Watching Ethan grow is teaching us a lot about human development. One significant area is watching Ethan learn to feed himself. Ethan has made a lot of progress in the seven months he’s been with us, but he also has a long way to go.
These days, Ethan can be trusted to feed himself with a fork or spoon after *we* have selected the portion; he cannot be trusted to choose his own portions (yet). When we let him choose, he grabs handfuls of Cheerios or whatever he’s eating and stuffs them in his mouth.
Over the course of time, Ethan will eventually learn to feed himself and make healthy decisions about what he eats.
Well, I’m sure that’s obvious to you. But what doesn’t appear to be as obvious to many Christians is the necessity for Christ-followers to learn to feed themselves. I believe there is a serious lack of development in the Church, and as a result, many of us are undernourished/malnourished. Too many people don’t know how to feed themselves. And too many people depend on others to feed them (e.g., pastors, teachers, small group leaders, etc.).
While we all need to be fed by others at times (pastors, etc.), each of us is ultimately responsible to feed ourselves! As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are learners (“disciple” means learner). When we stop learning, we stop growing as followers of Jesus. Christ-followers must be self-feeders!
As a pastor, I certainly want to feed people. But more than that, I want to teach people how to feed themselves. I remember reading a great statement in a book in the early 1990s (I just don’t remember which book) that gets at this idea of equipping people …
Great pastors don’t build great churches. Great pastors build great people, and great people build great churches.
Have you learned to feed yourself? How do you feed yourself spiritually?