Sunday, September 13, 2009

"I'm just not being fed..."

"I'm just not being fed..."

Unfortunately, this is a complaint being expressed by far too many Christians in churches today - the message isn't deep enough for me; I'm not being taught the Word of God; my pastor isn't teaching me the Bible verse by verse...

I believe that these complaints are serious, and should not be taken likely. The church plays a critical role in developing the Body of Christ - no doubt about it. The topic of discipleship is worthy of numerous separate posts dealing with this issue. For the purpose of this post, however, I would like to submit a question to those that share these dissatisfying feelings about their pastor:

Why is it someone else's fault that you are not being spiritually fed?

I would lovingly yet firmly state that if you have a Bible and you can read, you are responsible for feeding yourself.

Never before have we had access to more Bibles, more personal devotion materials, and more means to get the Word of God into our hearts. We now have the ability to receive daily bible verses emailed or twittered to us, daily reading plans - we even have access to view the Bible for free on our cell phones ( With all these things available - not to mention that some in other countries can't get enough Bibles - why is it that we are not taking more responsibility for our own spiritual growth in Christ?

I used to share this critical sentiment against my pastor. For a season, instead of "feeding" myself, i would spend much of my time and energy criticizing my pastor and church because they didn't teach me the Bible, verse by verse. Looking back, I failed to realize that it wasn't my pastor's responsibility to feed me. His job is to equip the saints to do the work of proclaiming the gospel to the world through the spoken and lived lives of the Body of Christ, who live in submission of Holy Spirit's leading.

And there was no doubt that he was doing exactly that - comforting and confronting, bringing the application of God's Word deep into our hearts so that we would be moved, challenged and convicted by the Holy Spirit, and mobilized in to the faithful ministries that God has called each of us to. He simply was operating on the understanding that every believer was feeding themselves, and that he was simply helping the body connect the dots, drawing biblical application, and confronting us with a call to action.

What's more, I had DAILY access to pastors that were gifted to teach the Bible verse by verse, via my radio (, bible study groups, life groups, and about a dozen Bibles and commentaries laying around my house to help me get God's Word into my heart!

To be clear, I believe that the church has a role in the spiritual development of every believer, and there is a season in the beginning of every believer's life where they need spiritual milk, where they need to be spoon-fed. But at the end of the day, when we should already be well beyond milk, when God calls us to give an account for our stewardship of the resources that were plainly available for our spiritual development, every believer is responsible for "feeding" themselves.

There are numerous resources available to help every Christian get the Word of God into their hearts, to help them in their growth and understanding. I would love the opportunity to help anyone needing some help to get started - please leave your questions or comments and I will gladly offer any assistance that I can to help move any honest seeker move towards being a "self feeder."

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