5 things pastors hate to hear about their messages

John Ortberg shares this list of five in the most recent issue of Leadership Journal:

1. “Your preaching has improved.” Sometimes when I hear this one it is strengthened by enthusiasm; your preaching has really improved. I think this comment is generally intended as a compliment, but it’s hard to say. Certainly it carries the message that your previous sermons left plenty of room for improvement.

2. “I’m so glad you said ‘X’.” But in fact you didn’t say “X”; you were trying to say the opposite of “X.” It makes you wonder what sermon they were listening to.

3. “I heard Andy Stanley/Tim Keller/Jon Piper/Rob Bell give a similar talk one time.” Only it turns out that their talk was actually much better than the one you gave, and the enthusiastic listener wants to give you a play-by-play account with commentary on why it was better.

4. “I’m just not being fed.” This is an all-purpose comment, offered more generally than in response to one particular message. But it does make me wonder, if preaching is a form of feeding, why is there no tipping afterwards?

5. “The Lord told me to tell you …” “… that you look tired,” “… that you hurt my feelings,” “… that this church needs more messages about stewardship/missions/culture wars/the Colbert Report,” “… that you chose the wrong clothes.”

Read more here…

What’s the worst (or funniest) thing that anyone has said to you after a sermon?

Please DO share!



  1. Chuck
  2. Mary SEay
  4. Warren
  5. Richard
  6. Matt J
    • jerry
      • lifewalkblog
  7. Lynn

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