One of the primary responsibilities of pastoral ministry is the feeding of the flock. Here are a few quick thoughts to keep in mind:
- Seek to give a consistent diet – it is not good to vary meals between a few scraps one time and gorging on overly rich fare another. Seek to preach so that listeners have a consistency in their diet.
- Seek to give a cumulative diet – it is not possible to give everything that is needed in every meal, or in every message. Seek to preach so that listeners experience a cumulative growth in their biblical awareness and their relational knowledge of God.
- Seek to give a healthy diet – no normal parent balances vegetables with poison. Do not accept heretical content, even if it is wrapped up in the salad leaves of Gospel truth. Don’t blend curving your listeners inward with drawing them out to Christ. Preach Christ and him crucified. Don’t preach Christ and effort intensified.
- Seek to give a timely diet – some fare fits in certain seasons and when it is missing something does not seem right. In my culture we tend to expect Turkey and mince pies in December, and more salads in the summer. Whether or not your church follows the church calendar, at least in some basic points, your listeners do. Christmas and Easter at least deserve some appropriate messages, perhaps harvest or mother’s day is a must too? Don’t disappoint, there’s nothing to be gained.
2 thoughts on “Flock Feeding”
On the subject of a balanced diet (which you didn’t explicitly mention, but I think it’s implied): this is one area where I think we benefit from having several preachers in our congregation. It’s more or less inevitable that each preacher will have his or her own favourite emphasis, and so long as they’re not carried away by it to the exclusion of all else, I think that is perfectly fine — so long as the church is also getting different emphases from the other preachers.
If I may, in consideration of point #3…avoid the sugar-laden rhetoric. It has no more nutritional value than a straight diet of ice cream and cookies. Tasty, yes. Healthy, noooo.