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Responsibility of Leadership
GOD’S PLAN FOR THE FAMILY
Terry R. Baughman
“Though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me” (1 Corinthians 4:15–16).
There is no leadership instruction like a father’s guidance. Though not always valued he shares wisdom from a heart of love. Others can give instruction, teach courses, or share opinions, but a father speaks from a deep well of passion and with a voice of experience. Of course, there are many different kinds of fathers with varied personalities. Some are more talkative and can be entertaining as they share stories and highlights of past experience. Others are soft spoken and share few words, but what they speak has incredible weight and insight. The important thing is for children to listen and for fathers to teach!
Paul observed the condition in the Church of Corinth that they had plenty of instructors and many teachers, but observed that they did not have many fathers. The Apostle became a father to many, not by blood but by the gospel. He mentored young men to pursue godliness and seek a life of ministry. He called upon believers in Corinth to imitate his example. He said, “Imitate me!” How many of us would dare to make such a bold statement!
True followers of Christ can live out an example and teach others to follow with the same passion. Actually, it is our responsibility as fathers and as leaders in the church community to provide that kind of leadership and instruction. Andy Stanley said, “Leadership is a stewardship, and we are accountable.” It comes a weighty responsibility to provide leadership for those who will come after us knowing that the future of the church depends on our service, our leadership, and our ability to transfer responsibility to others.
Some may feel their position of headship gives them authority to demand respect, and the right to speak abusively to their subordinates, all the while expecting servitude from their subjects. Actually the opposite is true. We have a position of service in our homes; we are servant leaders. Husbands and fathers are entrusted with the greatest treasure, the family. While we are given the position of leadership in the home we also bear the weight of tremendous responsibility. Ultimately, we are accountable to God for how we administrate that responsibility.
God’s love toward us as our Heavenly Father gives us the perfect example of how a father should administrate his responsibility. John wrote, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1 NIV). When we see how God loves us as special children we see an example of how we should strive to love our children and others whom we mentor.
We live in a generation where many children do not have a father present in their lives. The church must be a place that can model God’s desire to provide guidance, instruction, and loving mentors to those who have never known a father’s love. This is our responsibility in leadership!
“[Cornelius] … and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly” (Acts 10:2 NIV).