This week our blog takes a turn to a near rant. However, the rant comes out of a heart of healing from the damaging statement ‘We aren’t being fed’. You never hear this from a new follower of Christ but you may often hear it from those that have spent a lifetime being fed.
As a pastor or church planter, we are guaranteed to hear it at least a few times in our ministry (I’ve personally lost track of how many thus far in my 7 years of service). It is easy to be hurt or offended by such a claim. It's also easy to let that cause you to second guess almost everything. Although I am all for self-evaluation, please be sure that you do not let the enemy get into your head. If you are preparing and working hard to 'preach the Word' then don't get bogged down with the drainer of a statement.
Obviously, the heart of any minister of the Gospel is to ‘Feed the Sheep’. It is our call as given to Peter by Jesus in John 21 and then assumed in Peter’s mandate to the ministry leader in 1 Peter 5. We want to feed well which means we must be well-nourished ourselves.
Yet, why is it that this statement almost always comes from a person who has spent an inordinate amount of their life being fed? Strangely, it seems our best fed are also are most likely to drop this little bomb as a dissatisfaction or even a reason for finding another fellowship to feed their insatiable desire.
It was while pondering this that God ministered to me thru directing me into a ‘feeding session’ in His Word via Numbers 11. Read it here: http://www.esvbible.org/Numbers%2011/
It appears that the person that broke your heart with that statement is in a long line of heart-breakers. It seems that the craving of today’s well-fed saint may not be to dissimilar to the craving of the rabble moving along on the slow plod towards the promised land.
Before you rise up in righteous anger the next time someone spouts this little gem to you, I hope you will be allowed a reprieve as I have had in the last few days. A reprieve where you can see that God has a way of dealing with the ‘feed me’ crowd and it is much better than anything you or I can muster. Again, Numbers 11 shows us that the feeding comes from God and that a complaint like this will be handed by Him in His timing and His way. Let’s preach the Word and get out of the way when our feeble efforts at feeding either fall short or fall below the expectation of those we serve.
Here is an honest confession. I have endured bad preaching and have often been the bad preacher that had to be endured. Yet, I love to hear the story of the Gospel told and I love (even if painful) to hear a new preacher begin to handle the Word. Further, I have never felt ‘unfed’. I have a dozen bibles in my home…to say I am unfed is to ignore that my pantry is fully stocked. My raising taught me to not criticize the food that was lovingly put on the table...maybe Mom was talking about more than just the spaghetti.