I had this thought the other day and posted it on Facebook:
Some churches serve you savory meat and veggies. Some churches serve you sugary dounuts and cake. Some churches serve you bitter roots. Some churches serve you watered down milk. Some churches serve you bland turkey sandwiches (good for you but oh, so boring) Spiritually, we are what we eat. Once you have had the savory meat diet it is difficult to settle for anything less.
Since then, I have continued to mediate on the subject.
“ Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord GOD, “ That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
As I contemplate these scriptures and the idea that churches feed people spiritually, I wonder are there any Spiritual cafeterias? Church isn’t like Luby’s (Furr’s Cafeteria – whatever your local Cafeteria is), you do not get to go through a line and pick what you get to eat. More than likely, you get what they are serving.
Jesus instructed Peter in John 21:16, “Feed my sheep.” He didn’t specify what. However, we know (from the previous verses) that we require more than bread.
When the children of Israel where traveling through the wilderness on their way (the really, really long route) to the Promiseland, God fed them manna. ( I wonder if manna was a little like tofu – you know, could it be made into anything?) God decided what they needed and that is what they got. (period)
So our churches are a little like that today. They decide what we need and that’s what we get. If you do not care for what they are serving, you find a different place to eat, so to speak. And everyone questions why there is so much “church hopping”. People are looking for Spiritual food. Different churches are serving up different menus.
As in my quote…what about the church that is serving up meat; good meat like pot roast and steak? There are some very large churches that are serving a very “meaty” menu. How are they succeeding? It doesn’t make sense. If you are growing and attracting new believers shouldn’t you be serving “milk”? Or better yet, chocolate milk so these new believers are “attracted” and want to attend your church? How do these churches manage to grow?
Can a church be “seeker friendly” and serve meat on Sunday mornings?
Several years ago, I attended a “seeker friendly” church. One of the leaders at the church described them as “watered down milk that you could see through.” For a year, almost every sermon presented was the same message, packaged differently. That church always seems to have new members but they fail to “grow” them into maturity which has lead to a revolving door…new members in, growing members leaving to seek the meat.
This occurrence isn’t uncommon. Several years ago, Willow Creek church out of the Chicago are, did a survey throughout the United States that lead to the discovery that most Christians are not “self-feeders”. We are not seeking God on our own time we are relying on the church for all of our spiritual “food”.
This weekend I was listening to an online Bible Study I am going to be taking (This is actually pretty cool – a ministry through Covenant Church offers online Bible Studies. This one is called “Walkout Your Transformation” – it starts June 15 at 9 p.m. online, it is a twelve week study). The speaker used this example: You can think about a great meal you ate last week. You can think about how good it tasted and how it nourished you. You can have a great memory of it, but it will do nothing for you today. We have to “eat” every day. Spiritually we have to eat every day.
So back to the question, can a church serve a meaty message on Sunday and still appeal to the unchurched? Should we quote scriptures on Sunday Mornings when there may be a visitor in the house?
1. The unchurched, unbeliever expects to hear about God at church on Sunday. (By the way, although people may make a profession of faith in church on a Sunday, most people “get saved” at places other than church). I is okay to talk about God in church. A ripe heart will become curious and want to know more…wetting of the appetite.
2. Everyone needs to be challenged beyond where they are.
3. Anointed messages have something for everyone. I have been listening to Bishop Tudor Bismark for years. I can listen to messages from years ago and I still get something out of them on a deeper level.
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.
I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
It it up to us. We must seek the Lord. We must ask God to feed us. If we want to grow in God, to change and transform, it is up to us.