If they are capable but not parenting, then they are probably still young adults. A spiritual parent has a solid understanding of God's Word, a deep, abiding relationship with God, and a desire to be involved in raising up other disciples. They are kingdom-centered and God-dependent. As mature believers, parents understand that you never outgrow your need for spiritual family, and they are humble enough to be involved in the church despite its many imperfections. They can be characterized by statements or questions such as:
- I wonder if God is leading me to invest in Bill and help him mature in his faith.
- I want to help this guy at work. He asked me to explain the Bible to him. Pray for me as I spend time in the Word with him.
- We get to baptize someone from our small group tonight. When is the next SHAPE class? Getting him plugged into ministry is essential for his growth.
- Our small group is going on a mission trip. I am praying for God's wisdom as I give each person a different responsibility to help them grow.
- The most important discipleship is with my children. Will you hold me accountable to lead devotionals withy kids on a daily basis? I get so busy that I am not consistent with them.
- I want to be conscious of the influence of my words and actions when I go the the game with Bill and Betty. I easily get upset at the referees. As new Christians, Bill and Betty are hungry for guidance, and I want to set an example for them.
- I have a spiritual child in my small group who is causing conflicts; pray that I will have patience as I lead them through this difficult stage.
- I have a young adult who is ready to be an apprentice in our group; it won't be long until we are ready to branch our small group.
If you believe you are in or getting close to the parent stage, it's time to lead or co-lead a ministry within Pointe North of your own. You should have a spiritual mentor; talk with them and church leadership to explore where God is calling you to lead.
*stages and characterizations taken from Discipleshift by Putman & Harrington. Zondervan Publishing 2013. Pgs 61-71.