I’m honored to be blogging in Hal’s place while he is away. As a guest blogger, I was given the opportunity to blog about whatever came to mind, so here are the results…

The Hollywood writer’s strike kind of has me down. I’m a big fan of a couple of shows that have now been in re-runs for about a month, NBC’s The Office and Saturday Night Live. While The Office tends to be just as funny (or more so) upon second viewing, SNL is really a time-sensitive type show. Except for the classic sketches, most of the dialogue and humor stays pretty relevant to the culture/mood of the day. I did, however, enjoy last week’s clip show “Thanksgiving Leftovers”, in which they included Thanksgiving clips that have aired over the last 30 years. One clip really stuck out to me and got me thinking. I remember seeing it before, and it was no less disgusting the second time around. If you have a weak stomach, don’t click here to watch the sketch I’m talking about. http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZeIPUj_DqcE

For those who didn’t watch the video, I’ll sum it up like this: The sketch is called “The Bird Family”. Chris Parnell brings a date, Julianne Margulies, to his parents’ house for dinner for their second date. The small talk is going well until Parnell asks his dad, Will Ferrell, for some chicken. Ferrell then cuts the chicken, puts it in his (Ferrell’s) mouth and chews it, and then spits it into Parnell’s mouth. I read that the sketch almost didn’t make it to air, not because of the gross content, but because the actors couldn’t help but break character during the rehearsals. Can you imagine… a grown man asking someone else to chew his food for him? Disgustingly hilarious!

So why did this get me thinking? Because I’ve been in church all my life and I’m a reader of blogs. These combined experiences have exposed me to many grown men (and women) demanding that someone else chew their food for them. They’ll say things like “I’m just not getting FED” or “I want to go deeper”… the thing that sucks most about writing this blog is that you can’t see me roll my eyes right now…

I usually hear these grumblings from people coming from other churches, assuring me that their new church (my church) will be better. I’m never optimistic…

Here’s the thing: I have a 20 month old and a 5 month old. They want me to feed them. They need me to feed them. But already, my 20 month old wants me to feed him less and less. He wants to do it himself. Sure, I still help, but he is naturally growing to a more independent person. That’s part of growing up!

So the big roll of my eyes doesn’t come when a new believer is seeking nourishment. That’s our job, not as pastors, but as Christ followers: to feed those who need to be fed, mainly Christians still in their infancy. But I’ve never heard a new believer complain about “getting fed”. The complainers are typically long-time “Christians” that are just looking for someone to chew their food for them. And I’m sorry if this seems harsh, but that disgusts me much more than the SNL sketch.

Dave Ferguson, lead pastor of Community Christian Church in the Chicago area recently taught a series dealing with this subject. He produced some new insights for the “getting fed” conversation that I will now adopt into my own vocabulary. It looks something like this:

Spiritual Infancy= Getting Fed

Spiritual Adolescence= Feeding Yourself

Spiritual Adulthood= Feeding Others

That last one is my favorite. So often, spiritual maturity stifles at the adolescent stage. Churches all over are full are highly intelligent Christian pre-teens that are so impressed with themselves for knowing how to use a fork, they miss the fact that there are starving people all around them.

So, where are you? Are you feeding yourself? Are you feeding others? Leave a comment…start a dialogue.