Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spiritual Immaturity - Whose Fault Is It?

Many church leadership teams (pastors and staff) over function in their role to develop spiritual maturity  in believers.  They take on the very responsibilities that the individual is responsible for himself.  Church leaders will allow congregants  to say, “Hey, we’re not growing and it’s your fault…. so why don’t you offer this more?.... or why don’t you offer that more?  The expectation is that the pastors do all the feeding while the people do all the eating.  The church leaders then believe that it IS their fault and begin offering more and more to their congregants.

But here’s the truth:  Some forms of spiritual progress are done ONLY by the individual.  The church does not own it, and the church can’t do it for you. 

Church leaders, therefore, have to draw a line of demarcation by saying, “These are the things YOU are responsible for.  We can’t read your Bible for you; we can’t pray your prayers; we can’t do your mediating; we can’t do secret acts of servant hood for you; we can’t give alms for you and we can’t offer tithes for you.  It's up to you to read, pray, serve, learn, jounral, carve our time for silence and solitutude.  And it's up to you to persevere in these disciplines.  There is a whole part of your spiritual life that YOU, and YOU ALONE, are personally responsible for.

Our job is to teach you, equip you, inspire you, and give you the tools that will enable your to make progress.  Our job is to lead you up to a CERTAIN POINT.  Beyond that, it’s your job.  At some point you should know how to feed yourselves and then begin focusing your attention on helping the church with its mission.

To do that, expectations must be right sized.  Growing Christians must be taught that the church and its leaders cannot and will not do everything for them indefinitely, and at some point they must embrace the habits of spiritual growth for themselves.

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