In today’s world, the influence of individualism and self-focus is undeniable. From social media feeds to self-help bestsellers, the narrative of “me”, “myself” and “I “ has become pervasive. But have you ever considered whether this trend has seeped into the church?

Well, in this blog post, we are going to explore a phenomenon aptly coined as “Meology.” A trend that has crept into various facets of the Christian life, notably reshaping the way Christians engage with their faith. 

What is Meology?

In the Christian context, “Meology” refers to a mindset or ideology that places excessive emphasis on the individual self. This is usually, at the expense of the pursuit of knowing God. It’s essentially the fusion of “me” and “theology”. An approach to Christianity where personal desires, experiences, and interpretations take precedence over the foundational truths of the Christian faith.

In Christianity, the central focus is on God. Mainly His character, His redemptive work through Jesus Christ, and His purposes for humanity. However, meology shifts the focus from God towards the believer. Thus, promoting a self-centered approach to spirituality where faith becomes primarily about personal fulfillment, comfort, and success.

From experience, Meology usually manifests in the following ways:

white paper with text Me Myself And I on a yellow background with stationery denoting meology

1. Meology in Bible Study:

In Bible Studies, “meology” often surfaces through the question, “What does this text mean to me?”  We tend to make the mistake of giving more importance to our personal interpretation of scripture rather than focusing on what the author originally intended to convey. To understand how this plays out better, let’s look at how this manifests itself:

  • Cherry-picking Verses: Meology influences believers to cherry-pick verses that align with their personal beliefs while skipping over challenging passages. They use the Bible to justify their perspective rather than letting it challenge them. This selective reading usually leads to a skewed understanding and hinders spiritual growth.
  • Self-Centered Interpretation (Narcigesis): Narcigesis, a portmanteau of “narcissism” and “eisegesis,” describes the tendency to read ourselves metaphorically into the text. This self-centered approach to biblical interpretation can lead believers to interpret scripture primarily through the lens of their own experiences, desires, and ego. Hence, distorting the intended meaning of scripture. Narcigesis undermines the transformative power of scripture by reducing it to a mirror that reflects our desires. Rather than, a timeless revelation that challenges, convicts, and guides believers toward a deeper relationship with God.
  • Self-help Approach: Meology fosters a consumerist mentality even in personal Bible study. Believers may approach the scriptures as a buffet of self-help insights, picking and choosing verses based on their current needs. This results in a shallow engagement with scripture, as believers mine passages for quick fixes or inspirational quotes. Rather than, being studied in depth to discern the broader truths they contain. This ultimately results in a situation where believers use the Bible as a source of personal inspiration instead of allowing it to renew their minds.
  • Emotional Gratification: Meology-driven Bible study tends to prioritize emotional gratification over intellectual engagement. Rather than delving into the profound theological truths, believers will tend to gravitate towards passages that provide immediate emotional comfort or resonate with their current feelings. This causes them to miss out on the richness of God’s timeless wisdom.

To help steer Bible study away from the pitfalls of Meology, believers should do the following: 

  • Prayerful Dependence on the Holy Spirit: Asking for God’s guidance and illumination helps us understand His Word.
  • Context is King: It’s important to have a contextual understanding of the scripture. When reading a Bible verse or passage, don’t read it in isolation or cherry-pick it. Instead, consider the passages or chapters that come before or after it. If possible, also explore the historical and cultural context of passages to gain a more accurate interpretation. This will help you to get a comprehensive understanding of the scripture.
  • Embrace Humility: Maintaining a posture of humility and openness to correction is essential in personal Bible study. We should allow the Bible to say what it has to say instead of trying to make it say what we want it to say. We should also be willing to have the truth of God’s word confront and challenge our sins, assumptions, and biases.
  • Prioritize Depth over Emotion: While emotional resonance has its place, prioritize a deep and comprehensive understanding of scripture. Don’t just engage with the Bible for immediate emotional gratification. Also, strive to cultivate a relationship with God where the Scriptures transform you into Christ’s image.
  • Focus on God’s Glory: The main objective of studying the Bible should be to know, glorify, and grow closer to God. Not seeking personal validation or putting yourself at the center of the discussion. As such, it’s crucial to keep the focus on God’s character, his purposes, and his glory as you interact with his word. By doing this, believers can develop a more profound understanding of scripture that goes beyond self-focus.

2. Meology in Sermons:

Sermons play a central role in shaping the spiritual lives of believers by providing guidance, encouragement, and biblical teaching. However, Meology has also infiltrated sermons, shifting the focus from God-centered preaching to a more individualistic and man-centered preaching.

In many cases, Meology-driven sermons prioritize the needs and desires of the listeners over the broader themes of God’s sovereignty, grace, and redemption. This trend is observable even in the titles of contemporary sermons. Titles such as “5 Kingdom Keys to Achieving Success,” “The Importance of Having a Vision,” or “I Refuse to be KingDumb,” and “Let Go of Your Shame and Walk in Power” are prevalent.

However, it’s challenging to encounter sermons that delve into topics like “Understanding God’s Sovereignty,” “Walking the Narrow Path,” or “The Gospel; Man’s Greatest Need.” This underscores the shift in focus from delving into theological truths to delivering messages that cater to self-gratification.

Here are several ways this may occur:

  • Self-Centered Theology: In most cases, sermons excessively focus on personal fulfillment, ambitions, purpose, and happiness. God is merely presented as a means by which one’s dreams can be achieved. This arises from interpreting scripture in a manner that prioritizes human desires and needs above God’s sovereign purposes.
  • Cherry-picking Verses: In Meology-influenced preaching, verses are often plucked out of context to cater to popular messages while disregarding uncomfortable passages. They are often twisted to mean something entirely different from their original intention. This leads to a distorted understanding of the Bible and the omission of important truths.
  • Elevation of Subjective Experience: Sermons influenced by meology often prioritize extra-biblical revelations as the ultimate authority rather than relying solely on the sufficiency of Scripture. Consequently, it’s not uncommon to hear preachers say things like “The Lord told me to tell you…” followed by messages related to prosperity, abundance, and success. This often places subjective experiences at the core of preaching. Thus, encouraging believers to rely heavily on the so-called “prophetic” words of the preacher as opposed to the Scriptures.
  • Prosperity Gospel: The easiest way to spot a meology sermon is by its promotion of the prosperity gospel. These sermons often frame God and the Christian faith as the means to achieve worldly possessions, status, and happiness. They tend to highlight scriptures about prosperity and blessings while overlooking passages that address the realities of suffering, sacrifice, and persecution in the Christian life.
  • Therapeutic Approach: There is also a notable inclination to adopt a therapeutic approach to scripture; using it to offer self-help advice or motivational talks. It could be argued that many meology sermons can easily pass for TED Talks. The content that makes up the bulk of most meology sermons is not far removed from Napoleon Hill’s, Think, Grow Rich. For instance, it’s not uncommon to encounter sermons promoting positive thinking or the power of words as ways to manifest one’s desires. And while scripture undoubtedly provides wisdom and encouragement, reducing it to a mere self-improvement tool diminishes its transformative power and spiritual depth.
  • Emotional Manipulation: More often than not, Scripture is employed to manipulate emotions or elicit excitement from the congregation. Preachers influenced by meology often use their charisma and powerful oratory skills to stir the congregation into a frenzy. Often by telling them what their eager ears desire to hear. Usually, it’s something about the next great thing God will do in their lives. prompting enthusiastic shouts of “Amen” from the congregation.

Overall, Meology-influenced sermons lead to a distorted understanding of God’s word that results in biblically illiterate and spiritually starved congregations. To counter the influence of meology, as believers, we should endeavor to listen to sermons and attend churches that prioritize expository preaching. 

Expository preaching is preaching that faithfully unpacks the biblical text in its entirety. It emphasizes God’s character and purposes above personal preferences or desires. Furthermore, we should listen to preachers who resist the temptation to cater to the desires of the congregation. Preachers who instead commit to proclaiming the whole counsel of God, even when it challenges cultural norms or personal comfort.

To learn more expository preaching, consider checking out this article by

Related: Man Centered Gospel: An Attack on the True Gospel

3. Meology in Worship Music:

Christian worship music is supposed to emphasize the transcendence and immanence of God. It’s a means by which we acknowledge God’s sovereignty, holiness, and grace and praise Him for it. However, meology redirects the focus of worship songs from exalting God to centering on ourselves.

Many songs now center around the worshiper oftentimes overshadowing the attributes and the character of God as well as the message of the Gospel.  This is because churches today look upon believers as consumers to be satisfied. As are result, the worship service is designed and tailored to their wants and needs, not God.

To grasp how this dynamic unfolds, here are several ways in which worship may manifest in the context of Meology: 

  • Entertainment-Oriented Performances: In Meology-influenced worship, there’s often a strong emphasis on entertainment or aesthetic appeal. This includes jaw-dropping musical performances and spectacular displays, such as elaborate lighting, smoke effects, and amplified sound. This inclination encourages a desire for worship experiences where performances that create an entertaining atmosphere take precedence. Unfortunately, the emphasis on the spectacle often overshadows the reverence and awe that should accompany praising God in worship. 
  • Mysticism in Worship: A strong emphasis is placed on personal experiences with congregants approaching worship as consumers in search of a personal encounter. Perhaps this is why they are called “worship experiences” or “worship encounters” nowadays. Rather than perceiving worship as an act of reverence and adoration directed towards God, it’s primarily viewed as a means to cater to our desire for super spiritual experiences.
  • Emphasis on Feelings over Theology: Meology prioritizes feelings and emotional satisfaction over a robust theological foundation. This is evident in the repetitive lyrics that resemble mantras that we find in most worship songs today. Consequently, worship services focus more on evoking feelings of euphoria, comfort, hysteria, or validation than conveying deep theological truths. So much so, that the effectiveness of the worship is measured by whether the congregation was moved to tears. Conversely, congregants measure their closeness with God by whether they felt the tangible  “presence of God”  during the worship experience. (This isn’t to say that expressing emotions in worship is inherently bad. However, Meology tends to concentrate solely on the emotional experience at the expense of grounding them in the proclamation of the truths found in God’s word. Worship, as emphasized in Scripture, should be in Spirit and Truth (John 14:6). Unfortunately, Meology tends to lean heavily toward the former while forgetting the latter.)
  • Self-Centered Song Selection: Worship leaders, in this context, often select songs based on their popularity. As long as a song resonates with the congregation’s emotions, preferences, or experiences, it gets a pass, even if it’s theologically flawed or bankrupt.
  • Self-serving lyrics: The lyrics in worship songs often include themes such as the worshiper’s feelings, struggles, enemies, desires, and victories. While the congregation can easily resonate with these themes in their lives, more often than not they fail to emphasize the supremacy and centrality of God. As a result, they are more about how God has been or will be faithful in serving our interests above everything else.

To avoid getting caught up in “meological” worship, it’s essential for both worship leaders and congregants to intentionally foster a worship culture that prioritizes a God-centered, Gospel-centered, and scripturally grounded.

This involves selecting songs that reflect a robust theology and convey biblical truths. This also means emphasizing songs that declare the character of God, the redemptive work of Christ, and how these things apply to us. This shifts the focus away from the self and towards God, who should be the subject and object of our worship.

Related: Mysticism: The Dangers of Seeking Special Revelation


The reason why meology has crept in unnoticed and tolerated in the church today is because it appeals to our fleshly desires. As humans, we naturally tend to be self-focused, and meology plays into this tendency by indulging our selfishness.

It subtly encourages us to approach Bible study, sermons, and worship with a mindset geared towards fulfilling our own needs, all the while convincing ourselves that we are honoring God in the process.

However, the call to follow Christ demands that we take up our cross and deny ourselves (Matt 16:24). The Christian attitude should mirror that of John the Baptist, who declared, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” (John 3:30).

Suffice it to say, the focus on “me” that meology propagates poses a significant threat to the health and effectiveness of the church. To avoid falling into this trap, as believers, we must prioritize cultivating a God-centered perspective in every area of our lives.

By having a deep reverence for God we will be empowered to thrive as the salt of the earth in an increasingly self-absorbed world.

Related: Why Theology is Important for Women


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  1. avatar

    Nice piece. A wake up call…

    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      Thank you Kut. Indeed it is.

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