Consider, briefly, the physical development of a person. At birth, an infant is entirely dependent upon an adult for sustenance. Babies look to their mothers for milk and a capable person must spoon feed their food. Slowly, overtime, this changes. The child is able to hold a bottle, a piece of food, and then a spoon. He does not prepare the food, but is able to eat it himself. Before long, the child can prepare aspects of his own meals, although an adult worked for the money to purchase the food. In time, as an adult, that one-time infant is capable of engaging a job, purchasing their food, preparing it, and eating it without assistance. He will of course do this in relationship with others (meals are best when they are shared), but he has the skills needed to make his own meals. What’s true in our physical development is also true in our spiritual development. Yes, an authentic follower of Christ will always maintain community and benefit from the ‘shared meals’ that community provides, but maturity in Christ means a person takes responsibility for their daily sustenance and fully embraces this responsibility and opportunity. If a person fails to do this, his or her spiritual development will be stunted and impoverished. When fully embraced, a person will grow spiritually strong and then be capable of bearing the responsibility and opportunity of bringing up the next generation, spiritually speaking. Hebrews speaks to this directly: “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14). Authentic followers of Christ have “trained themselves” by “constant use.” They are not independent from the body of Christ, but they have moved from dependence to interdependence, where they benefit greatly from the shared meals of church-life while daily engaging Scripture for their own moment-by-moment sustenance.