Father’s Day Friday

Posted: March 25, 2011 in Fathering

Just a heads up this is a longer post than normal because it’s a very personal issue for me and not one I can easily trim down. This post is geared towards males but if your a female you can still read. : )

This will be a continuing theme for my blog… My intention is to at least once a week make a post with a reference to fathering. This has become one of the biggest callings in my life and for my personal ministry. I am not referring to being a father to my two boys although I know that’s my greatest calling in life and may get tied into post’s similar to this one. The “fathering” I am referring to about being “father” to those that don’t have a person in their life they see as a father.

There’s a difference between father and dad. Dad’s make babies… Father’s raise children. I am a student pastor. I deal with young people ranging from middle school to college age and beyond. I am a pastor, mentor, friend, basketball coach, ride home, McDouble buyer etc… my day to day job is young people. I deal with all kinds… Athletes. Musicians. Poor. Rich. Black. White. Hispanic. Younger. Older. Broken Homes. Good Homes. Blended Families. “Normal” families. No families. If you’d spend a week with me you would meet all kinds of student from all walks of life. I have found that no matter what economic status, color, interests, group, or whatever these young people are or who they associate with one of the biggest problems facing young people today is the lack of true fathers. Don’t get me wrong I am 100% for mother’s and think they are amazing people and very needed, in fact most of who I am today was because of my mom, but there’s something about a father.

FATHER for so many young people is a foreign word. Divorce. Losers. Death. Misplaced Priorities. Deadbeats. Workaholics. Cowards. Addicts. Situations Beyond Anyone’s Control. These are just some of the reasons for young people to not have fathers in their lives and the list could go on and on. It’s a epidemic that is running rampant through our society and my fear is that unless something is done to break the cycle the problem will only continue to grow and the effects will become more severe. That’s why this issue of fathering has become such major priority to me.

I remember like it was last night the first time God prompted me with the burden of being this type of father. It was a night in September of 2006 I had been on staff at our church for a little over a month and we had Jason Upton in for a night of worship. At some point in the night I found myself face down in the carpet completely lost in a pretty intense moment with God. He spoke to me as clear as I’ve ever heard Him. He told me I was to be a father for the fatherless students and immediately begin to flash images of young people that I knew without fathers in their lives. I saw their faces as clear as looking at a picture. It was a moment that shaped my whole life.

At first, this was like a Moses at the burning bush moment for me. When God told Moses he was going to send him to free the Israelite’s Moses asked God to send somebody else because he felt unqualified. I mean I didn’t know the first thing about being a father. My first son at the time was only 6 months old and a first time dad with a 6 month old is still completely clueless as to what he’s doing. I was raised by a single mom without a dad at home. How was I supposed to know how in the world to be a “father” to these teenagers I was seeing before my face. But like Moses I simply said “Yes” to what God was telling me and began to walk it out and He did the rest.

From that point forward to this day, without pursuit of any title on my part, I have had student after student refer to me as “dad.” Here’s the challenge. WE NEED FATHERS. As I said earlier I grew up without a dad in my house, but God placed men in my life that helped to father me. I really didn’t even realize it until the last couple years as I looked back over my life with this mentality of a father in mind. It wasn’t that they sought to be a father for me but it was men that simply took an interest in the life of Jon Rearden. Was it inconvenient at times? Probably. Did it require some effort? Yea. Was it intentional on their? Maybe … Maybe not. Was it beneficial? Absolutely.

Whether you’re a youth pastor, a teacher, a business man, a janitor, a sunday school teacher,  security officer on a school campus, or whatever you do you can be a father to somebody that needs it. What it requires is you simply take a look around and begin to take an interest in this next generation. Will it take time to build trust? YES! (lots of time… years in a lot of cases) Will you have all the answers? No. Will you always know what to do? No. Will it cost you something? Of course. (Time, Some Convience, and $$$ at McDonalds) But will it be worth it? NO DOUBT.

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