This comes by way of Pastor Mark Batterson of the National Church, Washington D.C., it was originally posted on the Catalyst blog . . .
Permission to speak frankly?
One of the common complaints people make when leaving a church is this: I’m not being fed. As a preacher, my goal is to nourish our congregation via a well-rounded diet of sermons. And I try to preach every sermon like it’s my last, but let me push back. My kids learned to feed themselves when they were toddlers. If you’re not being fed, that’s your fault. I’m afraid we’ve unintentionally fostered a subtle form of spiritual codependency in our churches. It is so easy to let others take responsibility for what should be our responsibility. So we let our pastors study the Bible for us. Here’s a news flash: the Bible was unchained from the pulpit nearly five hundred years ago during an era of history called the Middle Ages.
If you are relying on a preacher to be fed, I fear for you. Listening to a sermon is second-hand knowledge. It is learning based on someone else’s words or experiences. A sermon is no replacement for first-hand knowledge. You’ve got to see it and hear it and experience it for yourself. It’s not enough to hear the truth. You have to own it. Or more accurately, it has to own you. . . .
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3 John 8