I’m Not Being Fed

It’s a phrase all pastors can relate to.  We’ve all heard it, and it typically comes from someone who has left (or is about to leave) the church where you pastor.  I can’t think of a pastor who hasn’t heard these words. Most of us shudder (or become indignant) when we hear them, but Steve Matthewson wrote an excellent article in the Preaching Today Blog that attempts to decode what they even mean.

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3. “You are not addressing my struggles and challenges.”
When we hear people complain about not being fed, we tend to think in terms of sermon content. We wonder how people can say that when we have done our exegetical homework. After all, we did a mechanical layout of the Greek text, or we spent a couple hours poring over several articles in the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis. Then, when we stand up to preach, we provide solid content. We explain words, discuss theology, and trace arguments. This is certainly legitimate and necessary as a means to an end. The end, however, is not content but challenge or encouragement. People want help with the escalating conflict in their marriages. People want hope to get them through difficult economic times. People want help coping with cancer. If people do not see how the gospel relates to the struggles they face, we will hear them say, “I’m not being fed.”

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Check the jump to read the entire article.

What do you think?  What does it really mean when someone says, “I’m not being fed.”

  2 comments for “I’m Not Being Fed

  1. 26 April 2010 at 10:00 am

    Great post & article! I’ve found myself becoming indignant when faced with this “most selfish of phrases” (my thoughts concerning the phrase). It’s hard to ensure the material you’re presenting is relevant to those whom you are leading, but it’s extremely necessary.

    It doesn’t mean your content is irrelevant or your time spent studying was wasted, it just means someone might be dealing with something bigger than the quick fixes we often offer in sermon presentations. Good stuff David.

  2. 26 April 2010 at 8:14 pm

    The biggest reason people are not being fed is a refusal to take the effort to eat. We are too lazy to study, we forget to fellowship with one another, and we forget to pray. We expect to receive all God has for us in one hour — and forget He has given us everything we need for life…

    Is it not written, Take up your cross — daily — and follow me?

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