Could anyone explain to me why some groups of Christians call their leaders "Father"?


1 Answer 1


It is out of respect for the type of relationship they are supposed to have with the people that they lead.

There are several places in Paul's letters where he says he has become the Father of those who he leads spiritually (1 Cor 4:15, Gal 4:19, Phlm 10 ). But no where where it is exhorted in general to call the presbyters or elders by the title "Father".

Some people say Jesus says not to call anyone "Father", including Church leaders. But the reason for calling a church leader "Father" is spiritual fatherhood. So all the things you can think of that your father is supposed to do for your upbringing and sustaining your body a church leader is supposed to do for the upbringing of your spirit and sustaining your soul in friendship with Jesus.

  • I heard like previously Church adopt orphan children, as they don't have parents, they call church lead as Father Nov 27, 2015 at 12:15
  • @karan yeah, that's a good way to think about it. But all of us are orphaned in one way or another (Banished might be a better word) so that's why they can be "Father" to everyone.
    – Peter Turner
    Nov 27, 2015 at 12:38
  • "For though you have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, I became your father through the Good News" (Paul, 1 Cor. 4:15, WEB). I'd say it's in the Bible.
    – Dan
    Nov 28, 2015 at 13:31
  • @Dan I believe that's the correct answer. I'd say Paul missed that memo...@PeterTurner, when Yeshua said "Call no man father", did he mean "Don't call your dad father", or did he mean "Don't consider anyone a spiritual father"?
    – Cannabijoy
    May 8, 2017 at 12:42
  • @anon I've heard that Jesus meant, "don't be so full of yourself".
    – Peter Turner
    May 8, 2017 at 15:17

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