One of the problems in our culture is what some are calling “Failure to Launch.” There are a number of cultural factors that are creating this situation. Part of it is due to the breakdown of the family and the traditional structures that once guided people into adult life. Some of it is due to the abdication of the responsibility that parents have to help guide their sons and daughters into full adulthood. Having raised seven children, I know how challenging it can be to create a clear “Launch Pad” for each of my sons and daughters. Yet there is no greater responsibility for a natural parent or, in my estimation, for a spiritual parent as well.
Healthy parents get to know their sons and daughters according to the unique designs and destinies God gave them. We look for personality styles, types and spiritual gifts as they become visible. We also try to praise areas of victory and encourage in times of challenge. We look for the kind and quality of relationship they have with the Lord. As we study these things, we can learn the design of our children and help aim them like arrows toward the bull’s-eye of destiny.
In a church, pastors and leaders need to study each person they care for, learning how to parent them in the correct way. They need to avoid the temptation of cookie-cutter discipleship, where everyone grows in uniform lockstep, and learn to individualize the leadership development process, so every single person in the church can discover his or her design and destiny. In this way, every church becomes a destiny incubator for the good of all, for the glory of God. Let’s look at discovery, development, and fulfillment more closely.
Discovery of Destiny
Every church is called to be a destiny incubator for its members. That is what family is all about. With both natural and spiritual children, a first step in parenting children into their destinies is to lead them through the process of discovery. This discovery begins with getting to know them and their history, their family, and how they were raised, and it goes on to include how they came to Christ and the discovery of their spiritual gifts in the Lord. It identifies the God-given dreams and passions the person is carrying as a primary indicator of what their future destiny will be. A spiritual father or mother will raise spiritual children that will help facilitate this process among their brothers and sisters.
The next step in the process is development. A wise father and mother in the natural will have a set of developmental systems in place so their children can grow. They will rely on the school system as one of those incremental developmental tools, while others will choose homeschooling. Some will provide chores and allowances to help foster a growing sense of development. It is much the same in the spiritual. In the family church, good leaders will constantly be looking at each member, helping them to take the next step of development in the areas of identity, community, responsibility, maturity, and destiny. (You can read more about these other areas of development at pastorscoach.com)
The ultimate goal of every natural parent with their children is to release them into full adulthood in a similar way spiritual parents must help every son and daughter boldly step into the destiny that God has prepared for them. (Eph. 2:10) A good parent will make sure that the child is fully equipped as they grow into adulthood to be the best they can possibly be in the workplace, home and church. The next generation’s success depends on the success of this generation’s spiritual parenting. A true family church won’t try to hold on to people or hold them back but will cheer them on to the finish line of God’s purpose. If those people must move on from their church, like natural parents, the spiritual parents will cheer them on as they move on in pursuit of their next step in life.
The Gift of Destiny is a pearl of great price that will enrich your spiritual offspring for a lifetime. Like arrows in the hand of an archer, our children are to be shot forth into a fruitful future. The question is how. I believe that there is no higher purpose for any family or any church than to help each member discover and fulfill the reason they are on this earth. We need to make this the highest priority of our ministries. As we do so, our churches will benefit from the overflow of each person’s pursuit of God and the Kingdom will benefit as we send fully equipped sons and daughters transform their worlds for Christ.
To view more on this series, check out www.destinyfinder.com