sermon preparation and milk

Feed the people milk or meat?

I was a pastor for over 25 years. I know the struggle of teaching on a regular basis. Pastors are usually very busy taking care of their people. Most have difficulty finding the time to study, pray, read, meditate, think and write. Others don’t even care. Some don’t know the difference between milk and meat. Milk needs no prep. Sometimes you can just warm it up a bit. Meat, however… Which reminds me: I grill a mean steak! But I have served milk. Ashamed to say.

In any case, I see this pastor trying to choose which kind of milk product to feed his people this week. No preparation necessary. Will they even notice? Anyone getting tired of it? Does he even know about meat? Maybe he’s never been served it himself.

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About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • slav

    is that because ministers are bad cooks or even can not cook at all or maybe their ‘customers’ are still babies and can not digest anything but the milk?

  • slav

    is that because ministers are bad cooks or even can not cook at all or maybe their ‘customers’ are still babies and can not digest anything but the milk?

  • http://blog.superflippy.net Susanna K.

    My church uses a lectionary, which means the same scripture readings come around every 3 years. One year when we read about Jesus resurrecting the little girl who died, the rector of my church in my hometown gave a stirring and memorable sermon. Definitely meat. However, I don’t think he realized how memorable that sermon was: when the same reading came around again 3 years later, I immediately recognized that he gave the exact same sermon.

    Moral of the story: don’t serve 3-year-old meat to your family or your parishoners.

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com Sabio Lantz

    Great Post. Ah the varieties of milk! But whatever he choses, I am sure it will be homogenized! If you get a chance, you may enjoy the fun PhotoShopped graphic I made for: “The Homogenized Bible“.

    Further, if your choice of literature reaches outside of the Christian literature, the meat is even harder to prepare, albeit far more satisfying for the accustomed palate.

  • Sarah

    :-( Meat takes time to digest. :-)

  • ttm

    Meat takes more time to prepare than milk. You pay a higher price for it. It requires seasoning and more time to cook. It’s often sliced and skewered. It takes time to chew and to digest. But it is satisfying when prepared just right … of course, for me, that is medium RARE. When it’s too raw, it’s hard to choke down and when it’s too well done, it’s dry. :-)

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    The Word of God never gets stale.

    Meat is about Christ and what He has done for us. Milk is all this “spirituality” BS, and self-focused improvement, Biblical principles for living (more BS)stuff. Religious project stuff all self-progression stuff is all just very watery milk. For it all end in the graveyard, anyway. So much for progression.

    We need a Savior. Not a another Tony Robbins in sandals.

  • http://noiseinthevoid.wordpress.com/ Ben

    Too many words. Can you summarize in a couple of bullet points?

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com Sabio Lantz

    I have a comment awaiting moderation [NakedPastor's purgatory], but in the meanwhile:

    @ Steve Martin:
    Ask any number of Christians and non-Christians and many [if honest] will tell you that the Bible [aka: the Word of God] becomes incredibly stale very quickly — that is why a whole class of professionals (pastors, priest, ministers …) have a great challenge every Sunday.

    @ Sarah & ttm,
    Raw fresh meat is actually delicious and digests well — we are actually evolutionarily well built for it. Trust your gut! :-)

  • Jeff Cole

    This is so accurate ! Thankfully I became lactose intolerant.

  • marcie

    Me too Jeff =)

  • http://thoughts-brigitte.blogspot.com Brigitte

    Garbage in, garbage out. We can all tell.

  • Em

    Hmm, where’s the nonfat/skim milk?

  • Christine

    “Meat is about Christ and what He has done for us. Milk is all this “spirituality” BS, and self-focused improvement, Biblical principles for living (more BS)stuff. Religious project stuff all self-progression stuff is all just very watery milk. For it all end in the graveyard, anyway. So much for progression.”

    Steve, in Paul’s milk/meat metaphor the “milk” is not bad. It’s not wrong teaching. It’s just that it’s the ultra-basics, the simple stuff, what shouldn’t need repeating time and time again before people “get it”. Spiritual milk is necessary for spiritual children. Paul just wants his readers to grow up. But it is all food, all nourishing.

    The meat is more advanced, more complicated, difficult to process. Spiritual “meat” is what’s suitable for those with some spiritual maturity. (A difficult concept, I know, for anyone who believes that doctrine can always be oversimplified without losing any of the message…)

    So, for Paul, MILK is about Christ and what He has done for us. That’s the first, most basic of principles. The rest of what you have described is neither milk nor meat. I don’t know if you’ve ever tasted the meat.

    [As always, personal opinion only.]

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    isn’t 1% skim? it is here in canada

  • ccws

    @Christine said: “MILK is about Christ and what He has done for us. That’s the first, most basic of principles.”

    YES! At first, like little kids loving mom & dad, we love Jesus for what he does/did for us. Then we learn to love our family & friends who love us back. The “meat” comes in learning to love those who don’t love us back – strangers and even enemies. That can be some tough, stringy fare, but that’s how we progress from being children of God to being “adults of God.”

  • ccws

    @nakedpastor: In the US, skim is fat-free. BLECCCCCCHHHHHHHHH. Oh, and BTW – you left out the chocolate milk! :-)

  • Helen

    I think “fat-free” milk can have up to 1% of fat thereby making it skim? Anyhow. I saw this as a two-way preaching street also. The pastor might be delivering meat but some are not desirious of it and still want to keep feeding on milk…

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com Steve Martin

    Christine,

    You make a very valid point. I think you are right. Babies need to start with milk, and then progress.

    I get it.

    Thanks.

  • http://brainatthedoor.blogspot.com Hugh

    The best preachers I’ve heard managed, somehow, to include meat and milk in one sermon – there was something in there for everyone.
    One sad thing for me is to see people who grasped the milk of Christianity many years ago and have decided that they now know it all. God is infinite and He wants us to find out about Him.

  • Christine

    Thanks, Steve.

  • Christine

    I attended a “milk only” church for some time quite awhile back. The pastor insisted that God’s message was simple, and so his should be too. He essentially said the same basic things over again every week, with metaphor more suited to teaching actual children in Sunday school. It was aggravating. I felt insulted. I felt like I was intellectually and spiritually starving whenever I went. They did good work there, but it got to a point where I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  • Jo Ann

    what happens if the pastor is vegetarian? as is our pastor at my place of work :)

  • david

    No problem with reusing a sermon. It represents a lot of thought, writing and time… people hear the same passages of bible, sing the same hymns on many occasions, or use the same prayers …. the problem is when clergy rely on the work of others, or keep on repeating the same ideas ad nauseum.


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