Tips for Preachers and Pastors

 

People in your congregation will put up with a lot from their pastor because they hold their pastor in high esteem. Also, most church members enjoy the fellowship with other members and they enjoy being part of the family. When people stop coming to church because they find fault with the pastor, it is usually too late to change and win them back. On the other hand, since I don’t know you personally, I can point out some things I have noticed about pastors and preachers that drive me crazy, and it is also because I hold all of you in high esteem that I am willing to discuss these issues in hopes that someone might “catch” themselves falling into a bad habit. Let’s take a look at some issues one at a time.

 

1.    “Amen” is not a question. Please do not use this word every time you want a confirmation from the congregation, such as “. . .so do you all see how this scripture applies to your own life? Amen?” or “So you all will be there for the fundraiser tonight, Amen?” I have heard some highly rated preachers overuse this word as an expression, and I don’t know about you, but personally, I think it’s getting a little annoying. Amen?

2.    Speaking of expressions, if you are using the praise “Praise God” or “Praise The Lord” or “Hallelujah” frequently as an expression, stop doing that! When you say “Praise God” in this manner, you are not really praising God, you are violation the instructions of Matthew 6:7 which warns against using “vain repetitions!”

3.    When delivering a message based on “The Word,” know when to stop. I have known preachers who read from scripture and then delivered, in 10 minutes, a very eloquent explanation of how this scripture can help us live our lives. But the problem is that they talked for 30 minutes! After I was so excited by what was said the first ten minutes, I lost track of what was said and quickly lost interest in the whole discussion during the last 20 minutes. The point is “know when to shut up!” There is a saying among salespeople that when you say something that closes the sale, shut up and ask for the money. If you continue talking past that point, you will eventually talk the person out of buying!

4.    Remember, as you conduct the liturgy and deliver your message, your goal is to do so in such a manner that is pleasing to God. You may not be able to please all of the people in your congregation. You are not trying to be popular with them, and sometimes God call upon you to preach on topics that are unpopular to certain church members. Let God be the judge of your efforts, not the congregation. If you do a good job in God’s eyes, He will put it into the hearts of your congregation to appreciate the work you are doing on God’s behalf!

5.    Make sure your entire congregation understands what is meant by “being saved” and what is required on their part to be part of God’s family. Stay close to those who have not accepted Jesus as their savior and make sure that they understand all the information you give them on the subject. Look for the first available opportunity to bring these people into God’s family. We never know when God will call us home, and if one of your church members got called to God’s judgment before they had a chance to accept Jesus as their savior, you will feel bad that you did not act quickly enough to guarantee that person’s salvation. There is a fine line you must walk between “being pushy” and realizing that the end could come unexpectedly at any time, so make sure everyone you are in contact with receives your help toward salvation.

 

I will be adding more notes to this document when I have more time to work with it, but there are a few things here that I wanted to get out to you as soon as possible. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome, and if you would like to suggest more topics to be added to this list, please contact me at tom@tomsmerk.com.

 

Thank you for your continued interest and support.