I Am the Sheep and I Need to be Fed

I recently saw a graphic about ‘The Church’ and the role of that entity for feeding its parishioners. This is the graphic which was posted to facebook:

Fed by a consumer church






Now, I understand the graphic. I’m not even sure I disagree with the sentiment it really expresses. However, there is something about it that just didn’t quite sit right with me. Then this past Friday it all became clear to me.

On Friday I woke up grumpy! My grumpy quickly escalated to down right mean. I was so irritated even I was having trouble being around me. Eventually Jenn says ‘you need protein’ – Then that little light bulb over my head went off! I NEEDED protein.

You see, I started a new diet and exercise program on Monday. I was stuffing my self with salads and smoothies and other delicious goodies but not a lot of protein. My body can survive on without a lot of protein but I become less productive and eventually so irritable I am of no use to myself or others.

Several years ago while visiting family in California I discovered this need my body has for protein. It’s just something I had always naturally taken care of in my diet. But while visiting for a week with people who eat very little protein, I discovered just how irritable I become when my dietary needs aren’t met (We now  make sure to eat appropriately when traveling – even if it means Jenn forcing me to eat something when we sneaking away to hit a drive thru).

I think the same is true for my spiritual life. I need to be fed!

And not just any  thing. I can spiritually survive in a situation where I am not being fed, but I become depleted, I become weak and my soul yearns for substance. Eventually, if my needs aren’t being met I become so depleted I am unable to even see the problems or participate in gaining the substance I need. I need the gathering of Christians I attend on Sunday mornings to  notice and help feed me the substance I need.

Does this mean that I believe every service every Sunday will meet my every need? No

Does this mean that my spiritual feeding is the responsibility of someone one beside me? No

Does this relieve me of the responsibility to use my time and talents to help feed others? No

Jesus said to “feed his sheep” and I believe we are all called to feed Jesus’ sheep (i.e. feed each other). We are all called to be ministers of the gospel and use our talents. But just as my physical body needs to be refueled and fed appropriately to complete the tasks and goals I have set; so must my soul be fed to allow me to continue my task and goal of “feeding other  sheep”.

For me, my soul is fed by music and hymns. Because I can not depend on the gathering of Christians I attend on Sunday mornings to feed this need, I, in essence, hit the drive thru before I attend – which means I have hymns on my iPod and I sing along with them as I prepare for service.

I also need to be challenged intellectually. I have recently found this in my Sunday School Class. In this small group the answers are rarely as important as the discussion. Often the unanswered questions raised are the pinnacle of growth for me – as I spend hours or maybe even days wrestling with my thoughts and conclusions. It is those unanswered questions that spur me to engage in research and readings. But I am intellectually challenged to grow.

Additionally, I need to be inspired. I need to hear the word of God. When I get up on Sundays and head out to the gathering of Christians I attend on Sunday mornings I am expectant. I am expecting to be inspired for the coming week; Inspired to want to walk closer with Jesus; Inspired to want to live a more Christian life. And Yes, I do look to the gathering of Christians I attend on Sunday mornings to feed my soul. Because drive thru Christianity is no more nourishing than drive thru supper – You can survive but it’s neither healthy nor nutritious.

What about you? what feeds your soul? What do you need to be spiritually enriched? And most importantly, What are you doing to be assured your needs spiritual needs are being met?

About Gayle

Gayle is a Social Media Enthusiast and Consultant with Biz Buzz Social Media Marketing; co-owner of Glynne's Soaps; a dalmatian rescuer; genealogist and member of the Daughters of the Revolution (DAR) and of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC); a Cubs Fanatic; hopeful bagpiper; purveyor of positive; and a curious seeker of life.
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2 Responses to I Am the Sheep and I Need to be Fed

  1. Rick Knott says:

    I agree completely. For me to take God to the world, I must be rested and well nourished which is much of what I look for on Sunday morning. While I receive my direction for what I need to do the rest of the week on Sundays also, it is the fellowship and worship that give me the strength to go and accomplish those things.

    • Gayle says:

      Thanks Rick!

      I’m not sure I’m looking for marching orders on Sunday as much as inspiration to get me through the upcoming week. I do think a diversity of offerings in the service helps to insure everyone is fed what they need. For example, I take nothing from responsive readings or unison readings, but know others feel very fed by this ritual but take great joy from good congregational singing which may have no nutritional value for others.

      Like most things, I find it all interesting to think on 🙂

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