One of the most common misconceptions I have encountered among Christians is that the church and the pastor are somehow responsible for one’s spiritual growth.
Now, I completely agree that we should find a church home where we can receive nourishment and be challenged; however, the public church service should never be our only (or even our main) source of spiritual food. We are each responsible for our own spiritual growth and development.
So, if you are feeling underfed or that you've stopped growing, that is not the pastor’s fault, but yours.
If you disagree with me, here’s a couple questions.
- Whose fault is it when your love of McDonald's gives you extra pounds and high cholesterol: the doctor’s or yours?
- Whose fault is it when your speeding car hydroplanes in the rain: the weatherman’s or yours?
- Whose fault is it when the kitchen fire spreads too quickly because the batteries in the smoke alarm haven’t been replaced: the fire department’s or yours?
- Whose fault is it when your car runs out of gas: the mechanic’s or yours?
Most of us are mature enough to accept that our actions—or lack of action—will bring consequences in other areas of our lives, but when it comes to our relationship with God, we often fail to make the connection.
We understand that all human relationships require some kind of maintenance and investment, and that the depth and strength of each relationship is proportionally determined by the amount of time and effort paid into it. And yet, we think that by spending 1.5-2 hours in a church service a few times a month and throwing a occasional $20 in the offering, we should have flourishing, rewarding spiritual lives. (Can you imagine if that were your marriage?)
Think about it, people. It just doesn't add up.