Do you want the pastor to burp you afterward?
A man told the story of how his father was completely lost in the kitchen and never ate unless someone prepared a meal for him. When his mother was ill, however, his father would volunteer to go to the supermarket for her. Once, she sent him off with a carefully numbered list of seven items.
When the father returned, he was very proud of himself for accomplishing this task, and proceeded to unpack the bags of groceries. He had one bag of sugar, two dozen eggs, three hams, four boxes of detergent, five boxes of crackers, six eggplants, and seven green peppers.
Some Christians are spiritually like this man’s father, who make no effort to feed themselves, but rely on someone else to feed them. They aren’t incapable of feeding themselves, they just won’t. These people spiritually starve during the week until they return to church for another sermon. Instead of doing that, they could open their Bibles and feed themselves from God’s Word, but instead, they wait for the pastor to feed them on Sunday. After all, that’s his job, right?
But the real (and full) responsibility of spiritually feeding you belongs to none other than you!
A few things to consider …
First, it’s your life. The reality and quality of your spiritual life is between you and God. Even if your pastor is a poor preacher, and the other teaching in your church isn’t much better, it’s still your spiritual life for you to tend and build in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Just opening the Bible and spending time personally reading it, studying it, and storing it in your heart and mind will do more for you than a thousand sermons (as long as you’re actually applying what you’re learning).
Second, you’re not helpless, so stop acting like you are! It’s one thing for your spiritual leaders to have some responsibility for discipling you, but another to try to pass the buck entirely to them. That doesn’t work because …
Third, you, alone, will have to stand before God and give an account of your life. The resources available to Christians today for studying and understanding the Bible are unequaled in human history. If you want to be well fed and spiritually full, it’s not difficult for you to achieve that if you really want it.
So it all boils down to, do you really want it?
The people who attempt to shift the responsibility for spiritually feeding them do so because it really isn’t important to them. Not enough to actually feed themselves.
Are you feeding on the Word of God each day? Or do you leave it to others to try to feed you?