The Consumer Model
A fathering model for modern church consumers begins with “What do I want?”
The children then design and define relational dynamics based upon perceived needs. Fathers written into the script of potential receive no honor in this scenario. They redefine honor to fit the script. Honor simply means, “I will give you a good review if you meet my needs well.” It is loyalty to a consumer brand. The sought-after taste and texture must remain consistent to the taste buds of the consumer. A new product is a new season or new wineskin.
A newly-released product, if seen as an improvement, nullifies all previous interests immediately. On a whim, or the consumer receives permission from God to abandon previous covenant. If the consumer grows weary with the process required to consume, he changes fathers like he changes hats.
Fathering is whatever the consumer says it is. The meaning of fathering rises from the need, taste, or desire of the consumer. The father is a consumable.
This is the way the Israeli generation of Jesus treated Messiah.
They had already written a script for His leadership. They were wrong about Messiah’s role, but they “experts in expectations.” They demanded that Messiah please their acquired tastes. They demanded that Messiah provide daily rations of free fish sandwiches. They thought Moses provided daily manna as a model of kingdom culture.
They demanded that Messiah first respond to political factions and doctrinal idolatries. They demanded that Messiah sacrifice principle for tradition. They demanded that Messiah focus upon potential instead of purpose. They were complete in their design and definition of Messiah. The script they wrote and directed had no place for Jesus.
They killed Him as an imposter. They dishonored Him for not meeting their demands and fulfilling their needs. They had no intention of obeying Messiah. They would not submit to discipling. They refused to change to be changed to fit His kingdom culture.
People consume a consultant in the consumer model.
The Church Model
Modern church has no model for fathering at all. Modern church has no first step for fathering leadership within its leadership strategy. Church has no leadership strategy to disciple anyone. Only by rejecting the church leadership model can a leader take part in discipling at all.
Even the highest form of teaching in modern church-anity is truth about the Truth at its base. No expectation that Truth will transform arises. Turning the minds substitutes for turning the hearts. Any person passionate enough to want more seeks that out on their own. They find fathering leadership. That nearly always means they go back to the consumer model above.
Nobody wants fathering leadership from church. They want fathering leadership to be personal, at their own beck and call. They do not want the events of church-anity to challenge them personally. They will applaud any truth about the Truth that targets “them.” If any hits home personally, they will seek out their own leadership strategy to meet that need.
Since church-anity isn’t kingdom, it has no kingdom culture. The Great Commission means nearly nothing to modern church-anity (in terms of what it means to Jesus). Jesus having all authority is meaningless. Teaching cultures to obey all He commanded means nothing. The people who should be teaching do not obey that kingdom culture either.
The modern church is a weekly crusade or event with attendant nice things for you and your family to consume. The greatest church is one that can meet all your needs by your definition of church. Some of them even have a bank. Some of them provide child care. Some of them teach you yoga. Some of them provide you friends for quilting.
While some cannot have that extensive a mega church footprint in your life, they would if they could.
The last thing they want to do is tackle your issues, train you to mature, and deal with your cycles. They send you to – ministries for all that stuff. Anything that resembles the life and ministry of Jesus is unavailable from church.
Ecclesia serves people in the Church model.
The Kingdom Model
Kingdom has a culture. It is a spiritual kingdom. It has a spiritual culture. To have kingdom culture participation, you must be discipled as a kingdom citizen. While you born of the Spirit to enter, you must be discipled if you wish to participate without delinquency and dysfunction. The kingdom assumes you will be discipled as a process of preparation and positioning for participation, to produce purpose.
Jesus is the Father of the kingdom. He partners with and represents the Father. He is out fathering leader. He operates by fathering leadership dynamics in a fathering spirit.
Jesus chooses, calls, authorizes, and assigns kingdom leaders who partner with and represent Him. He represents the Father. His leaders represent Him. Everything Father does is fathering in character. Everything Jesus does is fathering in character. Everything His representatives do in leadership is fathering in character. To the extent they are fathering, they properly represent Jesus and His Father.
The kingdom culture operates with this leadership spirit in mind. The relationships within that culture are designed and defined by the Father. Jesus taught them to His originating disciples. His representatives taught them to kingdom culture. Kingdom culture influences all cultures with theses principles, processes, and protocols. To the extent His people get this right, they influence cultures toward kingdom culture.
Fathering originates. Fathering creates. Fathering increases. Fathering disciples. Fathering prepares and positions. Fathering brings the culture and those within to account for fulfilling assignment.
In the kingdom, God designs and defines relationships. Citizens trust the King. Citizens share the King’s passionate love. Citizens submit to the culture. Citizens obey with fulfilling purpose and assignment as the means of measuring obedience.
In the kingdom, citizens are the consumables. They are priests. They are offerings. They are worshipping by offering themselves holy and accepted by God. They are doing so within a kingdom culture with oversight of fathering elders. Fathering elders have oversight of different levels or scope of assignment.
Some have international assignments. Some have national assignments. Some have regional assignments. Some have ministry assignments. Some have personal assignments. Eldership authority and responsibility is equal to assignment. The scope of assignment determines the scope of authority and responsibility.
Everyone serves the King in the kingdom model.