If you have been in ministry long enough you have probably heard somebody who is disgruntled with your ministry say this.

Pastor David Trotter of the Revolution Church in Long Beach, CA says that he has experienced that as well. 

He says, “In reality, as followers of Jesus, we are called to feed ourselves and others who are new in the faith.”

He quotes three other pastors on this subject:

Steven Furtick says: “Churches are filled with those who have known Christ for decades, and still need a bib, a high chair, and want Daddy to do ‘open wide, here comes the airplane’ tricks with the fork before shoving it into their mouths.
I try to serve up the Word, hot and fresh every single Sunday. But if you refuse to apply it, study your Bible and pray some during the week, join a small group and dig deeper with others…if you refuse to bring it back to your mouth, I can’t help you.

Get your own fork, and learn to feed yourself. Stop burying your hand in the dish and spitting out every thing that doesn’t give you a spiritual sugar high. Eat some vegetables. Serve. Pray. Practically apply the Bible to your life.” Read more here.

Perry Noble says: “I’ve heard it…you have too…’Christians’ saying, ‘I just want to be fed!’ It blows my mind! This would be equal to you and I going to an all you can eat restaurant and crying because no one would bring us any food. Food is all around in this environment…but if the person is lazy and self centered, wanting to be waited on hand and foot, then they could possibly starve to death when food is merely a few feet away.

“Today as Christians we have WAY more information than we could ever apply. However, I think many people use ‘going deep’ as an excuse as to not actually apply any of the knowledge they claim to be soaking up. I believe it breaks the heart of God when arrogant people claim intellectual superiority out of pride and stupidity rather than just seeking Jesus and trying to honor Him on a daily basis.

“In reading through the Scriptures I have found that Jesus’ strongest words of rebuke were for the ‘deep,’ the professional religious people of the day. If ‘deep’ is being a part of the group that knows tons about the Bible but missed Jesus–then I don’t want to be affiliated with them. Give me Jesus Christ, crucified, risen and who will one day return…not another Bible study on the weight of the Ark of the Covenant.” Read more here.

Ben Arment says: “I’ve always felt troubled by phrases such as ‘I need to be fed’ or ‘I need meat’ when referring to spiritual growth. And not just because they’re usually meant to be critical of a pastor’s content… but I could never see this thinking in Scripture. Paul uses ‘feed’ and ‘meat’ in terms of where he expects Christians to be in their maturity, but it’s never used by people to demand something.” Read more here.

John Maxwell once said, “I believe the North American Church is educated way beyond their level of obedience.” 

Jesus says in John 4:34 (ESV):

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.

The King James Version the word meat is used instead of food.  Our being fed however is predicated on whether or not we are doing His will which we learn from His word.  We are exhorted in James 1:22-25:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing, (ESV).

If we will not take responsibility for our own spiritual growth we will not experience growth.  That’s my take, what do you think?

HT: Monday Morning Insight

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18 comments
  1. I think you are leaving out those that have a “mature” walk and study the Bible, go deeper in relationship with Christ and with others, as well as serve, and more, and yes, still feel in their church they don’t feel fed by the message that is delivered. I am surprised by the criticism and harsh words about arrogance, intellectual superiority as well as calling people demanding. Did it ever occur to you that the Holy Spirit is absent? No seriously! So why is it so awful for pastors to add a venue for those that want to learn more and more from their teachers in their churches? What if you considered that you actually had people that could be so filled by the Holy Spirit that they could be sent out from your churches to further His Kingdom? And what if that could be provided by a Spirit filled teacher for an hour on a Sunday? Add it to you Sunday school schedule. Just a thought!!! If your sheep are being fed, their mouths are full and they have nothing to say. If your sheep aren’t being fed and their mouths are empty, they have to question why. You may be missing a great opportunity to increase the work to be done.

  2. I think you are leaving out those that have a “mature” walk and study the Bible, go deeper in relationship with Christ and with others, as well as serve, and more, and yes, still feel in their church they don’t feel fed by the message that is delivered. I am surprised by the criticism and harsh words about arrogance, intellectual superiority as well as calling people demanding. Did it ever occur to you that the Holy Spirit is absent? No seriously! So why is it so awful for pastors to add a venue for those that want to learn more and more from their teachers in their churches? What if you considered that you actually had people that could be so filled by the Holy Spirit that they could be sent out from your churches to further His Kingdom? And what if that could be provided by a Spirit filled teacher for an hour on a Sunday? Add it to you Sunday school schedule. Just a thought!!! If your sheep are being fed, their mouths are full and they have nothing to say. If your sheep aren’t being fed and their mouths are empty, they have to question why. You may be missing a great opportunity to increase the work to be done.

  3. I think you are leaving out those that have a “mature” walk and study the Bible, go deeper in relationship with Christ and with others, as well as serve, and more, and yes, still feel in their church they don’t feel fed by the message that is delivered. I am surprised by the criticism and harsh words about arrogance, intellectual superiority as well as calling people demanding. Did it ever occur to you that the Holy Spirit is absent? No seriously! So why is it so awful for pastors to add a venue for those that want to learn more and more from their teachers in their churches? What if you considered that you actually had people that could be so filled by the Holy Spirit that they could be sent out from your churches to further His Kingdom? And what if that could be provided by a Spirit filled teacher for an hour on a Sunday? Add it to you Sunday school schedule. Just a thought!!! If your sheep are being fed, their mouths are full and they have nothing to say. If your sheep aren’t being fed and their mouths are empty, they have to question why. You may be missing a great opportunity to increase the work to be done.

  4. Hi Donna,

    I’m not sure where the venom is coming from. I’m certainly not talking about those who are students of the word, but who do serve. Whenever I have heard people complaining, from personal experience, they were not those who you were talking about. They thought they were mature and perhaps had a lot of head knowledge, but there was little on the application side.

    I’m sure in some churches what you say is true. I also take issue with your questions because you make the assumption that there isn’t strong Bible teaching where I currently serve or where I have served in the past.

    I don’t disagree with you that pastors need to feed their sheep, but there is also a personal responsibility to dig into the Word themselves. I think that is where most of the criticism lies (which was mainly in the quotes I listed, not my direct criticism).

    Thanks for your comment.

  5. Hi Donna,

    I’m not sure where the venom is coming from. I’m certainly not talking about those who are students of the word, but who do serve. Whenever I have heard people complaining, from personal experience, they were not those who you were talking about. They thought they were mature and perhaps had a lot of head knowledge, but there was little on the application side.

    I’m sure in some churches what you say is true. I also take issue with your questions because you make the assumption that there isn’t strong Bible teaching where I currently serve or where I have served in the past.

    I don’t disagree with you that pastors need to feed their sheep, but there is also a personal responsibility to dig into the Word themselves. I think that is where most of the criticism lies (which was mainly in the quotes I listed, not my direct criticism).

    Thanks for your comment.

  6. Hi Donna,

    I’m not sure where the venom is coming from. I’m certainly not talking about those who are students of the word, but who do serve. Whenever I have heard people complaining, from personal experience, they were not those who you were talking about. They thought they were mature and perhaps had a lot of head knowledge, but there was little on the application side.

    I’m sure in some churches what you say is true. I also take issue with your questions because you make the assumption that there isn’t strong Bible teaching where I currently serve or where I have served in the past.

    I don’t disagree with you that pastors need to feed their sheep, but there is also a personal responsibility to dig into the Word themselves. I think that is where most of the criticism lies (which was mainly in the quotes I listed, not my direct criticism).

    Thanks for your comment.

  7. The reason Revolution Church might have been complaining about not being fed is because David Trotter had lost focus for quite some time. Some of your thoughts about complaints of not being fed are relevant, but unfortunately David Trotter is not a good place to go for back up on this issue. He is no longer associated with Revolution Church and is outside of any church body.

    Personally, I believe that in the one hour a week pastors have, they should work to feed the flock and teach them how to feed themselves throughout the week. But if you are a pastor who has completely lost touch with God, not being fed is a valid complaint and a warning sign.

  8. The reason Revolution Church might have been complaining about not being fed is because David Trotter had lost focus for quite some time. Some of your thoughts about complaints of not being fed are relevant, but unfortunately David Trotter is not a good place to go for back up on this issue. He is no longer associated with Revolution Church and is outside of any church body.

    Personally, I believe that in the one hour a week pastors have, they should work to feed the flock and teach them how to feed themselves throughout the week. But if you are a pastor who has completely lost touch with God, not being fed is a valid complaint and a warning sign.

  9. The reason Revolution Church might have been complaining about not being fed is because David Trotter had lost focus for quite some time. Some of your thoughts about complaints of not being fed are relevant, but unfortunately David Trotter is not a good place to go for back up on this issue. He is no longer associated with Revolution Church and is outside of any church body.

    Personally, I believe that in the one hour a week pastors have, they should work to feed the flock and teach them how to feed themselves throughout the week. But if you are a pastor who has completely lost touch with God, not being fed is a valid complaint and a warning sign.

  10. Hi Michelle,

    I personally don’t know of Revolution Church or David Trotter, and was led to his blog post from Monday Morning Insight. While I don’t know the situation and won’t comment on his status since I don’t know (nor do I really want to know) the details behind his departure.

    In some cases it can be a valid complaint, but typically, in my experience, when I have heard it (not directed toward my teaching of course :)) it was from people who were not applying what they were being taught and were full of head knowledge but not walking in obedience.

    I know that isn’t the situation everywhere however.

  11. Hi Michelle,

    I personally don’t know of Revolution Church or David Trotter, and was led to his blog post from Monday Morning Insight. While I don’t know the situation and won’t comment on his status since I don’t know (nor do I really want to know) the details behind his departure.

    In some cases it can be a valid complaint, but typically, in my experience, when I have heard it (not directed toward my teaching of course :)) it was from people who were not applying what they were being taught and were full of head knowledge but not walking in obedience.

    I know that isn’t the situation everywhere however.

  12. Hi Michelle,

    I personally don’t know of Revolution Church or David Trotter, and was led to his blog post from Monday Morning Insight. While I don’t know the situation and won’t comment on his status since I don’t know (nor do I really want to know) the details behind his departure.

    In some cases it can be a valid complaint, but typically, in my experience, when I have heard it (not directed toward my teaching of course :)) it was from people who were not applying what they were being taught and were full of head knowledge but not walking in obedience.

    I know that isn’t the situation everywhere however.

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