Thom Rainer, CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, wrote an interesting blog recently on things people actually have said (but should not say) to their pastors. It included such statements as:
“Did I wake you up, pastor? It’s only 1 a.m.”
“I like your preaching, pastor, but I really like _________” (fill in the name of a famous TV preacher or author).
“I wish I had a job like yours, where I would work only one day a week.”
Some people who commented on the blog suggested the pastor should reply, “Yeah, and Olympic sprinters only work 10 seconds every four years.”
What was especially interesting, however, were the comments that other people made on his blog, listing other remarks made to pastors. Here are some samples:
“Pastor, where did you get money to go on vacation? We didn’t pay you to go on vacation.”
“If you had been praying, God would have told you that I was in the hospital.”
“You sure are wasting a lot of water with all these people you are baptizing.”
“It takes money to run a church, and some of ‘those’ people you are bringing in don’t have money.”
“My third cousin died and I never cared much for him and the funeral is 200 miles away. Will you go? You don’t have to speak, but it should we be nice if my pastor would attend.”
“Pastor, I timed you. You preached past the allotted time.”
“Pastor, I need to talk to you after the service” (said as the pastor is walking toward the pulpit to preach).
“Preacher, we pray too much in the worship service.”
“I know the Bible says ____, but _____.”
“I tithe, so technically you work for me.”
“I wish _____ (insert name of another person) was here in church today to hear that sermon.”
“You’re really going to make a great preacher someday.”
I’m amazed that real people actually said all of those things. But then, I shouldn’t be, since some of those things have been said to me over the years! So if you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, here it is: Don’t say this stuff to your pastor!
(Copyright 2014 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Visit my blog at www.bobrogers.me.)