So I’ve gone on and on about this “not getting fed” thing and I have to start wrapping it up. Here’s the question: What do we do when someone says, “I’m not getting fed”?
Well, I have two answers. First, we need to make sure that we’re teaching people HOW to feed themselves. I’ve made it quite clear this last week or so that I don’t think it’s my job as a pastor to “feed people” on Sunday mornings. But I DO believe it’s the churches job to teach people to feed themselves. And so, when someone says, “I’m not being fed” I need to ask myself, “Have we taught this person to feed themselves? If not, then I have to take a lot of the blame for this, and I need to do something about it.
At Forefront, we’ve tried to make sure we’re teaching people how to feed themselves. For instance:
- We do a sermon, or an entire series, almost every year on how to read the Bible. In 2007 we did “The Bible for Cavemen.” In 2006 we did a 3 part series called, “Off the Shelf and Into Myself”…
- In our “Next Steps” class we have a session on how to have a “Quiet Time” of bible reading and prayer.
- Each week in our program we provide six “ready-to-do” Bible studies that give you a passage to read, about six questions to help you dig into and apply the verses, and a study note or two offering background/context information.
- This year we made and are going to distribute a “Pursuit” book, a spiritual growth handbook that teaches six spiritual disciplines, including bible study (why to do it, how to do it, etc.).
- We had a guru at this kind of stuff come in and do sessions with our staff, and a session with leaders in our church, on how to develop intimacy face-to-face with God.
- (I’m sure there’s more we could do — what are some of the ways you all are teaching your people to feed themselves?)
So when someone says, “I’m not getting fed” the first thing I do is ask myself: Have we taught this person how to feed themselves? If the answer is no, I’m the problem. If the answer is yes, well, we’ll talk about that next time.
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