Fourteen-Things-You-Shouldnt-Say-to-Your-Pastor

The list is meant to be both humorous and serious. And I bet almost every pastor has heard all of these in the course of a ministry. Enjoy. But do not repeat (at least to your pastor).

  1. I wish I had a job like yours, where I would work only one day a week.
  2. What do you do with all the free time you have?
  3. Can I have a couple of minutes before you preach?
  4. I love you pastor, but _______________________________ (fill in the blank).
  5. I like your preaching, pastor, but I really like ____________________________ (fill in the blank with television or podcast preacher).
  6. Can your wife play piano?
  7. Your kids shouldn’t behave that way. After all, they are pastor’s kids.
  8. Your low salary is good for you. It keeps you humble and dependent on the Lord.
  9. I bet you don’t spend any time preparing your sermons.
  10. Pastor ________________ (predecessor pastor) didn’t do it that way.
  11. You don’t have a real degree. You went to seminary.
  12. How much longer do you think you’ll be at our church?
  13. Did I wake you up pastor? It’s only 1:00 am.
  14. Did you hear what they are saying about you?

Do you have any statements or questions to add to this list? How many of you have heard these statements before?

Comments

  1. says

    I couldn’t help but laugh at your #1 post (1.I wish I had a job like yours, where I would work only one day a week).
    In 2001, I was discerning the call to ministry and still working in the banking industry. I worked from home with the bank. My neighbors grandson (9 years old at the time)would come over quite often and I’d take time out to go outside to play basketball with him.
    One day we were shooting hoops when he suddenly stopped dribbling and stood looking at me.
    He asked me, “Are you a preacher?” I replied, “No, what makes you think I’m a preacher?” His innocent remark was, “Because you’re always at home and never work!”

      • Dana says

        How about “shouldn’t we be meeting on Saturday?” Or how about: “if Jesus was Hebrew why do we call him by his Greek nick name?”

        • Sal says

          The New Testament was written in the Greek that’s why he is called Jesus because he will save his people from their sins,for meeting on Saturday and not Sunday you are probably thinking about the (Sabbath) that was for Israel you can read this in Deut.5:15,to ask a Christian to keep the sabbath holy would be like asking China to celebrate the 4th of July for the same reason that we do.

        • Marlene says

          Yes I agree with you in some respects. The New testament was written in Greek, by Hebrew-thinking Jews. We have lived in Israel for almost 5 years and in Greece for 3. What struck us in Greece was that they called their days of the week the same as they do in Israel, except for Friday which is Paraskevi – which translated means “Day of Preparation” – preparing for what? Saturday is called Sabbato – the “b” is pronounced “v” in Greek. and Sunday is called Kyriaki which means “The Lord” or day of the Lord. After living in Israel and experiencing their Shabbats on Saturday, after spending Friday preparing for the Sabbath. We realized that the early church, being mostly Jews and Greeks in Greece, kept those traditions and celebrated the Lord on Sunday – after all Sabbath is only for rest.

          • Bob Burke says

            Actually, there is not a single historical account of anyone keeping Sunday before the second century. The reality is that ALL of the members of the early church kept the Sabbath as a day of worship and it was gradually changed without any Scriptural support whatsoever. The Sabbath is for man, not just the Jews. If you want to keep Sunday go right ahead, just don’t try and say there is some Bible text that changed the day, because there isn’t.

          • Ken says

            Bob Burke is incorrect. The New Testament does indeed speak of Christians gathering together on “the first day of the week”. Furthermore, all four gospels emphasize that Jesus rose from the dead – not just on “the third day” following His crucifixion – but on “the first day of the week”. There was a reason for that. The earliest Christians were Jews, and very likely worshiped on both Saturday and Sunday. As the gospel spread among Gentiles, Sunday became the new day of worship. For that matter, if you concede that Christians were worshiping on Sunday in the second century, then that alone destroys the myth that Constantine changed the Sabbath.

            Mind you, I hardly consider Saturday worship the unpardonable sin. If a church chooses to worship that day, that’s their business. Still, I think it’s downright silly to argue – as Seventh-Day Adventists do – that Jesus refuses to return until Christians start worshiping on Saturday.

      • Ronnie Naidoo (Pastor) says

        Hi Thom

        Who got the idea we work one day a week.
        In fact we actually work 2 hours only on a Sunday morning.
        In fact if one has to be really technical, we work 30 minutes only when we preach our weekly message.
        Thanks for your “14 Things …”
        Blessings
        Ronnie Naidoo (South Africa)

    • Jeff Davis says

      Pastor where did you get the money to go on vacation? We pay you and we didn’t give you the money to go on vacation.

      • WesleyRexrode says

        Amen! And after you do squirrel away enough money to go on vacation, their immediate reply is that they must be paying you to much.

    • DOUG NORCLIFFE says

      i don’t have an add on but i do have a concerning quest.
      often i would be in a real bind and still am as a new CHRISTIAN;I FEEL GUILTY TO EVEN ASK OF THE PASTORS TIME DUE TO HIS DEMANDS. WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST AS FAR AS PROPER PROTOCOL?

      • Ralph Juthman says

        Doug , no pastor would turn down time to invest in a new Christian. Let me suggest you either email, or call you pastors office and suggest a time to take him out for coffee, and if possible thirty minutes to ask some questions

      • John Compton says

        Doug, I would ask for a recommendation of a man in the church you can have a regular relationship with. You are supposed to be discipled, which means regular time. Ask the Lord if there is someone you should ask. I didn’t know how to find someone to help me. Also, there are a lot of ministries that specialize in materials and teaching on line and one the air, but they cannot put a real live person in your life. Only God can do that. If you want to go deeper right now I recommend LOTE.org.

      • Jason says

        Pastors look for faithful, available, and teachable people to invest in. Otherwise we feel like we’re spinning our wheels going no where from a person who doesn’t really want to grow or learn. Develop those in your life and ask for help. We would rather spend our time with people who want to grow and serve others than prideful people who know everything and are too busy to serve others.

      • robert humphrey says

        Just happened to read Amy’s post. she is so cool and I had the privilege of knowing her for several years. the post are great and personally, I long for men to come to me and want to learn more. Here is the issue with that is God is moving in a revial in that questioning person and who would not want to be a part of that? Revial starts when people get hungry. Don’t stop being hungry as God is moving. If you pastor does not want to build a relationship with you, then find and even if he does, find men who are solid in the faith and look for that kind of mentor. I had a 75 year old pastor take me under his wing in my first years of seeking and then I had a pastor 20 years my younger do the same. both were important to my growth. Mentoring is important to discipleship. Be Blessed

    • DOUG NORCLIFFE says

      i don’t have an add on but i do have a concerning quest.
      often i would be in a real bind and still am as a new CHRISTIAN;I FEEL GUILTY TO EVEN ASK OF THE PASTORS TIME DUE TO HIS DEMANDS. WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST AS FAR AS PROPER PROTOCOL?

      • John Sears says

        Doug:

        To me, any time but on Sunday morning before I have delivered my message is almost always okay. If you are making a phone call to ask a question, follow proper phone etiquette. Don’t call after 9:00 PM (unless it is a life and death emergency.)

        Avoid the above times and ask, “I have a question…is this a good time?” and you should be good to go.

        I want you to know that it is rarely a “bother” to me to answer a members questions at any other time. I imagine most pastors feel the same way. My door is almost always open. (And If it’s not a very good time to ask, I will honestly tell you or the secretary will tell you and we can schedule a better time.)

        I hope this helps.

    • Scott says

      How about: “Pastor, do you need some money to buy your wife a new dress?”

      I sat in a board meeting where we (the church board, basically elders/trustees) were discussing improving our pastors’ overall compensation packages. I was one of those in favor of significant positive adjustments, as they were currently being compensated two standard deviations below the mean compared to pastors with equivalent education, experience, congregation size, etc.
      One of the board members asked, “Why do they need a raise?”
      I answered, “What if he just wants to be able to buy his wife a nice dress?”
      He literally said, “If the pastor’s wife needs a new dress, he can bring that to the board and we can have the congregation take up an offering.”

  2. Allen Calkins says

    I would add two:
    15. You are so much better than when I first heard you preach.
    16. I know it’s your day off but………..

    • Marcus Brown says

      Ralph, that’s funny, i have members who won’t have anyone call me to tell me that they are IN the hospital until they are OUT of the hospital. ‘Why didn’t you come and see me.’ I am bi-vocational because the church can’t really allow me to live the gospel. I’m the road 4 days a week and out of those days I’m out of town all of the time. I have to spend the night in a hotel once a week. I have no off days whatsover and they want to know why I didn’t come and see them! Two things ‘I don’t have a ‘S’ on my chest and a red cape on my back, in addition I do not have E.S.P. CALL SOMEBODY!!! SHEEP…GOTTA LUV UM’!!! AND I DO LUV THEM!!!

  3. Allen Baker says

    My personal favorite is, “we did that before you came and it didn’t work!”(so we don’t need to do it again!). I have heard them all, but my best one was, “Why are we having all these baptisms?” I truly lost it, and that was from a Deacon. “Oh, the good old days. Love ya brother

    • says

      I just heard the baptism one. It went a little more like this for me though, “Can we talk about something other than the lost and those being baptized?” Left me speechless too. :-)

      • says

        I wish I could stay speechless with someone complaining about too many baptisms or too much talk about baptisms or the lost. Unfortunately, I would probably tell them what I thought. By the grace of God I coupled probably be nice about it, but no promises.

        Matt N.

    • Lynn says

      I wish I had a job like you all you do is preach, 2 times a week, and go out to eat, This is a true story, I told my pastor(who was like my dad) I want to be a pastor or a minister or preacher, And he said do you feel called to preach? And I said MAYBE, And he said you better make sure. It is hard. And I said how hard can it be you preach 2 times a day, and you go out to eat, the rest, Oh my Lordy. He laughed, And I seen his like first hand, and it was far from the truth. It is one hard job.

    • says

      I actually had a lady (in a former church) say to me, “You sure are wasting a lot of water with all those people you’ve been baptizing.” One of the few times in my life I’ve been speechless.

    • Simeon Spencer says

      Akin to the remark about baptisms someone commented to me once that while our church was growing, the people coming into the fellowship were not “quality” people. They weren’t bringing “much” with them. I was floored.

  4. Allen Baker says

    My personal favorite is, “we did that before you came and it didn’t work!”(so we don’t need to do it again!). I have heard them all, but my best one was, “Why are we having all these baptisms?” I truly lost it, and that was from a Deacon. “Oh, the good old days. Love ya brother.
    Oh, I’ve got one more, “preacher, when you tell a joke in the pulpit, you cause the spirit of God to leave.”

      • Thomas Malcom says

        Humor does have a place. When giving a serious presentation & it seems like some are not paying attention I interject a short joke. Half of the people laugh, there is quiet and the second half laugh. I then tell them, “For the second batch that laughed I told that joke so you would listen intently from now on so you will not miss an important word I have to say.” Whether giving a sermon or serious presentation it is important to know people are paying attention. My presentations were about c-diff bacteria, how it killed my wife and thousands of others, how to avoid it and how to treat it if you or someone you love gets it. A sermon is given to help people learn about living a Christian life that pleases Christ. One may save your life while living. The sermon is about saving your soul for eternity. Life is preparation for eternity. Live it as Christ wants you to.

      • Sylvia Sanders says

        My 3rd cousin on my father’s side passed away I have actually never cared for him but the service is 200 miles away will you go? You don’t have to speak but I think it would be nice if my pastor attended.

  5. Bill says

    I am confident that I have heard every single of those. Another one that I was not asked but told was, “Pastor, our constitution says ________.”

    • Louise says

      At his first church, my husband was asked to drive a school bus purely for the insurance. Later on, we saw the church financials (with a healthy reserve for paying for health insurance). Thankfully, my husband declined the request and later they paid on traditional insurance.

  6. LaQuita says

    Don’t talk about sin in the pulpit let the deacons deal with that. You just preach what we want to hear.

    I timed you. You preached past the allotted time.

    • Joe Rhoads says

      I’ve heard that one, too. Deacons of the first church I served at told me about what time I should be wrapping up my sermon.
      Have you heard this one? I like to use supporting passages to prove an exegetical point, and if the passage if more than 2 or 3 verses, I like for the congregation to turn to that passage. I heard “You make us turn to too many Scripture verses.”

    • Kelly Turney says

      I used to have a guy set his watch alarm and when I went over (Which I did every week) he would stand up and tap his watch and then walk out.

  7. Tony Atkins says

    That was great ! All the comments were really good ! I wish I had written down all that I have been told over my 32 years in the pastorate . I have had ” righteous ” people in the church tell me after preaching that, ” That was a really good sermon, too bad they weren’t here to hear it ! “

  8. James Welch says

    While I am in the middle of studying , I cringe at this question, “Are you busy pastor?’
    Number 3, is my least favorite question to be asked. Great list!!!

    • Paula Calvert says

      In this day and time social media is a beast for the pastor to deal with. My husband, the church maintenance/custodial person was recently attempting to make sure he and the pastor were clear on all the extra activities scheduled for the coming week and the Pastor could not complete a thought without his phone interrupting. constantly. He finally silenced his phone so they could complete their vital conference. It seems that there were several young adults who seemed to think they had claim to his every waking minute and were angered and/insulted if he did not answer their texts, sometimes 50 a day, immediately!! That is cruel and unusual punishment for a dedicated man of God!! God bless you all for the abuses you endure!!

  9. LaQuita says

    1. Don’t talk about sin in the pulpit let the deacons deal with that. You just preach what we want to hear.

    1. I timed you. You preached past the allotted time.

  10. Ron says

    Or how about this….”I think you’re overpaid. I never made what you make” (of course they compare a pastors entire salary package against just their wage) I was told this after a 78 hour week.

  11. Galen Morrison says

    Always enjoy reading your blogs. I grew up the son of a church secretary. My mom would say there’s nothing like the entire church membership believing they are your boss.

  12. says

    In a discussion over the plain reading of Scripture, I was told, “I don’t agree with you.” When asked why, the answer was, “Because that is not what I believe.” When pressed a bit further, these two comments came out one right after the other: “I don’t need to know what the Bible says, I am 79 years old and know all I need to know.” Followed with, “Besides more people seem to agree with me than with you.”

    By God’s grace, I have since dealt with this kind of thinking though more teaching will always be needed.

  13. Brian Goard says

    I was recently inviting a member of the community to our church and we got in a conversation about how far I live from the church. I told him it is a 25 minute drive. He sincerely said, “Awww that’s not bad…just enough time for you to get a sermon together.”

  14. says

    As an IMB missionary on home leave, I was standing at the church door shaking hands when a lady said, “Preacher, your hands are so soft you must not have ever done a day’s work in your life.”

  15. Christopher Walls says

    I was pastoring 3 blocks from a college campus of 5000 student, we had done a few events for the students. On three different occasions I had three different leaders in the church come up to me and say, “why do we need to reach out to them, they don’t benefit our church.” It took a while to wipe the shocked look off my face all three times.

    • says

      As a campus minister, I am not surprised that you’ve heard this attitude. Disappointed, but not surprised. Because my students see me on campus all the time I don’t get the “you only work one day a week” statement from them as much. But from other lay people and clergy in our annual conference I am sometimes asked, “Would you like to get a real church someday?”

  16. Tony Higgins says

    Once, I actually had an elder pull me aside right after preaching and ask, “Do you have to mention Jesus in every sermon? Does every sermon you preach need to be so evangelistic?”

    • Toni Lovelady says

      My husband received a letter after 10 months at a church that consisted of only 2 lines: We feel your ministry hereIs over.(despite all the Baptisms and new growth!) We feel you should find a church more suited to your evangelistic style of ministry. He told them thank you for the compliment!

  17. John says

    I’m an associate pastor, at the last church I was serving at I was part time(pay) full time work. when my wife and I were having our first child, I was told “we know it’s expensive raising a child so we want to help. We want you to get apart time job.”

  18. Rusty Gunn says

    How about this one during a discussion about how some complaints and conflict should be handled? …”that’s why we have committees and policies in place, so we don’t have to fall back on scripture.”

  19. Allen Calkins says

    When a Pastor hears the word ‘but’ in a comment it ought to be a red flag indicating something is about to be said they likely do not need to hear or want to hear. That being said, pastors, when you hear the word ‘but’ just quit listening. You won’t miss much!

  20. Kay says

    We got new furniture and we were on the way to the dump with the old furniture when we thought of you! (Actually happened when my dad was a pastor!)

  21. GoyGadol says

    I like asking pastors why we follow the church of Rome and why we mix paganism and sun worship and twist scripture to justify such.

  22. Karen says

    My grandfather who is a retired minister goes to our current minister and asks if she wants to see some dirty pictures. She knew of his craziness so she said sure but was still a bit worried as to what she would see. Grandpa then shows her pictures of him and a few others after a caving trip. They were very dirty indeed!

  23. says

    Haha I love number 3 just happened last sunday as I was walking up the steps to the podium. “Can I share 10 min with the group!”
    So funny. I read your book simple church it was very helpful. Do you have or recommend any books for pastors on effective time management or effective pastoral lifestyle? I read your article “pastors and time” that was helpful as well. I’m a young guy that wants to learn how to better manage my time and be more effective.maybe a like “the simple Pastor ” :) hope to hear from you

  24. says

    Haha I love number 3 just happened last sunday as I was walking up the steps to the podium. “Can I share 10 min with the group!”
    So funny. I read your book simple church it was very helpful. Do you have or recommend any books for pastors on effective time management or effective pastoral lifestyle? I read your article “pastors and time” that was helpful as well. I’m a young guy that wants to learn how to better manage my time and be more effective.maybe a book like “the simple Pastor ” :) hope to hear from you

    • says

      Hello, 3 books that totally changed my approach to church and essentially my ecclesiology: 1. Simple Church. 2. Nine Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever and 3. The Deliberate Church by Dever and Alexander. I recommend these all the time to young pastors. I think you have to slug it out in a “try and be all things to all people” church for a while to truly appreciate these reads.

      • Carolyn West says

        Mark Dever is an excellent teacher. He is my son and daughters Pastor. Love him!! He assists in planting strong churches through the Word of God. Love him!!

  25. Sarah says

    My dad was serving as interim pastor when out pastor of 12 yrs left to go down the road to a church with more money. I constantly heard people say to my dad before leaving to follow the preacher “its not you brother. You’re doing a great job but we just need to go where we’re getting fed” and it always irks me to hear people say it.

  26. Sarah says

    My dad was serving as interim pastor when our pastor of 12 yrs left to go down the road to a church with more money. I constantly heard people say to my dad before leaving to follow the preacher “its not you brother. You’re doing a great job but we just need to go where we’re getting fed” and it always irks me to hear people say it.

  27. says

    “Pastor we are going to start going to (unnamed mega-church) down the road, all of the rich people go there and they can do anything they want to. “. My all time favorite “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

    • Emma says

      Now, would you not say that these pastors could have benefited from a little “I love you pastor, but”… this is why your -although very charming and easily listened to- teachings don’t get along well with the Bible? ;)

  28. Mike says

    After talking to a man who was leaving the church, it was obvious he had been talking to others (aka. Gossiping). His reply, “That’s what church families do. We like to talk.”

  29. Jim Singleton says

    In reference to # 3. “Pastor, we have enjoyed leading children’s church, but today is our last day here. God told us our time was up, and for us to move on.”

  30. says

    After serving three years in my first pastorate, I left to move closer to family. One of the men told me, ‘ah, don’t worry Pastor, Billy Graham failed in his first church, too.’ My response was ‘I can’t believe you just said that!’ // I wonder how many times through the course of our ministries we bite our tongues to keep from saying what needs / could be said. The man later spoke with me on the phone ( a couple of years later) and asked for my forgiveness for how he supported me as Pastor.

  31. Richard Wardman says

    I’ve had about 8 of these, but also some that have been added in the comments. The worst things for me aren’t generally in personal conversation but the text message or email on Sunday afternoon after preaching, or the four-five page written analysis of my sermon that came the mail a couple of times. I think that what is written down eats me up more than what is said.

  32. Sondra Brown says

    Following a church council meeting, “this is my church, I was here when you got here and I’ll be here when you’re gone!

  33. Gloria Vincit says

    “Could you ask your (stay at home mom) wife to do it? I’m sure she has more time than I do for this project.” Wives don’t get paid but are expected to do a thousand little things!

    • Bryan Phelps says

      I told them I had a confession, “I have been sleeping with the kindergarten Sunday school teacher, the preschool choir director, a Wednesday night children’s leader, and a member of the praise team…good thing she is my wife!” It would be nice for someone else to step up, or put her on the payroll.

  34. says

    It’s sad, but oh so true. These are among the most cringe worthy of things a pastor or any ministry leader can hear. So few rarely see the other side, and if they did, they’d change their tunes in a heartbeat. It amazes me that I would enter ministry after seeing how my father and others deal with what they deal with. God has a funny way of sending us where we least expect. Thanks for the reminder that it’s not always a bed of roses.

  35. Rick Bumpus says

    Old one I heard from a former pastor, “We were just headed to the dump with this stuff and wondered if you would like to pick through it first.”

    • Fran Ota says

      My Dad was also a pastor – in their first parish they pt a dirty old wing chair in the manse – my mother took it apart, re-covered it, and turned it into a fabulous chair. The guy who put it in the manse asked for it back, to which my mother said simply “No.”

  36. says

    On the flip side, my all-time FAVORITE comment was by a man from a Catholic background as he exited the sanctuary after visiting the Wisconsin church where I then served as pastor. With a vigorous handshake he exclaimed, “Helluva sermon, Father!”

  37. James Birmingham says

    I heard this from a pastor friend several years ago. “Pastor I was praying the other day and the Lord told me you would be leaving soon.”

  38. Kristie Evans says

    My husband is lucky enough to be one of 7 pastors at our church and also fortunate enough that he does not have to be biovocational. “We” are over the ministry of our college kids/young adults. However, we have been asked to fill in for many local, senior pastors that are out of town or churches that need someone to fill-in while they are searching for a pastor. I, as a pastor’s wife, have been expected on many occasions to be able to play piano, lead worship music, sing, etc….Really? No one told me that these talents/qualities were prerequisites to being a preacher’s wife. Funny.

  39. Steve Reynolds says

    Two I would add: “Nice sermon pastor” when either you weren’t the one preaching or it was a “brood of vipers” kind of sermon. Not all sermons are nice.

    Another one: “Wish my gossipy sister were in church today to hear that one.”

  40. Phillip says

    From a search committee member to a prospective staff pastor who was in his early 40s and still single, who had included no fewer than 18 points of contact/references on his resume:
    “so, what’s wrong with you… Why aren’t you married. Are you gay or something?”

  41. Justin says

    I am 35, I hear “you’re young, you’ll learn” all the time.
    I also hear #3 almost every week. That or they ask me to say something about it.

    • TJ says

      Ha, I’m with you. I’m 35 too and I get so tired of people telling me how young I am. Just because they’re really, really, really old doesn’t make me young….

      The most common one I get, though, is “that was a great sermon pastor, it was only XX minutes” or on the other side, “that sermon was XX minutes, pastor. Try to do better next time.”

  42. Justin says

    From a lady that couldn’t sing a note in key: “Why won’t you ever let me sing special music? People tell me all the time it’s my spiritual gift”!

  43. Jeremy says

    I’ve had a few awkward ones like “I wish you would preach more often” or “when you preach, I actually get something out of it” (I’m the youth pastor). Never quite sure how to respond.

  44. Natalie says

    Three time favorites: 1- Pastor, who ARE all these new people? And what are they doing here?
    2- deacon to my husband– you won’t be needing your insurance since your wife is working, will you? ( and discontinued his benefits)
    3- deacon to husband– We really don’t need any salvation messages anymore, everyone here is saved.

  45. says

    After our youth minister preached one Sunday evening, a woman in the church said, “That’s the best sermon I heard in… How long have you been here, pastor?”

  46. Michael says

    I got an anonymous letter once that told me to be careful who I trusted. There were some ‘friends’ that were out to get me fired.

  47. Vic says

    “Why should we pay that expense for you? Nobody else gets paid for that.”

    “Pastor, what do you think about X? Well, I like what (radio/tv preacher) says about it better.”

    When I had some serious health issues, “What sin is in your life to cause God to punish you this way?”

    “Well, since you’re living in our house, and we need a place for the youth group to meet…”

    “I don’t care what the bible says, I think we should….”

  48. says

    While pastoring a small country church we had an issue of gossip in the church that was destroying the body. After following Matt. 18 to deal with the sin I approached the deacons and told them what we needed to do. 6 of the 8 deacons told me, “Pastor we know that is what the word of God says, but that is not how we do things here.” I resigned the following week.

  49. Titus Terrebonnw says

    My favorite is *knock knock* or *phone rings* 6 AM I’m a bivo college student who is pastoring in south Alabama. “Preacher I hope I didn’t wake you up I just wanted to ask you to go visit so and so.

  50. Mary Ellen says

    I was asked to speak at a women’s retreat and after it was over, a sincere lady came up to me and said, “I’m sure glad the other speaker cancelled.” Humbling, hmmm?

    • Ralph Juthman says

      This just happened fifteen minutes ago. It is presently freezing rain. The forecast is that it will be freezing rain straight through till tomorrow ( Sunday) afternoon. Many churches have already announced they are cancelling church. I called my board members for thier input. Each one lives several miles outside of town. Each one said, past or we won’t be there, but that is why you live across the road from the church so church can still go on.”

  51. Reba Wagoner (Pastor's wife) says

    I hope you take this in the spirit it is meant. You are just too aggressive with sharing the gospel. You are offending people. (I took it in EXACTLY the spirit in which is was meant!) Mostly I get directions to give my husband.

  52. says

    I am a pastor in the Christian Church and we celebrate communion every Sunday. At my last church we were growing so fast we had to add two new services in 18 months. Attendance had almost tripled. But at the worship committee meeting it was brought up that these new services were exceeding the budget for communion. It had gone from 100 dollars a year for grape juice to 200 dollars a year! Granted we had a 750k budget- but let’s make sure we don’t waste Jesus/Wal Mart juice on all the new people.

  53. Russ says

    #5 I like your preaching, pastor, but I really like ____________________________ (fill in the blank with television or podcast preacher).
    I don’t get the “BUT I REALLY LIKE _____
    It’s mostly did you watch so and so Pastor on TV this morning? (Almost every Sunday morning I get this question) then they go on to tell me how great of a sermon it was, I should watch it.

  54. Monte Stevicks says

    All, I must admit I thought this list was cute and truthful.However, the further I read down the more I could read the hurt that some of you have felt and are feeling. I have been bi (sometimes tri) vocational pastor since 1996. My first pastorate was in a small church where the people loved each other and respected one another greatly. Yet even there, there were problems. Then my 2nd. pastorate is also a small church and is the church I grew up in. It was known for it feisty spirit. This spirit went back as far as I can remember. As a teenage voter in this church, the first business meeting I voted in was a split. It split again a few short years later.
    I’m telling you this because when I took the church as the pastor, I was pastor just a few months when I found a notebook in the office where a lady was tracking everything she thought I was doing wrong. I became very angry and hurt, I took the notebook home and started writing a answer every criticism. In my furious writing, I came under conviction about a commitment I made to God in those teenage years. That commitment was that I would never preach a sermon out of anger and never preach a sermon “aimed” at a particular person. I laid that notebook down and have spent the last 7 plus years preaching a lot about the love of the Brethren, the unity of the body, the proper purpose of corporate worship, and the power of the Gospel being something much deeper than a free ticket to heaven.
    I also looked over those negative remarks and realized a lot of them were personal preferences, but some I had to be honest, evaluate my own struggles, and improve upon.
    God has blessed us. The lady is still in the Church and can still be negative, The congregation as a whole seems to be truly seeking God’s will in all things we pursue.
    I believe if I would have responded differently I would have allowed that same feisty spirit to continue and the church’s reputation to continue. The reputation has changed and we are growing. As a matter of fact we are in the beginning stages of working to repair some nearly 30 year old wounds and actually possibly bringing a split back together again.

    One last thing. Each of us as preachers must remember our congregation is human, they say things they don’t mean and sometimes what they say comes out wrong. Just as our preaching does. We often don’t come across with our words as clear as we think we do. We sometimes offend people with our words too.

    Hang in there. Keep doing the work God has for you and Love the People God has given you. Thank you for your service of investing your life into the lives of others for the Gospel’s sake.

    • Jason Ebeyer says

      Thank you for slowing down this dump truck for a second or two. I know this thread is an opportunity to express exasperation at the foolish things people say, but the encouragement was… well… Encouraging. I am an Education and Administration Pastor and I hear these and more and it weighs on you sometimes. I hope we do lift each other up and encourage each other. My position can be better described sometimes as the “complaint department.”
      What are some other words of encouragement we can share with each other?

      • Gretchen says

        As a daughter of a pastor and now a children’s minister myself, I have heard these things and more throughout my life. God calls us all to do difficult jobs sometimes, and as a pastor the difficult can outweigh the positive; however, we need to remember we have been CALLED to do this. And as Christian leaders, we need to do this whilst focusing on the positive and amazing kingdom focused work we are doing rather than the negative opinions of the minority.

  55. says

    Our church secretary after my first sermon, “That was pretty good. I didn’t think it would be – because of the way you talk in staff meetings and that school you went to. But it was pretty good.”

  56. Winnie says

    I had a friend one time who was a pastor’s wife say that on their first day at a new church, they were at the door shaking hands as people left and a man stopped and asked if she could play the piano. When she said no, he said, “Great, we got stuck again.”

    I am a pastor’s wife, and my husband has been asked many times if his wife plays the piano (even asked by Bishops of our denomination). Surprisingly enough, I play, sing, and am a school teacher. He got 3 in one. We should get the best church in America!

  57. Mike says

    I was told (as the 31-year-old administrative pastor) by the chairman of the deacon board that it would be better to let him roll out new procedures so I “wouldn’t come across as a teen telling the parents what to do!”

  58. Frank M. Hernandez says

    As a Worship Leader: “Must be nice to just show up & sing- – - the hymns I DON’T want to hear.” as a Youth Pastor: “O, how sweet, your just the Youth Pastor.”

  59. says

    Here is one that the Lord has to help me on…….whenever I or my husband preach, periodically someone come up to us and say “you are always preaching on me”!!!!!!!! LOL…..we usually tell them the holy spirit knows ALL things…..God bless you. Hannah’s Sons and Daughters International Intercessory Prayer Ministry is a host of intercessors who are now praying by teleconference line on Wednesday nights for my husband and I and every 5 fold minister everywhere, be blessed.

    • Eric Edwards says

      I am a layperson and have told many of my pastors something similar to this. I don’t know what is meant by your parishioners, but when I tell that to my pastor, I mean that I had to do business with God on whatever their topic was, either asking forgiveness or thanking God for the reminder before I make a mistake. I always mean it in the sense that I don’t know if anyone else will admit it, but that message was for me at least. I guess its an attempt to be an encouragement or a thank you. I never thought about it being a negative. I guess your comment was for me… :)

  60. Tony says

    The best one I ever heard wasn’t spoken. I was the family life pastor at a church that had a pastoral change. The previous pastor was like clock work, service was done by 11:30am every Sunday. When the new pastor came he spoke a bit longer. For the first six months of him being there people would just get up and leave at 11:30 whether he was done or not. Not good for the old confidence, I grant you that!

  61. says

    I relate to all these. My husband I are a team and they just cut us $900/month because of #’s 1, 2, 8, 11, 14. My husband handles the drama a lot better than I do, but it’s becoming clear we are sliding into bi-vocational status soon. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it all. I just have to keep my eyes on Jesus and realize that it is HIM they offend and walk in grace.

  62. says

    “I like when we have a guest speaker, it’s nice to hear a real preacher every once and awhile”
    “You work outside the church? You must love money more than God.”
    “Oh you’re bivocational, so you’re not a real preacher then.”

  63. D S Briggs says

    I have heard most of these. Some additional ones:

    -You are too young to tell us what to do. Uhm hello, you called me to pastor you and you knew my age before you called me. (1st church)
    -You’ll be a real preacher when you are pastoring 2 – 3 churches at the same time. (1st Church)
    -You are not a man that takes care of his own household because your wife makes more money than you do. Yes she did. You set my salary intentionally low. What you are mad about is I actually budget what you give me so I didn’t have to go back and work a secular job which was an issue when I could not do your relatives funeral because I had to work and you didn’t check with me when to schedule it so I could make it. (2nd Church)
    -Pastor why are all these new folks coming? This is our church. They need to find another church to go join. (3rd church)

    My all time favorite: Pastor you really show off and preach when we go out for an evening service – why don’t you do that at home? Uhm you get upset if I preach longer than 15 minutes but your announcements can take 25 minutes and you have no issue with it.

  64. Fran Ota says

    Heard all of these, but in my last pastorate got this one: “The pastor gets too much time off and it’s just not right! In all my 35 years of working *I* never got this kind of time off!” (So in a polite and roundabout way I said “Do the math – you actually got *more* time off.” ) I got four weeks vacation, an extra week post-Christmas and post-Easter, and *if lucky* one day off per week, for a grand total of 88 days off in a year – no statutory holidays (although employment law says we do) compared to approx 120 days off for a regular 9 to 5 job. When asked why this was an issue, the answer was “because you’re our spiritual leader”. I guess that’s a second comment I hear – used as a disguise for the expectation that the minister *should* work 24/7. Another one (following continuing education course) “How was your vacation?” In fairness, most people are kind and understanding with their pastor. In the same congregation I also heard (often) “Never mind them – we’re not *all* like that!”

  65. Dennis Morrison says

    As a seminary student with one semester left before graduation (Thank you Lord), I can identify with the comment about some people’s perception of seminary. As usual, it comes from not having ever attended a seminary. That’s not necessarily their fault. Like most of us, we perceive the world from our very limited view. More importantly, our work in ministry should reflect that which we have been taught, not what we have learned. I say this because all too often, we take a priceless gift from God, such as a seminary education for granted, as if we have somehow earned or deserved it. I have been truly blessed by the seminary education The Cumberland Presbyterian Church (the one some believe doesn’t believe in education as important) has provided me.

  66. Jason Bennett says

    Very early in my ministry career an elderly lady (not the sweet kind) said to me, “you haven’t suffered enough to preach.”

  67. Lorraine says

    As a ministry team of husband and wife, we have heard most of all of the above. I once had a senior pastor’s wife ask me (as the new Youth pastor’s wife) how did my kids feel “now that they were preacher’s kids?” My husband has also been asked not to preach about sin.
    I have been looked at askance and been asked “… and your the Pastor’s wife!!?” I agree with Karla – we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and on Him alone.

  68. Ken says

    One time during a church business meeting we were discussing buying a new heater for our church baptistery. One lady had misgivings. She said, “We don’t use the baptistery that much!” I felt like beating my head against the podium! Fortunately a godly layman spoke up and said, “Yeah, but we want that to change, don’t we?”

  69. Benjamin Powers says

    I always feel bad that our congregation can afford to build a brand new church building, but our pastor is bi-vocational and his dear wife works so many hours of her own. My wife and I do what we can to assist them, but we have been struggling ourselves with my recent job loss. We will probably have to move to another state to find work.

  70. says

    From a member of Budget committee during a meeting: “The Pastor may not even want a raise because it may put him in a higher tax bracket ” No kidding!

  71. David A Arruda says

    Heard them all! Best one for me was the Sunday morning walking up to the platform , a lady stopped me very upset to let me know I had not call her this past week. “I asked for prayers last sunday and you never called or stopped by. But I know you went to Mrs ## house just because her son died overseas. You know she is not the only person in the church”. It was only by the grace of God I was able to preach after that. Do you know hard it is to speak after you nearly bit off you own tong? LOL

  72. Lee says

    17. “I don’t think we can do something like that, we have never done it before”.
    18. “I know, I’m not saying this but, I have heard others say (fill in the blank – always negitive).

  73. Tina Havens says

    So amazed at responses so many of you have heard! So disheartening! I have been at churches also where the congregation was divided. I remember coming home from church discussing the issues with my mother-in-law and she made the statement, “If Jesus himself came to this church, they would have something to complain about him!” I have never forgot this statement! So sad but very true! Keep preaching and don’t tickle their ears! lol And I laughed out loud and confess I have talked out ministers on tv and their sermons! Sorry! ;)

    • says

      In my first church I had a local doctor console my wife and I as we were experiencing some very trying times with the phrase, jsut remember, it was religious people that crucified Christ.

  74. says

    This one I love to hate:
    As I was moving to the pulpit to preach, the leader of the church said:
    “I don’t like the passage you picked, change it and preach something different”
    Me: I can’t just change in 1 minute what took me 15 plus hours to do.
    Him: I can always get a new preacher, you wont get a new church if you don’t change.
    I preached what I had prepaired but had a long talk with him later…

  75. TCoonage says

    As a pastor with very particular eating habits who serves a church that potlucks often, I don’t find everyone’s food agreeable to my palate. With that being said, I would have to add, “Hi Pastor, did you enjoy my ______________ (insert potluck dish)?”

  76. SS says

    Question for all the pastor’s commenting here…what would be a Godly, appropriate way to communicate to the pastor you are leaving the church you have faithfully attended for 12 years?

      • SS says

        Well…there has been a abject recycling of sermons. It started about 5 years ago… Seems totally unprepared the last 2. Lack of support for women’s ministry special events. Probably 75% of original membership has left… Many many people have spoken to him over the years I am sad. Love my ministry. My kids are now old enough to drive and are finally refusing to go there.

        • Monte Stevicks says

          You have hit a serious issue.Preachers do go through times of burnout, and also go through times of just plain old laziness. I will say in defense of the pastor, that pretty much every other position in academia, they reuse material. Example, A 4th. grade teacher will keep using his/her material year after year. Even in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, the material repeats itself every 3 to 4 years.
          That said, I understand where you are coming from. Years ago, I heard Dr. J Vernon Mcgee get after us preachers for just re-preaching the same old outlines. We are admonished to “study” and to “rightly divide the Word.” We, as pastors have a responsibility to feed the flock. We sometimes fail.
          Also, some of the remarks I have read on here about what “congregants” have said to their pastor probably have come after they have been in church for a number of years and have had to deal with a situation like you are going through. Or they’ve had pastors who want to do everything “their” way. When things don’t got their way, they suddenly got a “call” from God to move on. They leaving the church struggling and in conflict.

          I’ll pray for you. It sounds like your heart is really torn. You have a gut wrenching decision to make. It is a decision only you can make. Just remember to try to keep your motives right and know your relationship with Christ is key. That is more important than your loyalty to a church building.

          Monte Stevicks

        • Monte Stevicks says

          SS. I typed a response to this and then lost it somehow. This response will be much shorter. :-)
          Pastors have a responsibility to “feed the flock”. I don’t have a good answer for you. I’ll pray for you, your pastor and the church in general. Tough stuff.

          • Susan McCurdy says

            I would like to ask “SS” if she actually expressed her “concerns” as directly to her pastor as she has expressed them on this forum. I also would like to remind some that it was D. L. Moody who preached the same sermon several times in a row (up to 25 times, I think) and when asked “Why?” he responded “When you start doing what the sermons says, I will change it.” : ) Ha! I also would like to ask why Pastor Stevicks, feel so confident in his answer when he has not spoken with the said “offending pastor”? Proverbs tells us that “one sounds right until another shares their story”. This pastor may not have repeated any sermons. It is possible that the Holy Spirit just keeps bringing the same old thing up to the hearer and it appears the pastor is harping or repeating a message. Sometimes people hear the same stuff because they have been conditioned by rebellious fellow sheep to notice certain themes.

          • Monte Stevicks says

            Susan,
            You said, “I also would like to ask why Pastor Stevicks, feel so confident in his answer when he has not spoken with the said “offending pastor”?”

            I never accused the pastor of anything in either of my posts. I did however read a person asking a serious question and I tried to give them a serious answer. If you read every word of S.S. remarks, you would know that the concern was deeper than just repeating sermons. Also if you read every word of my two posts, you would read that I was lumping all of us pastors in together. We pastors have to be honest with ourselves and know that sometimes WE are part of the problem. I couldn’t accuse an “offending pastor” I don’t know the pastor. I am however A PASTOR and do know that our congregations aren’t always the only ones who mess things up.
            In my short post that you responded to, I said; ” Pastors have a responsibility to “feed the flock”. I don’t have a good answer for you. I’ll pray for you, your pastor and the church in general. Tough stuff.”
            I guess I must ask you, how am I feeling confident about the pastor being the offender in my honest, serious answer?
            Susan, if you are S.S. pastor or pastor’s wife, know that I have been praying, just like I said in my post.

            Sincerely,
            Monte Stevicks

    • Jeff Malin says

      Talk to your pastor. Prepare your heart before hand. Go in love and season your words with grace. Ask questions about the issues you have rather than making statements based on assumptions. Pray that God will help him to handle the conversation in a godly way. Be sure to schedule a time to meet with him and not just drop in on him. Let him be prepared for what’s coming as much as possible. Lastly, be ready to lend help (and stay) if there are truly issues causing the problems and the pastor is willing to work with people and get better himself. Hope this helps! Blessings to you!

    • Ken says

      The best you can ever do for a pastor is pray for him. I know that sounds trite and simplistic, but it’s true. God has ways of dealing with unworthy pastors. Maybe He’ll move your pastor elsewhere, or better yet, maybe He’ll convict your pastor to get his priorities in order. I’m not saying you shouldn’t leave the church, but make sure that’s really what God wants you to do before you do it. If you hold any offices in the church, please do the right thing and give the pastor some advance notice before you leave.

  77. says

    I have been in the ministry close to 30 years now and have heard them all. Concerning the baptism water issue, I heard “Why is our water bill so high this month?” One man said in a meeting concerning our next year’s budget, “It is to high and don’t answer me that it takes faith.” One senior lady use to tell me how behaved her children were sitting in church why can’t other children be like mine. I could go on and on.

  78. Drew Dabbs says

    Akin to #5:
    “Pastor, have you ever thought about preaching on ________?” (Usually something like “end times prophecy”) When I press deeper, it’s normally because their favorite TV preacher does.

  79. MDuVall says

    During the adult Sunday School class, the pastor was discussing ideas for getting more people in church. He mentioned changing the time of the service. One class member responded, “Why should we change the time for people who don’t come?”

  80. Jason says

    The 4 best words every person in vocational ministry should use as a filter to most conversations is “It’s not about you.” It probably should be said often as well.

  81. Caleb Jones says

    After preaching one rainy Sunday morning, wife and I stopped by the grocery store on the way home…ran into one of our S.S. Teachers (who had called at 8:30 to let me know she wouldn’t be there)…I said “missed you this morning at Service”…her reply “it’s to rainy to get out to go to church!” Another one, same lady…”well preacher, at least we know you’ll be here every service, even though we aren’t always!” Or my all time favorite…it was a Sunday night…(I was bi-vocational at the time 60+ hours plus church related hours)…no one showed up on Sunday night…(was a 30 min drive one way for us, members all lived within 5-10 miles)…we (wife and I) waited for 15 min…had a time if prayer, and left. We stopped at a KFC to grab a bite to eat, and came across 2 large families from the church…they looked at their watches and said “Preacher, what are you doing here? I replied, we waited for 15-20 min on everyone to come to church, no one showed up do we came to grab a bite to eat…oh, guess we could have come but we made plans to grab a bite to eat…sorry!

  82. Drew says

    Great list. The one I have gotten as a student pastor:
    “You ever thought about being a real preacher?”
    My pastor when I was a student also got this one as he was heading to the sanctuary for service “The toilet in the women’s bathroom is clogged!” (As the older lady kindly handed him the plunger)

  83. Marsha Rominger says

    Our children and their cousins were teens when my husband was ordained. We brought one girl home with us for an overnight and the next morning I was floored to hear her tell my daughter “I enjoyed being with you. You and your parents are just like normal regular people”.

  84. Becki Thomas says

    I grew up in a household where my father was a full time pastor as well as a correctional officer. I’ve got to say I’ve heard a few of these but for the most part his congregations supported him in the church as well as on his other job. The last church he served was his 2nd and 5th church (remained at each for a number of years) and when he had his stroke they were some of the best most supportive people ever. He remained pastor there for a year after the stroke and continued to attend after he “retired”.

  85. Clifford Lim says

    I have heard most of these in some form or other. But one that gets me when I was at one particular ethnic church, “How long is your sermon today? Please keep it short”! My wife would get the same question from these same people asking if my sermon was short. It’s real amusing the things people say

  86. says

    I am a pastor and one thing they tell pastors not to do, is get too acquainted with your congregation. They may see your limitations and use on you subconsciously. There is a, lot of truth in that. I am very friendly and I can see how people don’t accept you as a pastor when see your week points.

    • Jeff Malin says

      I have to wonder how we pastors can truly shepherd people and make disciples if we don’t allow them to get close (and that means seeing our blemishes/weaknesses/sins). Believe me, I know exactly what you’re saying Allen, but the price of hiding our true selves hinders our effectiveness and to me leads to us putting on a facade which just promotes the whole “let’s put our pastor on a holy pedestal.” I just don’t see this presented in the NT as a valid approach to pastoral ministry. On the other hand pouring ourselves into people…yes. Blessings!

    • jo says

      While that maybe true, just curious, how are you going to know the needs of your church if you keep everyone at arms length?

    • Ken says

      I’m afraid I must disagree with Allen. You have to make yourself somewhat vulnerable if you’re going to minister to people. They already know you’re human, and they’ll learn your imperfections sooner or later. How do you keep them from exploiting your weaknesses? That’s something you should leave to God.

  87. Rhonda says

    I can Amen that we have heard them all and then some and then I can add a list of
    “What Not to Say to Your Pastor’s Wife!” :)

    • Amy says

      Yes! My husband and I just went into official ministry and I’ve already seen so many of these, plus others directed just at the wives.
      All of their “suggestions” or “casual comments” are things that they want the pastor to do so they figure that its easy to go through you.
      Option 2 is that they just walk over you because you’re “just” the pastor’s wife and we don’t really do anything anyway ;P

  88. Charlie Lyons says

    A few weeks into my first (and only) pastorate, an older (and always impeccably dressed) lady knocked on my office door 5 minutes before the service began and said, “Pastor, you really should drink your water from a glass, not a water bottle. You want to be a classy guy. Water bottles aren’t very classy.”

    • mariep says

      Or “I saw on the internet that drinking from a glass is classy. You need to drink from water bottles because you’re not supposed to be classy!”

  89. Jeff Malin says

    “You’re taking another vacation!? Didn’t you just get back from that missions trip with 20 teenagers a couple of weeks ago?”

  90. says

    A lady who left our church the same week my husband was hired heard him preach a funeral the other day and said to me, “He has really come a long way.”
    Thank…you?

  91. says

    You could even do another “funny” (note the sarcasm) article with 10 things you should never say to a Pastor BEFORE service or right before he preaches! Great list…and a side note to this article is you can tell how long you have been in the ministry as a Pastor by the number of these you have heard. If you haven’t heard them yet, stay in the ministry….you will.

  92. Tim Bender says

    Years ago I visited an elderly deaf man and his wife in their home. He asked me, “Do you work?” I said, “yes, I’m pastor of deaf church.” He said, “No, no. I mean where do you really work?” I said, “That is my real job and I also teach deaf at Bible college.” He shook his head in disbelief. That visit really blew me away. Haha

  93. Debby Johnson says

    Following a morning church service a visitor walked up to my dad, the senior pastor, and said in a carrying gusty voice, “That was a hell of a sermon preacher!” He was apparently unaware that his comment could be considered inappropriate. Being the accepting, loving man my father was he took it in the spirit it was intended, shook the man’s hand and said, “Thank you, brother!” It did cause us a few chuckles later though.

    • mariep says

      At my former Southern Baptist church, a visitor wanted to talk to my pastor, and apparently they asked someone, “Have you seen Father Ryan?” Just this Sunday, my Presbyterian grandmother came with me to church and saw her first baptism by immersion. In the bathroom, she asked, “You were baptized as an infant. You didn’t have to go through that, did you?” I said yes, that I believe immersion of believers is the Biblical way, but I consider both to be my baptism (not the most Baptist thing to say, I know…)

  94. Terrence says

    As a member of the Church and after reading some of the comments, I feel this needs to be said. The reason pastors go throw the things they do is because they put themselves and allow the people to place them in a position that’s for God only. This is why Paul warns us about becoming teachers. Being a pastor isn’t a job title but it’s a spiritual gift. A pastor should use his/her gift to edify, it’s the Holy Spirit job to minister to the people. A pastor should build up and train others how to be leaders and how to live. Paul showed the people how to live. He work with his hands and still taugh the people how they ott to live. Paul also stated that whoever desire to be a leader should follow these steps, so you want hinder the gospel. Another things is that sometimes it’s good to sit down. How can others utilize their talents if they never get the opprotunity to speak up and speak out. This is not a one man job, that’s. why it’s call a body. Pastors are trying to be to many parts of the body. Jesus and Paul trained leaders, today we hope people become leaders by words alone without hands on.

  95. Chris Boucher says

    Of course the problem with this list here is that most of the people who are reading this are not the ones that need to read this list.
    Guess, that’s why it is meant for a laugh.

  96. Ben Morrow says

    How about this one? (It happened today.)

    “Hi Pastor! I just called to wish you Merry Christmas! By the way, while I’ve got you on the phone, I need to talk to you about putting someone on the prayer list…”

    - And on the 8th day, God created voicemail.

  97. Mark Watt says

    This is one that shocks me every time I hear it. “Pastor, you don’t want them to come to church. They’re not ‘church people.’” Excuse me come again? Just who are we trying to reach?

  98. James Meredith says

    One I remember especially was, “That was a good message on giving, but you wouldn’t want to talk about it too often.” I could concur if it wasn’t the only sermon I ever preached on tithing during my three-plus years there.

    I have also had several fellow ministers say, in contrast to #9, “You don’t want to spend too much time preparing for sermons. It quenches the fire.” I never figured out why studying the Word is potentially dangerous to the pastor, but preaching the Word is not.

  99. says

    I have enjoyed reading all the comments. My husband has been a pastor for 45 years. It has been a blessing…not all good but most of the time, very good. I have wanted him to write a book of excuses so that a church member could buy it and just say # 41 or #100 and not have to listen to all the excuses why people can’t come to church. My favorite one that he was told is from a man “my old hen is sitting and I have to sit home and watch her”! Usually, my husband is very kind but by the time he was at our second church, a lady he was visiting told him that she couldn’t come to church because she had to watch her husband. He said where is your husband and she said sitting down out by a tree. He said “He could be dead out there now” These all seem funny to us now but maybe it wasn’t the most thoughtful answer! Love my preacher husband. He has a tender heart and we love our church family….and they love us!

  100. the organist says

    One thing I do a lot to Pastor…
    five minutes before service, “The hymns are too long. You picked them, didn’t you notice that it has eight verses? You will have to announce the changes. Here they are…….”

  101. Larry says

    One of the worst and yet best ones I have heard was after a sermon when a member replied, “they really needed to hear that one.”

  102. Joe says

    I actually heard someone say this to the assistant pastor during the invitation: “I didn’t get one thing from that message. It through one ear and out the other.”

  103. Lennart Germundsson says

    Most pastors in Sweden have free mondays. When you hear somebody says: ” thank You Lord, monday at last!” It is surely a pastor.

  104. Stephanie says

    My husband and I are Youth Pastors at our church. Right after we came to our current church, we were helping with a VBS. An older “saint” told me, with tears in his eyes, he wanted to see more kids and teenagers in our church. I replied that I’d love to see 100 teenagers coming to our church. He abruptly stopped me in my tracks with “Oh no! 100 is too too many. I was thinking more like 20.”

  105. Russ says

    When I pastored a small church in Alaska, one of our deacons would come over every Sunday afternoon and bring me a CD of his favorite preacher. He thought I would preach better by emulating the preacher on the CD.

  106. Mark says

    My dad was a pastor and I remember a layperson coming up to him after church saying, “We got new furniture and thought we would donate the old stuff to the parsonage”. To which my dad said, “If it’s not good enough for you then why would I want it.”

  107. says

    I am a 22 year old Pastor in Smithville, TN and have been preaching going on 4 years and pastoring for 1 year. This past Sunday morning an elderly preacher from our area came to visit, and I was glad to see him. I recognized him from the pulpit before my sermon. I preached longer than I usually do, 50 minutes. At the back door, the old preacher said, “Great message. A little long though.” I was a little surprised but didn’t know what else to do but agree with him. He said, “You want people to be honest don’t ya?”

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