“I have observed two extremes in our churches concerning personal needs. One extreme is the impersonal church that ignores many needs. People come to church to hear the preacher preach and the teacher teach. In this setting, pastors see themselves as mini-theologians. They are the defenders of the faith.
Some are known more for what they don’t believe than what they do believe. The problem with some Protestants is that they protest rather than proclaim. They are more prepared to fight than to love. The “spiritually mature” person is the one who doesn’t smoke, drink or do other bad stuff. They don’t do any personal counseling and in many cases remove themselves from hurting humanity. One has to wonder whatever happened to pastoring.
The biblical art of discipleship has suffered a similar fate. It has degenerated into a curriculum-based program. In this setting, the two most important questions are: What curriculum are you using and what program are you following? How sad! Discipleship is an intensely personal experience between two or more people in the presence of Christ and centered in the Word of God. The Bible doesn’t just give us a message, it gives us a method as well. One has to wonder whatever happened to discipleship. (pg. 63)
The other extreme regarding people’s needs can be found in a few churches that really do care. An opportunity is afforded in every church service for people to come forward to be prayed over. Spiritual leaders will anoint you with oil and pray fervently for you. The prayers are petitions for God to do something. The requests might be for healing, deliverance, wisdom or God’s intervention in a personal tragedy. I appreciate the heart and concern of these leaders, but I believe God has already done all He needs to do for us to live free and victorious lives in Christ. What is often overlooked is the need for assuming personal responsibility. (pg. 65)”
-Helping Others Find Freedom In Christ by Neil T. Anderson