59 things not to say to a preacher

1. “I enjoyed your little talk.”

2. “Is what you said true, or was that just preacher talk?”

3. “I heard (famous preacher) preach that same sermon on television.  He did it so much better.”

4. “Could you come to my home and preach that sermon to my husband?”

5. “You ought to hear the pastor at our church.  He’s been to seminary.”

6. “Our church is so much bigger (better, friendlier, whatever) than yours.”

7. “The restroom is out of paper.”

8. “My cousin said I would like your preaching. It’s all right, I guess.”

9. “Someone–I’m not saying who–told me to tell you….”

10. “Can I come by your office in the morning?  I might need a couple of hours of your time.”

11. “Could I call you tonight after we get home from the movie?  It might be 10:30 or so.”

12.  (Calls at 7:30 in the morning.)  “Hi Pastor. Did I wake you?”

13. “I heard Celebration Church baptized 92 people last week. And Williams Church had a $100,000 offering.”

14. “Do you get paid by the word or by the hour?”

15. “Just because you’re the pastor doesn’t make you always right.”

16. “Who told on me?”

17. “The game starts at 11:30 today, preacher.  Hint, hint.”

18. “I read about your child in the paper. I’m so sorry.”

19. “Today’s sermon was a big improvement over your last few messages.”

20. “Hi Pastor! Bet you don’t remember my name.”

21. “The previous pastor had a great sermon on that text.  I used to love his stories.”

22. “Can you give me two minutes in the worship service this morning to make a few announcements?”

23. “Can I take the microphone to say a few words now, preacher?”

24. “I know you’re getting ready to preach, Pastor, but can I tell you something that’s been bothering me.”

25.  “Now, don’t take this personally, pastor….”

26. “So, what does your wife do in the church?”

27. “We don’t want those kind of people in our church.”

28. “You preach too long; that’s why people are leaving.”

29. “Don’t forget who pays the bills around here.”

30. “Oh, pastor–don’t you just love Joel Osteen!”

31. “Back in my old church, we used to….”

32. “Well, all I know is if I were the pastor, I would….”

33. “It must be nice to work just one day a week.”

34. “I see here by the notes in my Bible that’s the third time you’ve preached that sermon.”

35. “Would you agree with me in prayer, Pastor, that the Lord would give us a new house (car, job, whatever).”

36. “Where is your wife today, Pastor? I didn’t see her. Shouldn’t she be here?”

37.  “Here’s a tape of the preacher we heard on vacation.”

38. “Do you have a real job–or is this all you do?”

39. “I used to think you were the best preacher in town.”

40. “Are you aware of what your daughter posted on Facebook?”

41. “Believe me, pastor, you do not want to go there!”

42. “You just got back from the youth camp, I hear. So, how was your vacation?”

43. “Well, preacher, you do this because you get paid. The rest of us are volunteers and do it for nothing. We have a life.”

44. “This is our church.  My granddaddy started this church.”

45. “I miss our church when it was just our people.”

46. “I forgot to write you your paycheck, Pastor. I’ll bring it with me next Sunday.”

47. “Your hands are so soft.  Have you ever done a day’s work in your life?”

48. “I don’t care what the Bible says. I know what I believe….”

49. “You are part-time, right?”

50.  “Some of us don’t think your wife ought to hold an outside job.  You need her help pastoring everyone.”

51. “You’re retired military, so you have a pension.  That’s why we didn’t give you a raise.”

52. “You preachers say God leads you from church to church. But I’ve noticed it’s always for more money.”

53. “I’m not being fed.”

54. “Would you tell the music director to sing some of the hymns I like?”

55. “It’s not me personally, but some are complaining about….”

56. “I know you’re having a financial struggle, pastor, but it’s not our fault you have so many children.”

57. “Well, that’s not how things work in the real world.”

58. “I called you at home tonight, Pastor, because I didn’t want to bother you at the office.”

59. “You’re fired.”

(Permission is given to anyone and everyone to quote from this, in part or in total.  Thanks to a host of friends for helping with it.)

24 thoughts on “59 things not to say to a preacher

    • Actually had a lady tell me that, Joe. I was stunned. I told her, “Well, you just ended the conversation, because I thought we were discussing what the Bible teaches.”

  1. 58. “I called you at home tonight, Pastor, because I didn’t want to bother you at the office.”

    LOL. It happens!!!! Many time on Saturday!

  2. Dr. Keever, I always enjoy your posts. I have been in the pastorate for 47 years. I think I have heard all of the posts.

  3. I heard “That may be what the Bible says, but that’s not what I believe” in a deacon’s meeting. We were in a “discussion” over a race issue. I don’t remember my actual reply, but I’m sure it was not exactly what I thought.

  4. A deacon in a discipleship group said, “I know we’re supposed to love everyone pastor, but it’s a conditional love.” A lady in the group asked him, “Is that how God loves us?” That left this typically have-an-answer-for-everything church leader speechless.

  5. Joe, I have a friend who gets a charge out of reminding the pastors at our weekly breakfast that I am “the best preacher on the country. In the city, not so much! But in the country, he’s the best!” He’s a good friend whose humor I appreciate. LOL!

  6. 27. “We don’t want those kind of people in our church.”
    I was dismissed from the pastorate by the deacon board one time without a congregational vote at a church that had this mindset. BUT, God immediately opened another door the very next week at a church that had the right attitude about people and our mission to reach them! Be faithful to truth, men of God, and God will bless you for it!!

  7. 10. “Can I come by your office in the morning? I might need a couple of hours of your time.”
    I can see how this could be bad, but at times this can be wonderful this could be a chance for the pastor to be obedient to galations 6:1-2 and james 5:16

    • Maybe so, Caleb. But when someone has asked for 2 hours of my time, I’ve usually answered, “Why don’t we meet and then we can decide as we go along, how much time this is going to take.”

  8. Thanks Joe- one more “Pastor, THAT WAS A SERMON! (comment I received when a young man filled the pulpit when I was on vacation.

    By the way- thanks for leading me to Christ at little Paradis Baptist church-50 years ago!

  9. I love the comments, most of them fit but one did not sit well. I seem that so many people say something “ugly” about Joel Osteen. He is one a God’s called men along with the others that I could name. We all go through times when we are unable to go to church and hear our pastor preach and it is so wonderful to know we can be fed by the pastors on television and so many seniors can not get out to go to church, some would but people do not take the time and effort to go by to pick them or call to see if they are able to go. I, being a Christian, very much respect for our ministers who are reaching out to all the world to preach the gospel. I could name several wonderful ministries starting with Billy Graham who has preach all over the world and on television. Think and pray for the men of God who are not ashamed to tell the world about JESUS.

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