I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able (1 Cor 3:2).
Note the past tense verb, gave milk, referring to times in the past when Paul taught the Corinthians milk because they were not ready for meat and that was okay; but the poignant criticism is indeed, even now, you are not yet able. Even now, still, at this point they were not able, when in reality they should have been much more mature and able to think as spiritual followers, feeding on the meat of the Word.
These words of Paul are not only words of chastisement but also words of hurt. Paul had been involved in seeking to mature the Corinthians for about five years, but to no avail. W. Robertson Nicoll notes, “Paul had attempted to carry his Corinthian converts further, but had failed.” The heart of Paul, or anyone who works to mature others in the faith, is conveyed by the words of the Apostle John who said, “I have no greater joy than this to hear of my children walking in truth” (3 John 4). A.T. Robertson said, “It is one of the tragedies of the minister’s life that he has to keep on speaking to the church members ‘as unto babes in Christ’ . . . who actually glory in their long babyhood.” For Christians to mature, the pastor must be solemnly devoted to maturing the believers in the flock of which God has given him oversight, and the people must also desire to mature (1 Peter 2:2). Continue reading
They were the demographic every church wants to grow.
Their family appeared on an unassuming summer Sunday morning. The mother, father, son and
daughter were well-dressed in trendy-but- modest, freshly-ironed clothing. Each sported a
monogrammed Bible, a modern haircut, and a flashy smile. It was like a light from Heaven shown down
on them and angels sang from a distance. They were the perfect demographic: a 25-45 year old couple,
married, financially stable, educated, with 2.1 children…give or take.
“Could you show us the way to Sunday School?” The mother pleasantly inquired. Continue reading
In 2016, Mercy Me released the single “Dear Younger Me.” The popular song is birthed from lead singer Bart Millard’s reflections on a troublesome childhood. The message considers the advice he might offer were he afforded the opportunity to speak to the 8-year-old version of himself. That idea is most intriguing. Consider the possibility of giving counsel to your younger self, especially in light of pastoral ministry. What advice might a seasoned pastor offer the younger version of himself as he begins pastoral ministry? Continue reading