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 and it continues below...
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.
The term "founding fathers” refers to those who contributed to the development of independence and nationhood. These men came together with a drive and a directive to unleash the power to the people. There is something about putting power in the hands of the people that these passionate leaders understood and that God desired. Jesus was clear when He said, “I must go so that I can send power to you so that not only will you not be orphans but you will have power” (John 14:16-18). Jesus is raising up spiritual fathers and mothers to nurture and empower a generation to live dependant on God and determined to love others.
Leadership you can trust is hard to find. We live in a culture where we view those in charge through the eyes of skepticism. From presidents to pastors, those that culture has deemed as trustworthy cannot be trusted. From athletes to apostles, those that are given authority and value by those around us have platforms made of glass. These fragile podiums can shatter with the smallest of blows. To trust and believe in someone is hard for these young believers. To open up to someone is difficult when you have been told to trust, believe and support those whose voices have value only to see their value drop when their issues rise. No one is perfect but no one should be pretending and that’s the problem. So we choose to distance ourselves from significant voices because we fear they will let us down again. So we conclude, “it’s better to be around those I can see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears because that’s what’s believable to me.” So unless I’m up close and personal…I’m distant and critical. Unless those in our circles have experience, authenticity and trust…we chose to live abandoned and left to fend for ourselves creating a need for deep spiritual relationships. This relationship void is ready for spiritual fathers and mothers to jump in and lead these young believers back towards belonging.
A lack of fathers and mothers leads to an abundance of orphans. We live in an orphaned culture. When the divorce rate rises then the potential for fatherlessness rises. When unwanted pregnancies increase then the abandoned increase. In an orphan culture the abandoned live by their own rules making the necessity of a mother or father not just obsolete but a joke. The voices coming from the fatherless sound like this, “We’ve made it this far without them…why should we start now?”
God knows the need for not just fatherhood but spiritual fatherhood. God raised up Paul became a father in the faith…a founding father that crafted a message of depending on Christ for salvation and spiritual formation. Paul would have seen the abandonment of children in his Roman culture due to their physical imperfections when juxtaposed against the high prevalence of perfectionism in Roman culture. Yet the message of family and belonging that has always been present from the beginning and throughout Christianity was compelling to those who called themselves Christians. Many Christians would adopt the discarded around them and make them sons and daughters of their own.