Don’t you think it’s about time for these guys to start finding their own food?? I don’t think mom and dad are going to be able to keep sustaining them (and themselves) much longer, and they’re outgrowing the nest by more than a bit. Dependence is a comfortable thing, however, and self-sufficiency is hard work, and somewhat dangerous at times. Just look at what happened to the Israelites during the prophet Samuel’s time—
Backstory: because of the enemy occupation, there were no blacksmiths allowed in Israel. To sharpen anything, God’s (wayward) people had to go the non-Israelite smithies to simply file an axe or other daily implements. (As if my kitchen knives weren’t dull enough…) This was a really smart ploy of the enemy—they were basically in control of the weaponry, which decidedly put the people of Yahweh at an uncomfortable disadvantage.
“So on the day of the battle none of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan.”
Unfortunately, our Enemy employs the same tactic today when I allow myself to become dependent on church leadership and the pastoral staff/worship team/Sunday school teachers for my personal spiritual sustenance and the responsibility I have for the effect of the Gospel in my family and community.
Okay, that was a run-on sentence, and back in high school my comp teacher, Mrs. Rose, used to give my red ink for that. So I’ll break it down.
Point #1: Any church philosophy that encourages the people to become solely dependent on the leadership team is from the enemy camp.
When one of you says, “I am a follower of Paul,” and another says, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you acting just like people of the world? After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News.
Point #2: Church leadership is not to keep us in the nest, but to prepare us to fly on our own. That doesn’t preclude church affiliation (mustn’t take the analogy too far) as it is obvious God expects us to keep up our teamwork and fellowship. There is, however, a specific call for the church to BE the church, not merely GO to church.
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ.”
Even “dumb animals” like robins know when it’s time to grow up and feed themselves.
Or maybe they’re not so dumb after all…?
Samuel 13:22; I Corinthians 3: 4,5; Ephesian 4:11,12 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.