Jeremy Schurke - Why Young Men need a Spiritual Father Ep #3

Jeremy Schurke is the Director of Mirror Labs. We launched the Spiritual Fathers initiative because of the research he’s done. In this episode of Spiritual Fathers, Jeremy touches on some of that research to drive home the point that we need more Spiritual Fathers. 

And it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. All you need is experience, a willingness to be open and vulnerable, and a little bit of time. Learn the answer to “Why Spiritual Fathers?” in this great conversation. 

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • The spiritual influences in Jeremy’s life [1:13]
  • Learn more about Jeremy’s family [5:45] 
  • The cultural conversation around the church [6:31] 
  • The launching of Mirror Labs [11:07] 
  • Key resources in the area [19:30] 
  • Am I qualified to be a Spiritual Father? [21:24] 
  • Is it too much of a time commitment? [27:42] 
  • The latest research and newest initiatives [30:22] 
  • The best and worst spiritual advice Jeremy has received [33:12] 
  • What Jeremy’s perfect day looks like [35:21] 
  • The golden years of discipleship [36:04] 

The cultural conversation around the church

Jeremy became a Christian in college. After traveling and working with a college ministry, he moved to Haiti to open an orphanage. He toured colleges raising money and awareness for Haiti. He then helped a friend plant a church in the inner city of Jacksonville, FL. He worked on that project for six years, during which he went to seminary. 

Jeremy and his family moved back to Orlando in 2018. Jeremy’s learned that he prefers to be in the middle of the greatest need. It became obvious that the city he left in 2008 was much different. In 2008, there was a spiritual revival happening. He was part of the fastest-growing church in the Southeast US. But in 2018, it was a spiritual ghost town. 

There was a mass exodus from the church and no one had a good answer as to why. Something was off, and Jeremy wanted answers. That’s when he became involved in Mirror Labs. 

The launching of Mirror Labs

As he dove into research, Jeremy saw the struggles and challenges young men were facing. Man in the Mirror wanted to study and understand those challenges to find a way to best serve them. 

Jeremy got free reign to talk with anthropologists, sociologists, and social scientists. He launched focus groups while connecting with other organizations researching the church and Christian landscape. 

He learned something simple: The gospel is a timeless truth but the application must always be timely. Ultimately, if you don’t change the application, your message won’t pierce the culture. 

What surprised Jeremy the most? Research indicated that there was a mass exodus from the church that accelerated after Covid. The hypothesis was that young people were leaving the church because of cultural wars (LGBTQ, race, etc.). 

But it was more about relational emptiness. Young guys are struggling with loneliness. They weren’t building great relationships at the church—so why would they stay there? Even more glaring, many didn’t have an older man in their life as a mentor or guide, yet everyone surveyed wanted those relationships. 

The question became, how do they address this big need? Building a network of more Spiritual Fathers was one solution. 

Why become a Spiritual Father? 

Most young men don’t know where to find a spiritual father. They know plenty of older men but they’re not finding what they’re seeking. They want someone who isn’t resigned to life. They want someone still striving and engaged—someone they’d like to become

It isn’t about being rich and successful. Younger men want to learn from the guys who have gone through the valleys and come out on the other side. You’re the ones who have the perspective that young people want and need

The struggles and challenges are often more important than the successes and victories. We all learn more from our mistakes than our successes because we grow and learn from them. Secondly, young people struggle to trust someone who’s never made a mistake. They want to know that there's something more to keep walking in faith toward. 

Jeremy tackles other common questions about becoming a Spiritual Father—including why it’s so necessary, now more than ever—in this engaging conversation. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Jeremy Schurke

Connect With Spiritual Fathers

  • The Spiritual Fathers website
  • SpiritualFathers(at)

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