15 Things a Churchgoer Should Never Say to their Pastor

Your Job Seems So Easy Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I wish I had a job like yours, where I would work only one day a week?” If so, you’re not alone. Many people assume that pastors have it easy and that their job is not as demanding as other jobs. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The pastor’s role involves a great deal of responsibility, dedication, and hard work.

Pastors are responsible for the spiritual well-being of their congregation, and they spend countless hours studying, preparing sermons, counseling individuals, and leading worship services. They also have administrative tasks, such as managing the church’s finances, overseeing staff, and coordinating events.

Moreover, pastors are often on call 24/7, providing spiritual guidance and support to their congregation during times of crisis or need. They may visit the sick, comfort the grieving, and provide counseling to those who are struggling. These tasks require a deep level of empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence. What not to say to a pastor?

1. Your Job Seems So Easy

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I wish I had a job like yours, where I would work only one day a week?” If so, you’re not alone. Many people assume that pastors have it easy and that their job is not as demanding as other jobs. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

The pastor’s role involves a great deal of responsibility, dedication, and hard work. Pastors are responsible for the spiritual well-being of their congregation, and they spend countless hours studying, preparing sermons, counseling individuals, and leading worship services. They also have administrative tasks, such as managing the church’s finances, overseeing staff, and coordinating events.

Moreover, pastors are often on call 24/7, providing spiritual guidance and support to their congregation during times of crisis or need. They may visit the sick, comfort the grieving, and provide counseling to those who are struggling. These tasks require a deep level of empathy, compassion, and emotional intelligence.

2. What Do You Do with All Your Free Time?

You may wonder, “What do you do with all the free time you have?” People tend to think pastors aren’t as demanding as other professions because they have plenty of leisure time. In reality, things are quite different.

Being a pastor is a full-time commitment that goes far beyond just leading Sunday services. A pastor’s schedule is filled with various responsibilities that require careful time management and dedication. From sermon preparation to counseling sessions, administrative tasks, and community outreach programs, a pastor’s days are often long and demanding.

Preparing for a sermon, for example, involves hours of studying the Bible, researching, reflecting, and praying. It’s a process that requires focus, creativity, and spiritual discernment. Each sermon is crafted with care and intention to deliver a message that speaks to the hearts and minds of the congregation.

3. Can I Have a Few Minutes of Your Time?

When you ask your pastor, “Can I have a couple of minutes before you preach?” it may seem harmless, but it can be perceived as disrespectful and disruptive.

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Preaching is a significant aspect of a pastor’s role, and the time leading up to a sermon is crucial for preparation, reflection, and prayer. Interruptions before preaching can disrupt this process and hinder the pastor’s ability to deliver a meaningful and impactful message.

Pastors take their role as spiritual leaders seriously and invest a great deal of time and effort into preparing for their sermons. They study the Bible, research, and reflect on the message they want to deliver, and they rely on their spiritual discernment to guide them.

When you ask for a few minutes of your pastor’s time before they preach, you may be unaware of the impact it can have on their preparation. It’s essential to respect the pastor’s time and allow them the space and quietude needed to prepare for their sermon.

If you have a concern or question that requires the pastor’s attention, consider scheduling a separate meeting or appointment. This approach allows the pastor to give you their full attention and ensures that they can prepare for their sermon without interruption.

4. I Love You, But…

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I love you pastor, but…” followed by a criticism or complaint? While it’s important to express concerns and provide feedback, it’s essential to do so in a constructive and respectful manner.

Criticizing or undermining the pastor’s role can be hurtful and damaging to their ministry. It’s crucial to approach any concerns or disagreements with love, humility, and a spirit of reconciliation.

When expressing concerns, consider using “I” statements instead of “you” statements. For example, instead of saying, “You’re not doing a good job,” say, “I feel concerned about the direction of the church.” This approach allows you to express your feelings without attacking or blaming the pastor.

Additionally, consider providing specific examples and suggestions for improvement. Instead of saying, “I don’t like your preaching,” say, “I would appreciate it if you could provide more practical applications in your sermons.” This approach allows you to offer constructive feedback that can help the pastor improve their ministry.

Remember, pastors are human beings with feelings, vulnerabilities, and limitations. They are called to serve their congregation with compassion, grace, and humility, and they deserve to be treated with kindness, empathy, and respect.

5. Your Preaching Is Good, But…

Occasionally, you may find yourself saying, “I like your preaching, pastor, but I prefer _____’s preaching.” While it’s natural to have preferences, it’s essential to approach these differences with humility, openness, and unity.

A pastor’s style, approach, and message reflect their individual calling, gifts, and experiences. You can show your respect and appreciation for your pastor’s ministry by appreciating and supporting his preaching.

When you compare your pastor’s preaching to other preachers, you may unintentionally undermine their efforts and diminish their impact. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your pastor’s preaching and offer constructive feedback that can help them improve.

6. Can Your Wife Play Piano?

“Can your wife play piano?” Really? It seems harmless, but it may be perceived as inappropriate and intrusive by your pastor.

A pastor’s family plays a vital role in his or her ministry, but they also deserve privacy, respect, and boundaries. Recognizing and honoring the pastor’s family as individuals with strengths, talents, and interests is crucial.

If you have a genuine interest in the pastor’s family, consider asking about their well-being or expressing appreciation for their support and contributions to the ministry. 

7. Your Kids Should Behave Better

If you’ve ever said something to someone like, “Your kids shouldn’t act like that, after all, they are pastor’s kids?” it might sound okay to you, but it’s actually disrespectful and hurtful to them.

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In the church, pastors’ children face a unique set of challenges and pressures. In many cases, they are expected to live by a higher standard of behavior and be perfect examples of Christian living. In spite of this, they are humans with their own strengths, weaknesses, and struggles.

If we judge or criticize pastors’ children, we may unintentionally make their lives more stressful and anxiety-provoking. Rather than judging them, let’s show kindness and empathy to them.

8. We Won’t Get as Close to You as the Last Pastor

It may seem harmless, but saying “We won’t be as close to you as the last pastor” can be perceived as disengaged and unsupportive.

It is essential to develop a strong, supportive relationship with your pastor to foster a sense of belonging, belonging to the church, and spiritual growth. Pastors bring a unique set of gifts, talents, and experiences to their ministries, enriching the spiritual lives of congregations in diverse and meaningful ways.

Whenever we withhold our support or engagement from our pastor, we may unintentionally undermine their ability to lead, inspire, and guide. Instead, let’s approach our relationship with our pastor with an open heart, a spirit of humility, and a willingness to engage, participate, and contribute to the life of the church.

9. You Don’t Care About My Contributions

When you say to your pastor, “You obviously don’t look at my tithe amount,” it can be interpreted as critical and unappreciative.

Giving is an important part of our spiritual journey, and it reflects our values, priorities, and commitment to our faith. When we focus on the amount of our contribution, we may unintentionally diminish the true meaning and purpose of giving.

Rather than focusing on the size of our contributions, let’s think about the spirit of giving and the impact it can have. Giving generously, cheerfully, and sacrificially is one way in which we can support the mission, vision, and values of our church, as well as contribute to our community’s growth and sustainability.

10. You Need to Lose Weight

Have you ever said to your pastor, “Preacher, that was a good message. It would have been better if you weren’t so fat?” While it may seem like a harmless comment, it can be perceived as body-shaming and disrespectful.

Pastors are human beings with their own strengths, weaknesses, and struggles. They are called to serve their congregation with compassion, grace, and humility, and they deserve to be treated with kindness, empathy, and respect.

When we make negative comments about a pastor’s appearance, we may unintentionally undermine their authority, credibility, and impact. Instead, let’s focus on the message and the pastor’s spiritual guidance and leadership.

11. You’re a Crappy Pastor

If you’ve ever felt the need to tell your pastor, “You can preach, but you’re a crappy pastor,” consider the impact of your words on his well-being and the church’s community.

Constructive criticism can be beneficial if it is offered with positive intent and aims to improve and grow. Using hurtful or disrespectful language can damage relationships and hamper the pastor’s effectiveness.

Providing spiritual guidance, supporting their communities, and serving their congregation is the main responsibility of pastors. In the process of fulfilling their calling, they face challenges, make sacrifices, and work hard. We could help by providing supportive and encouraging words.

12. Stop Preaching About Our Sin. Just Preach Love

It’s natural to want to hear messages of love and positivity, but addressing sin is a crucial part of what a pastor does.

While messages of love and encouragement are uplifting, addressing sin is crucial for spiritual growth and transformation. Healing and renewal can only be achieved by admitting our shortcomings and seeking forgiveness.

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It is the pastor’s responsibility to guide his or her congregation on a path of spiritual growth and maturity. By addressing sin, individuals are challenged and inspired to live according to the Bible’s teachings and grow in their faith.

13. You’re an Elder?!?! Wow! I Don’t Know What to Say…

While it’s normal to feel surprised when you learn that someone is an elder in the church, you need to respond with respect and understanding.

An elder plays a significant role in leading, guiding, and supporting the congregation of the church. Through their wisdom, experience, and dedication, they help the church community grow spiritually.

Whenever we encounter someone in a position of leadership, we should respond with humility, openness, and a willingness to learn. Elders bring a wealth of knowledge and insight that can enrich our spiritual journey and deepen our understanding of the faith.

14. I Don’t Need to Go to Church to Be a Good Christian

If you’ve ever wondered, “I don’t need to attend church to be a good Christian,” think again. Attending church is not necessary for salvation or spiritual growth, but it’s an essential part of life-giving faith.

An important part of church is that it provides a supportive, encouraging, and challenging community of believers. Together, we share experiences, insights, and wisdom as we worship, learn, and grow together.

Additionally, attending church offers the opportunity to engage with the wider community through service and outreach. We are able to build relationships, connect with others, and make a positive impact on the world as a result.

15. I Don’t Need to Tithe. I Can Give Directly to Those in Need

When you give directly to those in need, you are making a positive difference that is likely to last a lifetime. However, tithing is also an essential part of a healthy faith journey and is likely to last a lifetime.

By tithing we acknowledge God as the source of all blessings and express gratitude for what we have. It’s a way to honor God and demonstrate our commitment to our faith.

When we tithe, we also support the mission and vision of the church, enabling it to continue to serve and support the community. By tithing, the church can operate, maintain its facilities, and provide programs and services to its members and the wider community.

While giving directly to those in need is a valuable and impactful way to make a difference, tithing is also an essential part of a healthy and vibrant faith journey. Tithing can help us grow closer to God, express gratitude for what we have, support the mission and vision of the church, and cultivate a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Him.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that pastors are human beings with feelings, needs, and limitations. They are called to serve their congregation with compassion, grace, and humility, and they deserve to be treated with kindness, empathy, and respect. When we communicate with our pastors, we should be mindful of their time, needs, and feelings.

We should avoid making assumptions, disregarding their advice, questioning their faith, making light of their role, ignoring their needs, disregarding their time, and using disrespectful language.Instead, we should approach our relationship with our pastor with an open heart, a spirit of humility, and a willingness to engage, participate, and contribute to the life of the church.

By doing so, we can foster a strong, supportive relationship with our pastor, contribute to a positive and nurturing environment, and support the pastor’s ability to effectively carry out their ministry responsibilities.

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