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Summary: This message is the first in a series that looks at diseases that plague the Church - this message looks at the attitude ’Pastor Feed Me’ and encourages listeners to learn to feed themselves!

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This week we are starting a new series that I think is going to be a lot of fun... It’s called “Outbreak” and it looks at the deadly diseases of the church. The idea is pretty simple, right? We all understand how disease works - we get an infection, or get sick and it spreads throughout our body - but it also spreads to others if we are not careful, right? In fact, in my home - if one of us gets sick, chances are we are all going to get it.

The same thing is true in the church. We are a body right? If one of us hurts we all hurt. If one of us is happy, we are all happy - but if one of us is sick, its possible that we spread that disease throughout the church. We become contagious - and not in a good way!

As Christians, we are supposed to be carriers - we are supposed to be contagious - with things like joy, and peace, and love - those things are supposed to so change us that we pass them on - we infect everyone around us - but not the bad stuff...

And I don’t think we can just keep it to ourselves either. We think, my little problem isn’t that big of a deal - it’s mine - but before we know it we are spreading it around... But there’s good news - along with disease there are some cures, some medicine...

So here’s where I want us to start - it’s an odd disease - one that you may not think is that bad. On the surface it looks pretty innocent. It’s a disease called ‘Pastor Feed Me’

Here’s the image of this disease (show picture of baby birds) Those are baby birds. Aren’t they cute. They have their mouths wide open because they depend solely on momma and daddy bird to bring them food. If they don’t get food given to them they die, its that simple... Some of us are that way too. You come into church with your mouth open and you say, ‘Pastor feed me’ and I open god’s word and I teach... That sounds like what should happen right? But baby birds grow up? Baby christians do to... If you depend on someone else to feed you spiritually then you will stunt your growth and you will die spiritually. It is un-natural for you to need to be fed. It’s time for you to grow up. This morning I’m, gonna nudge you out of the nest.

So let’s unpack this disease a little more: Here are three signs that you may have this disease...

You don’t read your Bible much at home (This could be just immaturity. It could also be a sign of something much worse too - but if you aren’t studying and reading God’s word at home, then you aren’t growing, and maybe you are coming in here waiting for God to d something)

Your pretty sure you can’t understand scripture on your own (You feel like there is no way that you can read the Bible and make any sense of it. You’ve maybe tried before, but it was too hard... One quick suggestion by the way is to find a translation you like. There are easy to read translations available that really make the Bible easy to understand. I use the NLT for instance - but you know I have had someone tell me once that the reason I had all that seminary was so that I could tell them what the Bible meant...)

You believe that my job is to help you grow closer to Christ (Some of you believe that my job is to preach and feed you God’s word. I won’t argue that is part of my job. I believe God called me to serve here and that unpacking scripture and preaching is definitely part of my job - but if you depend on me for your growth in Christ - you are in trouble... You might get 52 messages a year, but honestly, can you remember last week’s message? What about the week before? My job is to lead and serve this congregation. Preaching and teaching is one aspect...but ultimately for you to be healthy, you need to learn to feed yourself!!)

Let’s look at some scripture that reminds us of this... The first passage is in (Read) Philippians 1:6. Paul is in prison in Rome and he’s awaiting trial. The church at Philippi had sent him a care package and a man named Epahraditus to take care of him. Paul is thanking them, but he also reminds them that God is at work in them - and that God will finish what he’s started!

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