of growth on the family members. (hard to do this with churches that have huge populations of people who drift in and out on a weekend with nothing more to tie them to the “family” than the personality of the up front guy)
- A true spiritual family laughs and plays together.
- Differing opinions and ideas are encouraged because a Spiritual Family is trying to find group ownership not buy in.
- True Spiritual Family exists for something and someone outside itself. It is committed to losing its life in order to find it. So the Family feels a responsibility and call to the young, the poor and the unreached in the nations. (How many of us can honestly say the “family” we are part of exist to fulfill a call to those outside of our group?)
- Spiritual families pool their resources and money in a sacrificial way through their tithes and offerings in order to worship God and achiever the vision and mission that was mutually agreed to.
Sadly, I fear few of the groups we gather in are really Family. Some are closer than others but most don’t even understand the concept. I might try to develop some questions that will help us determine if what we are part of is true family or just using the title. Tim does such a great job of communicating what a Spiritual Father or Mother looks like and what a Spiritual Family is about. I hope to write more on this subject in the days ahead. It is critical for the advancement of the Kingdom, because it is Kingdom. Check his website for articles that contain the above information and more HERE and ways to connect with Tim and Janet HERE.
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