Sunday is the big day when the church assembles for worship, but it’s also a day for fellowship. Spending time with one another is important, and there isn’t an app for that. In other words, there is no shortcut to genuine fellowship. Not only does that involve the church body, but it likewise involves the pastors who lead the church. Pastors are not called to a life of seclusion. Like the rest of the church, pastors are called to engage in meaningful and genuine fellowship with the church family. However, there are some really poor habits that you should consider avoiding when speaking to your pastor on Sunday.
All of these examples below I’ve lived out in some form or another during my ministry. In almost every case that I can recall, the person who asked me the question or sought to introduce someone to me just prior to me entering the pulpit did so with pure motives. However, at times those simple requests or questions can be a great distraction for the pastor who is prayerfully approaching the pulpit.
Errors to Avoid When Speaking to Your Pastor before His Sermon
- Pastor, I need to set up a counseling session.
- Pastor, I have just one additional announcement for the church.
- Pastor, the toilet in the ladies’ restroom is not working.
- Pastor, someone told me (fill in the blank with a rumor or gossip).
- Pastor, have you heard the Smith family is leaving the church?
- Pastor, I would like to introduce Jim, my neighbor.
- Pastor, please ask the drummer to tone it down today if you don’t mind.
- Pastor, when will this sermon series end?
- Pastor, can you turn on the air conditioner / heat (depending on season)?
- Pastor, can you explain (fill in the blank with a Bible verse) to me?
What’s the Takeaway?
If the deacons or another church member can handle the overflowing toilet, it would be best to get someone else to address such problems. Take ownership in ministry within the life of the church and seek to handle problems when possible. Take the pressure off of the pastor – especially on Sunday (hint: it’s his busiest day of the week).
It’s crucial for the church to remember that the church is gathering for something extremely important, namely the worship of God. The central aspect of a worship service is the sermon – where God’s Word is expounded. Often the pastor will have worked many hours in preparation for his sermon on the Lord’s Day, and his main desire is to prayerfully enter the pulpit without distractions and lead people in a vertical fashion to praise and exalt God.
Certainly, it’s true that people need to interact with their pastor and that often takes place at some point on Sunday. When possible, limit your words when speaking to your pastor before his sermon to positive statements, encouragement, and perhaps a promise to pray as he prepares to labor in the Word. Certainly avoid heart wrenching controversies or news about a family that’s leaving the church. Such heart piercing news can hinder him from preaching properly due to the distractions and emotions.
Just as you don’t want a distracted airplane pilot, you certainly don’t want a distracted pastor in the pulpit. When speaking to your pastor on Sunday, if it’s before he enters the pulpit, be careful to guard him and then consider praying for him as he approaches the sacred desk of God to proclaim the Word.
Depending on the situation, if necessary, that toilet story can be relayed to him after the benediction. Trust me, he will thank you for waiting until the proper moment. Whatever you do, don’t avoid talking to your pastor due to fear of saying the wrong thing. He desires to have interaction with you and your family, and he needs such interaction in order to properly shepherd your family.