I have a notepad on my iPhone called “Blogs to Write.” I’ll often hear someone say something, or I’ll read something or remember something that inspires an idea about which to write. I have a list of about thirty ideas at any given time. This past Sunday, Andy Stanley made a statement that prompted me to write the title of this post, “Feed Yourself.”
As he began a new series called “The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating”, he stated that he is aware that some people say he doesn’t go deep in his teaching. As an aside, I would say that I’ve gotten more practical application of Biblical truths from Andy’s teaching than just about anyone I’ve listened to in my life. However, that’s not the point of this post. When he made that statement, I looked around at the packed auditorium and thought about how many people I’ve seen clearly and plainly professing their faith in Jesus Christ and being baptized. This happens so frequently, it sometimes seems like it’s every Sunday. Then I thought about the concept of a “seeker friendly” church, and how important it is to have a clear presentation of the gospel of Christ and what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
I became aware of how unimportant it is for me, as a mature believer, to come to church to be “fed” as many people call it. As a mature believer, I am responsible to feed myself. In our country, we have access to every resource that pastors have. If I actively feed myself by studying the Bible and asking God to teach me what I need to know, why should I need to rely on a preacher on Sunday morning at church to explain to me what the Bible says? If I don’t study it for myself, I’m just taking his word for it anyway. What good does that do? If someone wants to know why I believe what I believe, I shouldn’t have to say. “Come to church with me on Sunday and my pastor will explain it.”
I also became very aware of why I joined my church. Sure, I really like the teaching I get, but more important than that, I saw a congregation that is reaching out to those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus and telling them how important that is. I saw an opportunity to get involved as a small group leader where I can be used to encourage others in their walk with Christ. I saw an opportunity to serve rather than to be served.
I’ve sat under some great Bible teaching in my life. Great servants of God, such as Nathanial Thompson, Charles Stanley, Art Vanderveen, Crawford Loritts and Andy Stanley. I benefitted greatly from the teaching that has been shared by these men. They have fed me. But I believe that I grow the most when I feed myself daily.
“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15 KJV