bottleRemember in scripture where it tells us that God will provide holy men to feed the lowly spiritual peons. And that when the spiritual peons are spiritually hungry, they are to go to the holy man, the one who can truly fill them up. But, if the spiritual peaons are not getting spiritually fed (whatever that means), then it is the fault of the holy man. mmm… that passage really spoke to me.

I find it really hard to believe that people still believe this stuff. I mean, that should have flown at the window when Luther presented the biblical idea of the priesthood of beleivers. When most people say that they are not getting fed, it usually doesn’t mean that their souls are suffering due to what is happening at church. It usually means that they just want more theology taught to them from a hired holy man, to hide the fact that they really don’t have an actual relationship with the living God. Really what we have created is a spiritual consumer culture. I come. I get fed. I leave. If my spiritual life isn’t vibrant, it must be because the man who has the seminary degree isn’t feeding me right.

I am absolutely disgusted with what we have created — an obese community of beleivers. We have so much knowledge of God, so many resources available to us, and so many freedoms to pursue our faith… but we still cry out “FEED ME!” to those who have studied the exegesis of Hebrew and Greek texts (and I graduate on Friday with one of those degrees, so I can say that). AS if they have some magic spiritual food that will make everyone full. What we need is pastors who don’t see it as their job to feed people. We need pastors who make a living out of making people HUNGRY enough for God, that they go on a relentless pursuit of Him.

And for the last time… where in scripture does it say that exegetical preaching is going to save the world?

by the way, if you haven’t checked out this blog, you absolutely MUST!

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59 Comments(+Add)

1   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
May 14th, 2008 at 6:08 pm

feed me, Seymour!

2   merry    
May 14th, 2008 at 6:11 pm

“and I graduate on Friday with one of those degrees, so I can say that.”

Wow. Congratulations. Good job. :)

I agree, if a Christian wants to get “fed” by their pastors, they’ll most likely be disappointed. The average pastor really isn’t that amazing or profound, and it isn’t their job to have spiritual lives on our behalf. BTW, are pastors even biblical? Where did the concept of having one person preaching in front of everyone else come from? Seems like the Bible talks about “deacons” who did the teaching.

3   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 14th, 2008 at 6:32 pm

The verse by verse preaching has evolved into some badge of Biblical superiority. But then Systematic Theologies are allowed and they are all topical.

Usually a verse by verse preacher teaches the topic of those verses and pulls verses from all over the Bible. So in effect these verse by verse teachers are all topical as well. How can you preach without a topic or topics? Even just reading the verses without commentary projects some topics.

Every verse deals with a topic, every book, and every chapter. As long as your sermon topic is Biblical what is the problem? BTW – preaching and reading in English is a linguistic contextualization using cultural understandings of the language. How did Paul preach? read Acts and see if they preached verse by verse. It’s just such a non-issue unless you are earning your badge.

Rick Warren is behind it all again.

4   m.reed    
May 14th, 2008 at 6:54 pm

i love that blog.

5   jud    
May 14th, 2008 at 7:26 pm

I can’t believe what I’m reading here.

Somebody doesn’t know how to handle a rebuke !!! LOL.

You might want to consider the FACT that Jesus commanded you “if you love me FEED My Sheep”. Not complain about my sheep, not tell them to go feed themselves.. but to FEED them. You might also want to go and take a side gig as a real life shepherd and see first hand why Jesus called His people SHEEP in the first place. Sheep are STUPID and NEVER know when or where to eat.

It would be a different matter I supose if the majority of Pastors were TENT MAKERS and the “sheep weren’t contributing at least 10% of their income for MULTIPLE salaries, MASSIVE building programs, very expensive lighting and sound systems, marketing campaigns, paying for you to enbibe in the conflict of interest that is hoping from one “conference” to another or pursuing publishing deals… and so forth. Unfortunately many pastors are piloting such behemoths and fail to realize that when you are in such a “enterprise” it SHOULD make you beholden to what amounts to your constituents.

If you don’t like it get a REAL job (tent making) where you get criticized every day and have to adjust and drop your PRIDE and EGO.

The office of Pastor is a calling… looking at the self promotion and pompousness going on these days it is OBVIOUSLY a profession to some.

6   Ken Silva    http://www.apprising.org
May 14th, 2008 at 7:42 pm

Yes, spoken like a true disciple of Erwin McManus. Let the flock feed themselves. So what if Jesus gives the mandate to the teaching elder to “feed My lambs,” “take care of My sheep” and “feed My sheep” in John 21:15-17.

Whatever did the Church do before the Emerging guys showed up? I mean we all know Erwin knows better than Christ. And Nathan as to your argument from silence:

And for the last time… where in scripture does it say that exegetical preaching isn’t going to save the world?” peace. :-)

7   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
May 14th, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Uh oh… looks like someone feels threatened.

8   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
May 14th, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Jud,

so let me get get this straight. Most of us are “stupid” sheep that “never know where to eat”. So, God called some of the sheep to be shepherds (probably the really smart sheep) and feed the rest of us. Sounds like a really good plan to me.

Looking at Peter’s calling… he really must have missed the boat. I mean, he was told to FEED THE SHEEP! But what did he do? he went off evangelizing the world! We know that there were at least 1,000 beleivers at the time that Jesus told him to feed the sheep…. and he didn’t feed them!! He really should have set up a tent and held an expositional sermon right there! Oh wait, there was no cannon, no verse by verse, no line by line available (and yet the church exploded). hmmmm…. interesting.

And BTW, I am a tent maker… I get some money from the church, but I work outside of the church for the majority of my income.

9   Christian P    http://www.churchvoices.com
May 14th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Ah, the blame game. We like to play that in these here United States of America.

A few thoughts. The church is a priesthood of believers. We all play a role and function in this community. Certain men are called to function as shepherds. We commonly refer to them as Elders and teaching is one of their biblical functions. In my tradition, most of them have full time jobs and aren’t paid by the church.

Second, you cannot grow to maturity by listening to one sermon a week. Sure, you can grow, if you listen, ponder over, and apply the message during the following week. But to do that effectively means you need to be active in a church community. And if you are active in a church community you will have times of mentoring/teaching beyond Sunday morning. But to say that listening to a good sermon once a week is the nourishment you need for your faith and spirit to grow is rediculous.

The problem isn’t that people aren’t fed by the preaching. The problem is that people are overfed and underworked in the church. American Christians have gotten fat and lazy physically and spiritually.

When somebody says that they aren’t being fed by the sermons, they are grumbling and complaining. That is why we can talk about this and know exactly what we all mean without anybody defining it because we’ve all heard (and possibly said) it a dozen times. This is not constructive criticism. It’s not insights and pointers. It’s complaining. So the sermon may not have been beyond what you’ve already heard/read. That’s great, why don’t you sin by grumbling and complaining to make up for it. Yeah, that’ll solve the problem. Oh, and slander and talk ill of the preacher while your at it. That will make things move along faster. Pathetic.

10   Deborah    
May 14th, 2008 at 9:38 pm

Did anyone read the whole article? The article was fair.

11   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
May 14th, 2008 at 9:46 pm

really? You think its fair to condemn the vast majority of pastors like that?

12   jud    
May 14th, 2008 at 10:41 pm

I’m not exactly sure where people are picking up on the idea that ANYONE is proposing that the only place to be fed is in a 60 minute Sunday morning “talk”.

Where was this ever implied… ?

Nathan, I’m glad you are a tent maker. I speak from the experience of growing up and living in Nashville, Tn. Where very young Pastors, on a daily basis are called to “evangelize” CERTAIN zip codes and work the publishing industry either directly or indirectly. It literally is always about the next hot book (Mclaren, Sweet, Bell, Miller, McManus etc. ) It’s like a great big mutual admiration society. Back to the certain zipcodes… Nashville, unlike many other parts of the country, is still riding the bubble economically. The situation with church planters there is that you have probably 80% of the young pastors/ church plants targeting 30% of the population, and guess the economic / education level sector of the population that is?

The big problem I have is that the Sunday Morning has become the moment of evangelism… we bring people to the evangelist …and this grand production…and thats a problem when the modus operandi is not preaching God’s Word but putting on a sensual show designed to manipulate and stimulate a desired response… “the Decision”. I believe that results in a multitude within the church that place their faith in a prayer they said not in Blood that flowed… then we sit around wondering why Christians don’t act like Christians… THEY PROBABLY ARE NOT CHRISTIANS.

What if, instead of looking like glorified shopping malls with concert like appearances the church looked like clusters of people working with a teaching BI-VO pastor who worked with the people he was trying to reach. When the number of people grew to a certain level a pastor within that group was sent out to do the same thing.

Basically, you see, I’m against the idea of full time ministry and the production of the worship “experience” weekend. Who’s experience, HIS or ours?

13   Deborah    
May 14th, 2008 at 10:46 pm

It does state that some sheep are just lazy and want the Pastor to feed them, on Sunday morning. Some sheep just want milk but some sheep grow out of milk and if that’s all the Pastor serves, they do have a legitimate complaint. The sheep that are satisfied with milk probably complain because they can’t digest the meat as it hurts their delicate system. They only want to hear how God loves them and doesn’t require anything of them, just show up on Sunday. :)

14   Coop    http://whileromeburns.blogspot.com
May 14th, 2008 at 11:24 pm

It was not so long ago, in our College and Career age Sunday school class, that one of the ministry leaders (ministry is led by a husband and wife team who are not paid by the church, but do receive financial assistance from the church for things related to the ministry) made the point that the Sunday (and possibly midweek) services should not be the only times you get fed. They should be, as she said, “the icing on the cake.” Yes, we are referred to as sheep, and sheep need to be taken to a place where they can eat, but the shepherd can’t eat for them. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. Same principle applies here. The pastor is called to act as a shepherd and feed his sheep, but at the same time, the sheep need to do the actual eating. Not only that, we are told to “grow up in our salvation” and move from milk to meat.

I’ll say it once more; the pastor can put the spiritual food in front of his congregation, and show them where to find more, but they have to make the choice to actually eat it.

15   Chris    http://agendalesslove.wordpress.com
May 15th, 2008 at 7:17 am

What if, instead of looking like glorified shopping malls with concert like appearances the church looked like clusters of people working with a teaching BI-VO pastor who worked with the people he was trying to reach. When the number of people grew to a certain level a pastor within that group was sent out to do the same thing.

You mean like Mars Hill (Grand Rapids) with their house church model. Except they do meet, corporately, in an abandoned shopping mall. Don’t worry though it is the most pathetic looking church I’ve ever been in. They don’t even have a sign.

16   Simon Johnson    http://www.biblegateway.com/
May 15th, 2008 at 7:30 am

1Pet. 5:1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

John 21:17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

Jude 11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

Jude 12 These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm — shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted — twice dead.

Ezek. 34:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.

Ezek. 34:7 “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 8 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: 10 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

17   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
May 15th, 2008 at 7:37 am

then we sit around wondering why Christians don’t act like Christians… THEY PROBABLY ARE NOT CHRISTIANS.

In my experience when people say things like this what they mean is “When Christians sin in ways I don’t sin THEY PROBABLY ARE NOT CHRISTIANS”.

Of course usually what’s referred to are things like homosexuality or abortion. No one gets all that huffy about things like slander, harshness, failing to love our neighbors etc.

18   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 15th, 2008 at 7:39 am

Simon,
That’s some good proof-texting, there…

Seriously, I think we are talking about two different things here. The thing is the “pastor” is not so much as a position in the New Testament as it is a gifting to certain people in the church. In fact the word “pastor” only really appears once in the entire New Testament, and that’s in Ephesians 4:11, and it’s plural. It implies that many people in a church are called to be pastors, not just one dude in a suit on Sunday morning.

I think what the orignal article is wanting is a pastor who is more like a college professor or lecturer. The fact is a pastor is to equip the saints, and this should not mean spoon-feeding them everything. It means creating a hunger in them through living a Godly example for them. It means doing life with them.

I really, really hate the mentality that some people in churches get that is in the vein of, “we pay the pastor’s salary, so he owes us good teaching from the word”. The pastor doesn’t “owe” them anything in that sense. Sure the pastor should serve them, but he’s not their personal answer man.

19   Scotty    http://scottysplace-scotty.blogspot.com/
May 15th, 2008 at 8:05 am

One point I see missing.. If were honest, we’ve all seen pastors that have NO business being a pastor. Not eveybody can fill those shoes.

So, there has to be a point where you either stay or leave. aka yer not being fed.

20   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 15th, 2008 at 8:30 am

The answer – more dinner on the grounds.

21   nathan    http://www.nathanneighbour.com
May 15th, 2008 at 9:07 am

Very good point Phil. When most people say that they want to get fed, it usually means that they want to go “deeper” into the word. That phrase always scared me… what the heck does that even mean?

For most people it is exactly what you said… a more intellectual interpretation the scriptures. Tell me what every word means in the original Greek, do a thorough examination of the historical context, and then use alot of elevated language so I feel like I am getting some real meat!

Here’s my crazy interpretation of the whole “feed me” passage. Since Peter didn’t plop down and start “feeding the sheep” after Jesus had told him to, there are two options here… Either Peter is in outright rebellion for most of the NT, or “feed my sheep” didn’t mean what we normally would say it did. Maybe “feed my sheep” was a call to go spread the gospel to the world. Isn’t that what Peter did? Just a thought.

22   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 15th, 2008 at 9:17 am

Nathan,
I would say you’re correct in your interpretation. Earlier, Jesus says He came for the “lost sheep of Israel”, so I think Jesus is essentially telling Peter to continue spreading the Gospel as Jesus has been doing.

We can’t ignore the context of that incident either. This is after Peter had denied Christ, and this is Christ reinstating Peter’s place as an apostle. Jesus is basically telling Peter that even though he denied Him, that he is forgiven, and that he should continue doing the work of an apostle.

To take it as some sort of mandate for all pastors is really drawing more out of the text than it allows.

23   Kevin I    
May 15th, 2008 at 9:28 am

I would say this complaint has some validity if it applies to the whole church, if someone can’t be fed from the sermon, the worship, the small groups, the mentors, the elders and deacons, the sunday schools, the reasources on hand, the missionaries, the service projects etc. etc. then there might be a bit of a problem.

But more often then not I find people want to get the most out of the least amount of participation, so sitting in a pew they expect it all, it’s like saying you want to be fully educated but then you only show up for one class, or saying you want to be fed and only nibbling on the dessert.

People do need to take an active role in “getting fed”, and if they keep complaining to the pastor on sunday morning about it and that’s all they participate in, then it shouldn’t be much of a worry, if it’s just targeted at the pastor or the sunday service.

But if the person honestly can’t find anything, anyone or anyplace in the church to be fed at, this would show a significant problem with either the church or the person that would need to be addressed.

24   Nathan    
May 15th, 2008 at 9:34 am

Could people define what “being fed” is. I have such a hard time wrapping my arms around that term, yet we use it all the time. What does it mean?!? :P

25   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 15th, 2008 at 9:41 am

Could people define what “being fed” is. I have such a hard time wrapping my arms around that term, yet we use it all the time. What does it mean?!?

From as far as I can tell, in ODM-speak it means something along the lines of “having the pastor preach about stuff I like”.

Perhaps we should add the term to the Glossary.

26   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
May 15th, 2008 at 10:07 am

I would say this complaint has some validity if it applies to the whole church, if someone can’t be fed from the sermon, the worship, the small groups, the mentors, the elders and deacons, the sunday schools, the reasources on hand, the missionaries, the service projects etc. etc. then there might be a bit of a problem.

Notice how in the original article that isn’t at all what the complaint is about it, it is confined instead solely to the pastor, and by that they mean whoever is preaching.

27   Kevin I    
May 15th, 2008 at 10:41 am

I did notice that, but just where our discussions where going here I felt it important to point out the larger application of this “feed me” complaint, and how it pertains to our faith, especially since people where bringing up Peter feeding Jesus’s sheep, with the priesthood of all believers we know this call spreads to all of us, not just the guy in the pulpit.

28   merry    
May 15th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

And who is feeding the pastor? Is he expected to be mature enough and strong enough to handle it all by himself? Is he/she supposed to be a superhuman? And are those complaining about not “getting fed” praying for their pastors? If you don’t pray for them, why do you expect to get something out of it for yourself?

29   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
May 15th, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Nathan,

I hate coffee. And frankly, if people are drinking coffee in the worship, then how on earth will they be able to take notes during my sermon? And if they cannot take notes, how do I know they are listening? How can they pass the test that the Lord will surely give them at the Great White Throne?

As Christians, I didn’t think we were allowed to like anything (at least that’s what Ingrid said) so that blog is meaningless.

ps–I might suggest, however cautiously, that most of this is based on a uniformed mis-use of the term ‘pastor’. If I read Scripture correctly, and since I am qualified I do :) , it was God who gave some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors, and some to be teachers. (Eph 4:11).

Paul here seems to making a distinction (at least in the mighty NIV) between the role of the pastor (shepherd?) who keeps the flock in line so to speak, and the teacher (preacher?) who nourishes the flock with instruction. I don’t know that we can make any clear case here that it is the responsibility of the pastor (as such) to ‘feed’ anyone. What does ‘pastoring’ mean?

However, then we have those pesky prophets (whose role is clearly passed on by now, along with tongues, etc) and evangelists. One can only imagine what role they play in the church since they are so few and far between. :)

Perhaps the key to this discussion is calling biblical things by biblical names. For example, I readily accept the role of teacher (even after being warned against doing so by other apostles like James) but I shy away from the role of pastor (elder? presbuteros? bishop?). I think some pastors might be teachers, but I don’t think all teachers are pastors. It seems to me they are two different, uh, roles or gifts in the church. I might be an evangelist, but I am not prophet and I am certainly not an apostle.

The problem, as I see it, is in the nomenclature. That is: Teachers teach, pastors pastor; there may or may not be overlap between the two. But clearly they are not the same thing (role). And maybe Paul lists them separately for good reason. Maybe ‘pastors’ are not responsible for feeding as much as pastoring (whatever that might mean).

just some thoughts on this otherwise beautiful day. On the other hand, if people are not being fed, I have to ask whether or not they are carrying a fork and a knife. Normally, as people grow up and get older–I know this might be a shock to people like Old Truth–they have learned how to feed themselves. I have three sons and I haven’t had to feed them their dinner since they were like 1.5. Clearly, when Paul wrote to Timothy he was instructing him to be a teacher of the word and not necessarily a ‘pastor.’ Paul said, “Preach the Word” not “Pastor the Flock.”

PS–Merry, I am a preacher (not a pastor) and I learned how, a long time ago, to read and listen and study. I am fed by those I read, those I listen to, because I am hungry. On the other hand, because I am qualified, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” And I don’t say that blasphemously either.

your pathetic rock-star wannabe friend and preacher,
jerry

30   Neil    
May 15th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Yes, spoken like a true disciple of Erwin McManus. Let the flock feed themselves. So what if Jesus gives the mandate to the teaching elder to “feed My lambs,” “take care of My sheep” and “feed My sheep” in John 21:15-17.

Whatever did the Church do before the Emerging guys showed up? I mean we all know Erwin knows better than Christ. – Ken Silva

Ken,

Thanks for a post that is more substantive than just an insult (though it does contain the usual ad hominem). How you live with such constant anger is… well, not the point.

I guess Paul thought he knew better than Jesus as well since he said the role of the pastor was to equip the church to do the work.

Neil

31   Neil    
May 15th, 2008 at 3:02 pm

The big problem I have is that the Sunday Morning has become the moment of evangelism… we bring people to the evangelist …and this grand production…and thats a problem when the modus operandi is not preaching God’s Word but putting on a sensual show designed to manipulate and stimulate a desired response… “the Decision”.

I agree with ya here Jud, but I’d say this began long long ago… I’d point to the revivals of the frontier (speaking of TN), I’d point to Finney and Moody and anyone who dimmed the lights for an altar call – a production that manipulated the audience for a desired response.

So yes I agree – but it’s not like it “became” that within our life time…

Neil

32   Neil    
May 15th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

From as far as I can tell, in ODM-speak it means something along the lines of “having the pastor preach about stuff I like”.

Perhaps we should add the term to the Glossary.

Sorry Phil, but I have to say that while this may be true… it’s not very helpful.

Neil

33   Neil    
May 15th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

I find it interesting that Nathan posts an article complaining about the consumer mentality of American Christians and he gets ripped by Ken et al.

It cannot be proven, but what if this Nathan had been posted on an ODM site – would it have been criticized?

Neil

34   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 15th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

In all seriousness, here is a good reason that the average professor of Christianity is in the state he/she is:

Rick Warren quotes Ecc.10:10 – If the axe is dull and its edge is unsharpened then more strength is needed; but skill will give success.

Here is Pastor Warren’s exegesis of that verse:

“It doesn’t say devotion will give success; it doesn’t say sincerety will give success; it doesn’t say preaching will give success; or loving people or prayer.”

He goes on to say the way to grow a big church is by nusing modern bait. That whole concept is as unbiblical as can be imagined. Preaching, praying, dedication, loving people, those things will not grow a church. Warren says he knows pastors that do those things and yet their church is not growing.

Bait, guys, bait. Not 1950s bait, not 1960s, bait, but the most modern, pragmatically sophisticated, and consumer oriented programs will “grow a church”. That may grow a church, but it will not grow disciples.

Oh, I know, he didn’t say he was against all the other things, just that they are subservient to pragmatism. Welcome to the new evangelical order. NEO.

35   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
May 15th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Neil,

When you write: “I guess Paul thought he knew better than Jesus as well since he said the role of the pastor was to equip the church to do the work” I am curious to know how you are using the word ‘pastor’? Or where Paul said this. I’m just drawing a blank. I’m not sure I understand what this sentence means. Or maybe it is tongue in cheek?

Thanks for the help.

jerry

PS–ironically, Paul did remind Timothy that he (Tim) had know the Scriptures from infancy. Ironic isn’t it?

36   Neil    
May 15th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

That’s a mighty big brush ya got there Rick.

Neil

37   Neil    
May 15th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Jerry,

I was referencing the Ephesians passage where Paul says the role of the pastor is to equip the saints to do the work themselves.

Neil

38   Neil    
May 15th, 2008 at 5:44 pm

Seriously though Rick,

What does Warren’s exegesis have to do with the discussion?
Did he really say “bait?”
What’s wrong with pragmatism?

Neil

39   Dave Muller    http://blog.thewebsiteguy.com.au
May 15th, 2008 at 5:51 pm

I was referencing the Ephesians passage where Paul says the role of the pastor is to equip the saints to do the work themselves.

Exactly my thoughts, hence my “Little shop of horrors” quote. I find it ironic that the ODM’s claim churches are not feeding, but themselves attend churches that evidently give only milk since they are forever stuck under a pastor.

40   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 15th, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Does that not fall uner the “feed the sheep” discussion? If not, I take it back.

PS – He said “bait”.

41   Neil    
May 15th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

I’d say attracting people is different than feeding the sheep.

I’d not use the term “bait.”

Neil

42   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 15th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

“I’d say attracting people is different than feeding the sheep.”

There are thousands of churchs that substantially blur those lines.

43   Jerry Hillyer    http://www.dangoldfinch.wordpress.com
May 15th, 2008 at 9:23 pm

Neil,

I’m still not sure I get what you are saying, but I guess whatever. To be sure, there are more people listed than just pastors. Thanks.

jerry

44   Les    
May 16th, 2008 at 9:41 am

The people who are complaining about not being fed are not ‘fat, lazy sheep’. They are disillusioned with what they are seeing in church. I read my Bible at home, I do feed myself. I think to myself, “Hey I want to hear other self-fed people who believe.” So I go to church and only hear “Blah, blah, ha, ha” from the pulpit. All this from a “fat, lazy” pastor who is well fed on Greek and Hebrew and does not even care to feed his sheep a single scrap of what he knows from God’s Word. God says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your strength.” I want to hear a lover of God in the pulpit. Lovers speak of their beloved. Should not pastors speak of God if they really love HIm?

45   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 16th, 2008 at 10:13 am

So I go to church and only hear “Blah, blah, ha, ha” from the pulpit.

My apologies – I was unaware that feeding time occurred only once a week for an hour on Sunday morning, where a single person gets up to teach a message that is a) not too “meaty” for those the infants who need “milk”; b) not too “milky” for those who have moved beyond such things; c) runs 20-40 minutes; and d) meets the needs of every person who may (or may not) crack open a Bible in the following 6.9 days.

Where on EARTH did the concept come from that “being fed” equates to what happens during an HOUR on Sunday morning?

Somehow the whining about “being fed” sounds a lot like this:

Don’t preach practical stuff to me. I would actually have to do something about it. Instead, tickle my brain with abstract philosophical rhetoric that I can say Amen about, nod my head in agreement with, and go home just as mean and carnal as I came in.

Preach about topics that make me feel smart and elite, rather than preaching the pure, simple, practical Gospel of Jesus in a way that a plumber and a doctor can both understand and relate to at the same time.

Go round and round about the minutia of the 2% of Christianity that churches disagree about rather than finding common purpose in the essentials of our faith and teaching us to make a difference in a lost and hurting world.

When you preach on marriage, for instance, don’t tell me practically how to treat my wife better. Spend 40 minutes talking about the mystical union of Christ and the church as it relates to the rapture and the design of the tabernacle in relation to Levitical dietary laws as understood by the Council of Trent.

That’ll bless me.

And I’ll go home, fat and happy because of the latest cognitive dump, and I’ll continue to treat my wife like crap and my kids like dogs.

And whatever you don’t preach messages telling lost people how to meet Jesus. I’ve already heard it, and I’ve already met Him. I want to go deeper.

Everybody else can go to hell. God will save ‘em if He wants to.

Sorry – but the ‘winning’ post of this thread belongs to Coop, who pointed out that just because a church provides food doesn’t mean the sheep will eat. My apologies if your church has become more ’seeker sensitive’ – using the one hour a week that the unchurched are likely to be around in a manner not “meaty” enough for you. It is likely that they have small groups and other ministries the other 6.9 days of the week, where the food is sitting there, but the sheep are too busy to bother to eat it.

46   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 16th, 2008 at 10:22 am

Many churches preach marriage, finances, success, America, self esteem, and many other topics that enahance a well rounded cultural existence.

They do not preach Christ, the cross, the resurrection, hell, redemption, and usually the gospel gets a hurried few sentences at the end. I have sat in services where the pastor has given that tacit gospel invitation at the end without the gospel having been given. Many respond to their circumstance rather than Christ and His cross.

The question will remain, if a person comes forward because they are going through a tough time and they have been told Jesus will solve their problem, are they prepared to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation? It is a serious question with serious consequences.

47   Les    
May 16th, 2008 at 11:09 am

You confabulate and create ideas I have never intended and accuse me of things for which I am innocent. I’ve tried the classes on the other 6.9 days. I don’t like filling out workbooks, watching videos and discussing them. Nor do I see a reason to sit around pooling ignorance as people tell how they feel about a verse. You have the Th.D. or D.Min. Show me what you’ve got. Not because I want some dry idea as you claim. If you think scripture and doctrine are that boring and dry maybe you chose the wrong field of study. Explain what the Bible is saying to me, how to interpret a passage. Ex. John 17. There is substance for a year’s worth of teaching there and all of it is directly applicable to every Christian’s life every day of their life yet most people get bogged down in this passage and what it means for them.

Demonstrate your fruitful love for God from the pulpit. Make people hunger for the living God and their lives will begin to be set straight as they repent and see their utter need of Christ. Insipid little sermons on life’s little lessons only lead to a temporary moral reform. After a week or two it’s forgotten just like a New Years resolution that never changes the heart. Most people never crack open their Bible all week, they aren’t motivated on the other 6.9 days, Sunday morning is the only time they will hear God’s Word, and I’m not describing the people who complain about not being fed. It’s awful to throw it away on externals when men’s hearts must be reached with the saving truth of God’s Word.

48   Paul C    http://www.themidnightcry.com
May 16th, 2008 at 11:22 am

Here’s a great article some might get some benefit from:
http://mikeratliff.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/fruitless-fig-trees/

Interesting how at one point God mentioned that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge about Him and His ways. In other words, because of their ignorance they wandered off the path, entering into destruction.

The word of God is meant to be a sword that, when used correctly, is a weapon to assist us in our spiritual growth.

I know zero Greek or Hebrew myself and have no desire to get into it, however, for those of you indirectly promoting ignorance by advocating for a constant diet of milk – you are deluded.

Recently a friend of mine, who does attend a mega-church near Toronto, mentioned that his pastor leaned over to him and said, “If the church ever comes under persecution, 70% of our congregation wouldn’t be able to stand for a minute.”

Apparently, it hasn’t adjusted what he teaches, but the fact he recognizes this is important… it’s the result of a steady diet of milk (entertainment, philosophy, 5 steps to _______).

49   Phil Miller    http://pmwords.blogspot.com
May 16th, 2008 at 11:23 am

Les,
“Show me what you got” – seriously, that’s some messesd up thinking there. You act as if a pastor should be some sort of superman or something. You know what, it’s that type of thinking that leads to pastors leading double lives.

It’s pretty easy for some people to put a good show on on Sunday morning. I’ve heard some pastors speak eloquently and with “power” on Sunday morning, but when I’ve gotten to know them, I’ve found out they’re total jerks. I often wonder how they’ve gotten where they are. Well your response is why. As long as a pastor gives us a “good sermon” on Sunday, we’re happy.

I’d rather be in a church with a pastor who has horrible public speaking skills but truly serves and cares about people than one where the pastor preaches meticulously planned theological treatises. The fact is if a church is dependent on a single pastor for its spiritual health, then it is destined to fail eventually.

50   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
May 16th, 2008 at 11:32 am

Any church that thinks maturity and growing in faith and knowledge comes mostly or solely from the sermon on Sunday morning is a church which 70% of people won’t stand up to persecution.

51   Joe Martino    http://joemartino.name
May 16th, 2008 at 11:41 am

What I find most interesting is those who seem to get all twisted up wanting to defend the Reformers as the second coming of the Apostles scream and holler when preaching isn’t going the way they want it to go. Isn’t that the point of the Reformation? That all men and women can read the Bible for themselves? Gone is the paradigm where only the priest or preacher can “feed me.”

52   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 16th, 2008 at 11:47 am

I’ve tried the classes on the other 6.9 days. I don’t like filling out workbooks, watching videos and discussing them. Nor do I see a reason to sit around pooling ignorance as people tell how they feel about a verse.

It is quite possible that your experience in small groups is different than mine. I would ask, though, how much searching of yourself you do before you fall back on blaming someone else for your lack of fulfillment?

If you don’t like how a small group is experienced, do you volunteer to lead one? I can tell you that if you want ‘meat’, preparing to teach will give you more than you can probably handle in one sitting! Not only that, but you will usually begin to see the dilemma the lead pastor of your church experiences in spades – how deep is too deed and how shallow is too shallow? Chances are, you will have to go more shallow than you would like and deeper than a number of folks in your small group will be comfortable with going.

You have the Th.D. or D.Min. Show me what you’ve got. Not because I want some dry idea as you claim. If you think scripture and doctrine are that boring and dry maybe you chose the wrong field of study.

I don’t have any theological degrees, but there’s a pretty clear difference between Scripture and doctrine. Scripture is the Word of God, but doctrine is man’s interpretation, and often is used as a way to make you and your flock feel superior to those who have taken a different interpretation.

Explain what the Bible is saying to me, how to interpret a passage. Ex. John 17.

Not to put words in your mouth, but this seems to beg the question – must you convert a person to modernism before converting him to Christianity? However, you may not have meant it this way. So – which of these would you view as “explain and interpret this passage for me”:

A) Do a word study, explaining the Greek/Hebrew roots of the words in the passage
B) Pull in other passages of scripture which build upon the words and phrases in the verse
C) Explain the original context of the passage and how it would apply in a modern context
D) Give a parable/anecdote/example from modern culture that would demonstrate the message conveyed in the scripture
E) Give concrete examples of application of the scripture.
F) A, B and (maybe) C
G) D, E and (maybe) C
H) mix and match any of the above

If you answered (F), then you are basing your definition of “being fed” on modernist culture.

If you answered (G), then you are basing your definition of “being fed” on postmodern culture.

If you answered (H), then you would accept a blended approach, which is often used in Emerging and Evangelical churches.

Demonstrate your fruitful love for God from the pulpit.

The phrase “demonstrate your fruitful love”, by its very nature, is something that cannot be conveyed in words from a pulpit. It implies action, and 24/7 observance – not an hour on Sunday morning.

Make people hunger for the living God and their lives will begin to be set straight as they repent and see their utter need of Christ.

You cannot “make” people feel anything. You can lead them to food, but you can’t pick it, chew it and swallow it for them. In the electronic culture of today, abstract concepts and definitions hold no meaning without action, so it is no surprise that many sermons focus on action led by belief.

Insipid little sermons on life’s little lessons only lead to a temporary moral reform. After a week or two it’s forgotten just like a New Years resolution that never changes the heart.

Again, to my earlier point, if you’re looking for a sermon to bring about radical change, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best speaker in the world delivering sermons every week. Application and community the other 6.9 days will be the determinant of radical change, not a one hour community meeting.

Most people never crack open their Bible all week, they aren’t motivated on the other 6.9 days, Sunday morning is the only time they will hear God’s Word.

Then there’s nothing the pastor can do in his one hour that will make up for the 6.9 days that his flock lives like the pagans do.

53   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 16th, 2008 at 12:01 pm

So – which of these would you view as “explain and interpret this passage for me”:

A) Do a word study, explaining the Greek/Hebrew roots of the words in the passage
B) Pull in other passages of scripture which build upon the words and phrases in the verse
C) Explain the original context of the passage and how it would apply in a modern context
D) Give a parable/anecdote/example from modern culture that would demonstrate the message conveyed in the scripture
E) Give concrete examples of application of the scripture.
F) A, B and (maybe) C
G) D, E and (maybe) C
H) mix and match any of the above
or
G) Ask Rick for the absolute answer.

Choosing “G” will save you a lot of time!

54   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 16th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

BTW – if I had to sit under that guy named “James White” posted on CRN I would shoot myself. That’s like being fed with a main course of kerosene with a side of self righteousness and washed down with a keg of I know it all.

Afetr listening to that rant I quickly became a congergational bulimic! I need Osteen for a balance.

55   Neil    
May 16th, 2008 at 4:54 pm

I get tired reading so much trashing of churches… I don’t like this and it should be like that… It was better when… Everything is worse… It used to be… GEESH!

Neil

56   Chris L    http://www.fishingtheabyss.com/
May 16th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Rick,

BTW – if I had to sit under that guy named “James White” posted on CRN I would shoot myself. That’s like being fed with a main course of kerosene with a side of self righteousness and washed down with a keg of I know it all.

I like the posted YouTube comment for this guy:

Truely the expression “Would travel across the world to debate someone,but wouldn’t cross the road to help them” refers to this bloated baffoon..

57   Tim Reed, Owosso MI    http://churchvoices.com
May 16th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Chris L,
You didn’t post the best part.

He glories in his self,not in Gods..What’s he ever prove,thats he brighter then someone else whoopie have a lolly

58   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 17th, 2008 at 5:35 am

“Truely the expression “Would travel across the world to debate someone,but wouldn’t cross the road to help them” refers to this bloated baffoon..”

Chris – You made my day. You would think that he was a SNL caricature of the “Self Righteous Calvin Man” played by Chris Farley.

59   Rick Frueh    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/
May 17th, 2008 at 12:52 pm

And contuning in the “feed me” topic, the editor at CRN offers a link to the secular paper in Dallas so we can all know that a minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church was caught soliciting what he thought was a 13 year old girl. Where else could I dine so sumptuously at the table of other brothers moral failures? That is real Biblical “meat”.

I feel so well fed.