I can remember Dr. Don Vinzant, one of my Bible professors at Oklahoma Christian University, say to us in a ministry class, "People will leave your church, and when they do, they will all repeat the same lie--I was not being fed." So, as I came across the section below from Lance Ford in the new book that he and Alan Hirsch have written, Right Here, Right Now, I remembered Don's words. 

 

"Pastors are aware that one of the common critiques uttered by Christians who leave their churches is 'I just wasn't being fed.' Any guy or gal who has been involved in leading a church for any amount of time has heard this countless times. This sentiment comes from the desire for more and better teaching, either in Bible studies or through better sermons. Many Christians believe the inner hunger they feel will be satiated by more Bible study or through hearing sermons. They are convinced their spiritual strength or lack thereof is the responsibility of the pastor-preacher. I beleive their hunger is very real, a gnawing lack of fulfillment and desire for more, but I do not believe it is for lack of teaching . . . 

 

More knowledge and teaching is not going to do the trick . . . it is in living out the words of the Bible that the life of God begins to take root in us and spring up.

 

Jesus didn't say, "Come and study me." He said, "Come and follow me." It is through practicing what we study from the Bible in the laboratory of daily life that transformation happens in our own lives and we become a blessing to others. Bible study is not only important, it is absolutely vital and essential, and neither Alan nor I minimize its place in the daily rhythm of following Jesus. But the point here is that it is only the first step in feasting with the Lord on a daily basis, and just because we've studied something from the Bible doesn't mean the lesson is learned or complete. It has just begun."

 

What do you think of Lance's point? How are people "fed," and whose responsibility is it?

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Comment by Lynn S. Nored on February 25, 2011 at 4:47pm

This attitude is engendered by our heritage.   We were people of "the Word" .  Generally, bible classes were the vital ingredient for imparting this knowledge.  The item missing in this approach was "discipleship".  In fact, in the 50's-80's I don't recall this was even on the radar in most congregation.   If your concept of being a Christian is church attendance, hearing  a "good" , "bible-based" sermon, and attending a class with an erudite teacher, then the expectation of being "fed" is real.    As an aside, isn't it interesting that those that are to "feed" the flock are the elders, not the pulpit minister.  So complaints about not being "fed" should be directed at them. 

 

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