I have seen this so clearly in my own family . . . not in my leadership but in that of my father. I remember when my sister and I were both teenagers. We had a fairly active teen group in our church and there was this one family who worked with us a good bit. They really were wonderful people, but they also had teenagers. One of their teens was a boy about my sister’s age. I remember that one night we were over at this youth leader’s house for some kind of meeting or something and, when it was over, there son was supposed to take several of the people home. Now he was considered to be pretty cool and everyone who was “in” was going to ride with him. My sister wanted to ride with him and I think my dad was phoned to see if that would be ok.
Now, here you have the situation: My dad’s pastoring the church; one of his youth worker’s sons wants to give my sister a ride. She wanted to ride in the car with them. I’m sure he felt a lot of pressure. But my dad could not only decipher the culture, he deciphered human nature too. He sensed that something wasn’t right in the life of this young man and so he said, “no!” My sister was mad! I don’t know but what the boy’s parents might have been a little upset too. Didn’t faze my father. I can’t remember if he came and got us or we rode home with some other adult.
The next day we heard that as that boy left with that crowd of kids, there was at least one bottle of “Boone’s Farm” that got passed around the car. It was a scandal in our church. My sister would have at least been tempted and would have been in danger if she had ridden in that car.
Dad’s listen! Deciphering, Demonstrating, and Declaring is your job because godly fathers are holy. But secondly: