THE STORY: As a young Christian, I am sometimes overwhelmed with caring for my four children. Especially the baby! But I have fallen in love with God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I am still serving God in our church family by preparing meals for families that need good food in a time of crisis. The pastor still asks me to do this, but he is also asked me to look for two others to help me in this ministry. The pastor has asked me, he says, to watch over them not only as they help me cook as a team but to watch over them for their spiritual life as well. I call them my “little sisters in Jesus.” They love it! They love having double the love of two families … their regular family and their spiritual family.
So as I prepare the meals, they help me and also learn how to cook for themselves and for their families. They also help me watch my children as I am cooking.
It feels wonderful to have the help of these two teenagers to help me with my little children, as if they were my own daughters grown up. When my own little children are teenagers, I will be very ready to love them and know what to do to care for them because of this relationship with my “little sisters in Jesus.”
The pastor has asked me to talk with them about others in our church that we should love and pray for. The goal of the pastor is to form little spiritual families inside of our big church family. Our little spiritual family will soon grow! A spiritual family will have parents and grandparents to watch over the young teenagers, the children with their many questions and the little babies who just need to be loved. We spend time in each of these stages as we grow up in the Lord.
I find this very fulfilling both to be a young mother to my own small children, but also to be a loving spiritual mother to other people in my church family who need that spiritual love very much.
Truly, God is at work and miracles still happen! What happened to me and my spiritual family is proof of that!
NOTE (my commentary):
IF “it takes a village to raise a child,”
THEN it takes a whole church working together in Christian Education to raise a disciple to full maturity!
2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
In the verse above, Paul talks about four generations of Christians. In order for baby Christians to grow into full maturity as God’s grown-up children, they need the blessing of spiritual parents. Spiritual parents will nurture a baby and provide tender loving care. Spiritual parents will answer questions and guide spiritual children to learn about Jesus Christ. As spiritual children become spiritual teenagers – with all the characteristics of teenagers, good and bad – spiritual parents will calmly continue to love, teach, and parent them as they grow to full adulthood in Christ.
And when a spiritual child you raise becomes a parent, you will become a spiritual grandparent. You will continue to guide and help this first generation with their own spiritual children, help them become better spiritual parents, and also help with your spiritual grandchildren.
Consider your answers to the questions below about this circle of life. Feel free to consult parents and grandparents in your church to gather details.
What do human parents want for their children?
How are you involved in helping others grow toward spiritual and emotional maturity in your church?
We tend to feel drawn toward a particular age with which we feel comfortable and competent.
For you, would that be helping with spiritual infants and nurturing them?
For you, would that be helping with spiritual children and teaching them?
For you, would that be helping with spiritual teenagers and leading them?
For you, would that be helping with spiritual parents, helping them with the grandchildren?
Look for the four generations in your church.
Who watches over you like a parent? Who led you to Christ? Who led them to Christ?
Who functions like a spiritual parent in your church now? Who are the “children” they watch over? Who is the grandparent who watches over them?
Is the pastor functioning like a spiritual grandparent, equipping and encouraging others to minister? (Eph 4:12)
Imagine the church as a four cornered room.
Who is in the spiritual infant corner, where others must care for them as they are helpless?
Who is at the spiritual child corner, full of questions and curiosity to learn?
Who is at the spiritual teenager corner, discovering their calling and working at it?
Who is in the spiritual parent corner, ready to help others grow up?
Who. in each corner, is outgrowing the purpose of that corner? It’s no longer sufficient for their changing needs because they are ready to move on to the next?
Parents nurture, but they also have a calling.
In which corner is their ministry to be found?
Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.
Key: Origin: Last Revision: 9/7/20.