Part of this is because I care about people, while part of it is also because it hurts my pride. Being transparent, it's just so personal. But if there's one thing that hurts most, it's when someone leaves because, in their words, they're not being fed. I guess this is just because I genuinely care about their spiritual well being and I shudder to think that someone feels like I haven't done what's necessary to help them grow spiritually.
But there's also a part of this that bothers me and it has nothing to do with my pride. It's when a person is hoping that a certain style of teaching will "feed" them. It basically goes like this: "Pastor, I like your teaching, but I'm looking for something... ummm... deeper." And so they go somewhere else. Perhaps the next place has expository preaching. Or perhaps that pastor is just plain better at being a communicator. And besides my pride being hurt, I'm just sort of bothered because I honestly believe that our view of sermons is so dang flawed.
First, a sermon will never "feed" you. Not the way you need to be fed. In Neil Cole's words, "milk" is simply pre-digested food. So if you want milk, listen to a sermon! But if you want meat, you're going to have to consume the Word of God for yourself. (1 Cor 3, Heb 5)
Second, a style will never "feed" you. Sometimes what we're looking for has nothing to do with what is best. We glorify the celebrity pastor down the street at the expense of clear, solid, Christ-exalting teaching. This is clearest when Paul talked to the Corinthians: "You’ll remember, friends, that when I first came to you to let you in on God’s master stroke, I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who he is; then Jesus and what he did—Jesus crucified." (1 Cor 2:1)
If you're looking to switch churches so you can be fed, I guess I would just caution you to evaluate what's really at the heart of your struggle. Is it a particular style you're looking for? Okay. But what if you just had an honest conversation with your pastor about something you feel is lacking. Chances are, your church family probably already has what your looking for and you just don't know it's there. Either way, I'm sure your pastor would much rather you talk to them before breaking covenant with your spiritual family.
In the meantime, I would also like to encourage you to learn how to feed yourself spiritually. Don't depend on a sermon series to find your spiritual nourishment. God straight to God's Word for yourself! You might be surprised at how much God will show you.
How are you "feeding" yourself spiritually?