Things never to tell a preacher

Once on this website, we posted a list of “59 things not to say to a preacher.”  Several people suggested we do one on things we should not tell a preacher.  At the time, we posted this (below).  I’ve tweaked it some, but thought someone would like to see it anew.

Here are ten things not to tell the preacher, in no particular order….

1. We should not tell the preacher what we think of his hot wife.

Not only should you keep this to yourself, but you should ask the Lord to remove it from your mind altogether.  The prayer “let the…meditations of my heart be acceptable to Thee, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” should cover it (Psalm 19:14).

2. Neither should we tell the preacher his wife is a gossip or meddler. 

Only the rarest of pastors could receive such information.  If it happens to be true–pray that it isn’t–let the elected leadership of the church deal with it, and not you.

3. We should not tell the preacher that previously, we hated his guts.

I received such a note once. A young couple whom I admired a great deal, wrote me after I’d been their pastor a couple of years.  It was an encouraging note meant to affirm me during a difficult time, but one line in particular will stay with me forever: For your first year here, we hated you.  You were taking our beloved pastor’s place. That was a stunner.  None of the positive things they said compensated for that one verbal blow.

I did not need to know this.  They should have kept it between themselves and the Lord.

4. We should not tell the preacher gossip we heard because “we thought you just ought to know.”

Let it stop here, now, with you.

5. We should not tell the preacher, “I voted against you when you first came.”

This is more information than he needs to know.

6. Do not tell the pastor, “I think I’m falling in love with you.” Never!! 

That, some will be horrified to know, has been done.  It is never ever done, however, to good effect. If the pastor is mature, thereafter he holds you at arm’s length (as he should!).  If he is immature and insecure, nothing but trouble lies ahead.

Someone insists, “But he is my shepherd, and he can help me with this.”  I respond: He is human and this is information he does not need.  Protect him from your foolishness. If you must tell someone, seek out a godly grandmother in the church who will counsel and pray and talk straight to you.

7. Do not tell the preacher, “I like you, but I prefer the preaching of Pastor Stillwater.”  (or a certain television preacher)

Why would you say such a hurtful thing? Do not do it.

8. You should not tell the pastor, “I think you have put on weight.” 

Even if he has, it’s no one’s business but his own.

Someone insists, “Oh, but he and I are great friends, and friends talk this way to each other.”  Maybe so. But you have just pushed the boundary on friendship, straining the relationship.  You do not want to do that.

9. Do not tell the pastor “what people are saying about you.”

Innuendo–good or bad–is unsettling to anyone.  The pastor is mature enough to know people are talking. They always talk. But you should be mature enough to keep the rumors to yourself.

Someone says, “But he needs someone to be his eyes and ears in the congregation.”  Perhaps he does; perhaps not.  But unless asked, you should never go to him with such a report.

10. Personally, I wouldn’t even tell the pastor, “I’m praying for you.” 

I’ve done it, but thought better of it later.

Just pray for him.  If you believe strongly in the power of prayer and are praying regularly, that is sufficient.  He will receive the benefit of your prayers, and that is what you want in the first place. Some people spend more time telling others they pray for them than actually doing it.  Do not be such a person.

Pray for your pastor. Love your pastor.  Protect your pastor as much as you can.  Respect your pastor as the shepherd sent by the Lord.  Pray God’s blessings upon his wife and family. The pressures they deal with are enormous.

No one is suggesting you worship a preacher.  But I keep remembering something the Lord Jesus said as He sent the disciples on a preaching mission….He who hears you, hears Me. He who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me”(Luke 10:16).

When I honor the Lord’s shepherd, I honor the Lord Jesus Christ.  He takes personally my treatment of His servant.

That should put the fear of the Lord into us. And keep it there.


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