After 15 years of serving as a pastor, I still get mildly aggravated when someone says they wish I would teach on deeper topics and not camp out so often on the stuff the mature already know. I do believe there are a handful of scholars sitting each week in a crowd our size, and I can see their point. I have never been mistaken for Wright, Peterson, or Nouwen, although I read their stuff. What most people are really saying is this: “Would you speak more often about the narrow list of topics in Scripture that I think are most important?”
I will pause here for a moment for you to repent. Selah.
When I stand before my fellowship, I see a big swimming pool, with a shallow end, a deep end, and a kiddie pool off to the side. The shallow end is full of young, wide-eyed babies and toddlers. Some of them of them have those giant floaties that make their arms stick straight out. Their parents were wise enough to not take them down to the deep end and just throw them in the water. That would be at best foolish and at worst lethal.
Most of these parents are expert swimmers and could easily navigate the deeper end but are actually content down in the shallow end, splashing about with the young they have produced, hoping the water will not frighten them away from an aquatic world of fun.
The kiddie pool off to the side is there for the very young who probably are years away from learning to swim. Most of them them are lugging around a diaper that’s as large as a Scion. They probably tried the shallow end, but all the amateurish splashing scared them away so they retreated to the safest of all places, which was only few feet away.
Before you tell your pastor you want deeper teaching, consider a couple of questions.
1. When was the last time you brought a spiritual baby to church and saw them get the baby stuff for the first time? In fact, instead of asking your pastor for deeper teaching, go ask him who you could help teach. I promise he will have a long list of candidates for you to prayerfully consider helping.
2. Are you solely depending on a 30-40 talk once a week to go deeper? Because of the Internet, we literally have millions of hours of study from the world’s best scholars. At New Life, we have small groups, an extension campus for King’s College and Seminary, plus other classes taught by really smart people who tackle some of the deepest stuff imaginable.
Most pastors I know are fascinated by the deep topics and would love nothing more than to explore these with you each week. But the deep end is not for everyone, not yet. Because I am pastor of the expert swimmer and the toddler with the floaties and Scion diapers, I need to spend time in both ends of the pool every week. Splashing babies almost always become swimming adults. I promise.