Reassessing “Father-Son” Ministry – Part 1

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In this blog series I want to examine the topic of “spiritual fathers/mothers and spiritual sons and daughters.”  The higher the potential for good inherent in something, makes the corruption of that thing, proportionately wicked. Think of humanity: made a little lower the Elohim! That is potential for good! But enter sin,  and the depths of depravity exceed imagination. The concept of spiritual fathers (mothers) and spiritual sons and daughters is like this. When it is good, it is very, very good. When it is not, it is horrid.

Reconsidering Apostolic-Prophetic Leadership Models

Reconsidering Apostolic-Prophetic Leadership Models

The practical value of what we believe is proven in implementation. Faith that saves is a living thing, and in the living of our faith, its value is truly seen. If our faith translates inaccurately into how we live, then what we believe may save our souls, but our testimony is compromised and His kingdom advance hindered. If our faith is not incarnate, others have a legitimate right to question our beliefs. Jesus said it this way: “You will know them by their fruit.” I hope to be able to help identify rotten apples in the barrel, without giving up on apples!

Accurate thought expressed inaccurately has consequences. Legitimate biblical concepts held in an unhealed heart, implemented with unclean hands, propagated with crooked feet, and expressed beyond legitimate boundaries, are ruined. That which is intended for good ends up causing harm.

The concept of spiritual fathers and sons[1] fits the above categorization. It’s a legitimate biblical concept and it has associated benefits and risks. The problem is not in the belief per se. It’s in the expression. It’s my conviction from the Scriptures, as well as from subjective experience, that the f/s paradigm, as it is widely believed and practiced, needs some adjustment. In some cases, it just needs a tune up. In other cases the wheels are off the bus and the engine is throwing piston rods.

A scalpel’s potential for benefit or harm is entirely in the hands of the surgeon. Properly trained and gifted surgeons maximize benefit and minimize risk, even when pain is inevitably part of the process. The f/s scalpel is not bad, and pain is always part of the process.  However, some of the hands implementing the f/s scalpel are a bit shaky and there’s arterial bleeding in the Body of Christ. The f/s idea needs to be implemented with the spiritual equivalent of surgical skill to avoid traumatizing the Body of Christ with good intentions.


This blog is an excerpt of our booklet: Father-Son Ministry: Reassessing Apostolic and Prophetic Perspectives, available at

[1]1 Corinthians 4:15 et al., – no gender specificity is implied in these terms, hereafter abbreviated f/s.

Copyright 2014,  Dr. Stephen R. Crosby, Permission is granted to copy, forward, or distribute this article for non-commercial use only, as long as this copyright byline, in totality, is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.  For reprint permission for any commercial use, in any form of media, please contact

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One comment on “Reassessing “Father-Son” Ministry – Part 1

  1. Yes the faith in Christ that we profess must show up in our behaviors and the outflow will be his divine life flowing with us being the instrument..we as humans cannot produce divine life..only him in us can but he does need a wire to flow out of..I’m glad to be the wire but I’m not the energy.

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