We are writing a manifest calling The New Young Christians to rise up and join our tribe. Here is the beginning of our Manifesto here.
A revolution conceives an idea and births a message but a message dies if it’s not nurtured…if it’s not fathered. The hills are taken. The territory is secure. The leadership mobilized…because father’s are found. The fragile beginning of a revolution needs founding fathers to inspire the masses, share the convictions and secure the future. These leaders aren’t just visionaries and generals but founding fathers. If you haven't read part 1 of our Founding Fathers piece you can read it here and the rest of our Founding Fathers portion continues below...
Just like the founding fathers of the revolution, Paul chose to revolt against the status quo. Paul also saw the need to be a founding father against the backdrop of religion, it’s tyrannical rule and it's forceful superiority. Paul chose to battle the idoloatry of his day by declaring that an unknown God can be known. Paul chose to take territory that were once hubs of demonic activity and make them into hubs of dramatic conversions (Acts 16:16-18). Paul chose to establish a freedom to the masses that was a message to the world that Christ sets you free so stop living under the bondage of sin and dogma (Galations 5:1). What the celebrities, politicians and religious leaders of the day were declaring was information. It was cultural rhetoric looking to persuade the masses to align to it's void principles and empty passions. We are bombarded by information in this day and age. We have access like never before to unlimited information about our own cultural issues and religious beliefs and celebrity lifestyles. Paul wasn’t interested in just spreading information but was asking for imitation.
Imitation is different than information. Information is words and imitation is actions. Information is everywhere but imitation is unique. Information may educate but imitation inspires. This is where fathering becomes necessary for imitation. Fathers help passionate believers move from being a messenger to an imitator; from a vent to a distinct voice; from a shout in the crowd to wisdom as a child. Paul knew that for faith to flourish, he didn’t spread information but sustained imitation. God endorses this in Hebrews, 7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Hebrews 13:6-8
Fathers know their role that ownership of faith is the greatest force to advance faith. Faith lives on and flourishes when we own our faith, own our battles and own our choices. No one can worship God like you or for you. It’s all you. Spiritual fathers and mothers are living examples in front of you to inspire you and live out the example of what it means to follow God. Founding fathers aren’t perfect but they are authentic, enthusiastic and ardent. The greatest lessons you will teach and pass on will be your life lessons. So be authentic, share your weaknesses and your struggles. Talk about when you overcame and how you didn’t. Share the ups and downs of your spiritual journey. Passion is contagious so the more you reveal your enthusiasm about faith, social issues, spiritual concerns, others will line up behind you and say, “that’s me, too.” When you own your faith and choose to live a confident life of imitation, you release a spiritual potency that is rare in most discipleship.
Imitation is good but it doesn't stop there. Founding fathers and mothers know that true sonship and devoted daughters of our spiritual family need one more crucial experience in their spiritual formation: impartation. The New Young Christian believes it’ s not only important to live by example in front of others but to live by empowering others or in other words, to put "in power" into others. The latin meaning of impartation means "to give a part of you away to someone else." Paul had the desire for impartation in him as he was discipling others, "I long to be with you so I can impart something into you.” (Romans 1:11-12) Paul's passion wasn't just to pass on information and live out imitation but to give impartation. Impartation's purpose is to inspire spiritual gifts, express encouragement and the strengthening the faith of the one being imparted into. Impartation goes beyond just mentorship. Mentorship is gaining experience but impartation is learning obedience.
Spiritual sons and daugthers learn impartation by becoming teachable so they can become who they were meant to be so they can do what they were meant to do and go where they need to go. Impartation helps us to learn responsibility to go into places we couldn't go before. Impartation helps us to learn authority to give us power to do what we couldn't do before. Fathers don’t see themselves as achieving something but advancing someone. Fathers care less about what you achieve and more about how you arrive. Impartation advances you into your future. The wisdom we gain from the experiences of others is valuable. Discipleship is unique to Christianity because it recognizes those in need with a simple starting point of “you need a family.” The New Young Chrsitian sees the necessity of "founding fathers" in a revolution to decree that everyone belongs to someone. All have a home in this new normal so sons and daughters can grow and mature.
How important is impartation as a young believer or as someone leading young believers?