Masculinity has been in crisis for some time now. What used to be common-place has become radical and what was radical is aggressively being normalized. Sadly, even some of the language of the Bible is now recognized by our culture as hate language. One Biblical idea that has taken quite a hit is the idea of a husband and father as a patriarch (defined in the dictionary as the male head of a family or a tribe).
But in the face of growing opposition, as our team at the Iron Sharpens Iron Conference Network comes alongside church leaders across the nation, we believe it is vital to start by reinforcing God’s design that men are called to spiritual leadership. This leadership starts in the home and expands outward from there. It starts in the home because the most important relationships in a man’s life are in the home. This is what we mean by a patriarch.
In fact, a primary descriptive qualification for spiritual leadership in the church is spiritual leadership in the family. Look what Paul writes to his church planting protégé, Timothy, as he coaches him in the qualities necessary for those he is recruiting to be part of his church leadership team in Ephesus:
“He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church? –1 Tim. 3:4,5
He writes something very similar to Titus as he mentors him in pulling together his new team of leaders at the growing church in Crete. Paul likely considered it impossible for a man to be an effective spiritual leader outside the home if he is not first an effective spiritual leader inside the home. Paul seems to believe that the church and community will greatly benefit from “patriarchs” who are the spiritual leaders of their family…
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About the Author: Brian Doyle serves as Founder and President of Iron Sharpens Iron, a national conference network serving churches across the nation. His passion is to see the local church become effective in reaching and discipling men of all ages. Brian has served with The Navigators in New England in various capacities, as the New England Area Manager for Promise Keepers and as the Director of Men’s Ministries for Vision New England. He and his wife, Barbara have five children and reside in Winter Springs, FL.