A Letter To Preachers (Warning: Blatant Honesty May Offend You)

Writing

Dear preachers,

I’ve heard more of you preach than I can count in my lifetime, so I would say I’m a rather experienced listener.  I’ve come to the realization that, perhaps, you need some raw, honest feedback.  I suppose I ought to give you such instead of waiting for someone else to.  Please note, though, that this does not apply to all or many of you, but to the ones it does — oh, we all know who you are.
First of all, can you do your congregations a favor and STOP WITH THE THEATRICS?  Seriously, we all have televisions or YouTube.  We don’t come to you for a show.  We come to be taught the holy Word of God.  I don’t really need to see you jump around stage or walk up and down the aisle slapping hands or strutting about.  You don’t have to stand still or anything, but remember you aren’t an actor up there.  You are a teacher appointed by God Almighty to tell people about His Word so that they may draw nearer to Him — act appropriately.
Next, I have a little news for you: we can hear just fine.  If you want to scream then please for the sake of our ears turn the microphone off!  My grandfather is in his 70s and you are even too loud for his ears.  Unnecessary, sir!  I don’t think a single person comes to church with the mindset of “I sure hope the preacher verbally assaults my ears again this week!”  So just calm down on all that yelling.  (Your bulging neck veins and tomato red face will probably appreciate it, too.)
Thirdly, we can keep up.  I’m sure you do those dramatic ten second pauses in the middle of your words and sentences (especially at the end of the sermon) to make sure we can keep up with you.  How considerate!  I must tell you though, it’s more annoying than helpful.  We can keep up with you at a steady pace.  All those pauses just make me think I’m listening to Obama give a speech.
Also, you don’t have to wear that suit jacket.  Listen, I am a gal who loves a man in suit and tie.  Truly, I do.  However, if you are going to be sweating through the whole service – ditch the jacket.  I appreciate your style and effort to look nice, but the streams of sweat down your face make it hard to concentrate on then content what you are yelling.  You’d look a lot better and feel a lot cooler if you simply dressed for function rather than style.  Your congregation will not mind, or at least it shouldn’t.
Lastly, what is with the whole drawn out altar call?  I understand wanting people to come forward if the Lord is leading them to.  I get it.  I want that too!  But, after three invitation songs and a few more yelling fits of yours about hell and damnation, it sounds more like a threat than an invitation.  Last time I checked, God didn’t ask us to manipulate others by inciting fear to make them come to Him.  Nor did He say, “harp on and on until you make your congregation bored or annoyed so much that they will kneel just to make you shut up.”  Let’s be a little more on point, please?
Just one more tip for good measure: you should never make your congregation leave feeling like crap.  Don’t confuse this with me being against stepping on toes.  Step on toes.  Dance on them.  Lay the Word of God on our hearts so that we feel the Holy Spirit stirring.  Welcome conviction on your congregation.  But NEVER let us leave without giving us the hope, the redemption, the message of love.  God didn’t end with condemnation, but rather grace.  Mirror that.
I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job.  These are merely suggestions.  A little constructive feedback, if you will.
I would just like to end this in saying that I am thankful that God has called so many passionate, fired up Christians to teach His Word.  It is an honor to be called to be a preacher.  I respect you all a great deal, so please do not take this as a rude or disrespectful article.  It is neither.  Any good preacher will always want to improve.  I am merely trying to help you do so.

Sincerely,
Preached At

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Safe Place Intrusion

Safe Place Emergency

Safe Place Emergency

 

This may offend some, and if you are one who takes offense — please accept my dearest apologies.

First I will make completely clear:  I LOVE when we have more people come to church.  I LOVE when new people come, old people come back, and seeing the regulars worshipping and learning alongside me.  It’s beautiful, truly it is.

However…
Ever have that ONE person that you try to forget you ever invest so much as a minute in?  That ONE person that you feel stupid for trusting because they turned out to be exactly what they said they stand against?   That ONE person who betrayed you in a way you didn’t expect and really couldn’t handle?

Now imagine that person invades your personal space, your SAFE PLACE.  I don’t know where your safe place is — be it a park, your garden, the gym, a basketball court, the football field, your bedroom, your favorite tree, etc.  For me, my safe place is in the arms of my Creator.  For me, my church is like the sidewalk leading up to my safe place.  It shows me the way, guides me to safety.

Okay, so tonight that person who I just wanted to avoid and forget I ever invested any of my time in invaded the avenue to my safe place.  There I was, worshipping my Creator amidst a group of my peers when I look over see him.  Sitting there.  Right there blocking my safe place.

Imagine how awkward.  Could I focus?  Pfft!  Not at all.  I know there was something about being bold and being different and being proud of acceptance in Christ.  I heard that from the message, but the details are fuzzy.  I was occupied with willing myself to:  a) not freak out, and b) try to ignore this intruder.

Out of the dozens of churches in this city, of course he would choose mine.  Of course.  That’s just how life goes.  But really?   I know there is noone that can separate me from God — noone has that power.  It just doesn’t help focus to have someone blocking my path to Him, especially in His own house.  I know I should want him to be there at my church (because I know how awesome it is), but I wanted him anywhere but there.

If you’re like me and your safe place (or what leads to it) has been invaded, attacked, or taken over, just take heart in fact that God never changes and is always your safety.  It’s Him or nothing.  When something or someone tries to block your path to Him, run faster, fight harder, and don’t succumb to seemingly overwhelming or uncomfortable circumstances.  God is able and He is willing.  Seek Him earnestly and you will never be without a safe place.

On an ending note, know that I said a prayer for that person.  I pray that he is blessed in life.  I pray that things go well for him.  I pray that he learns to live by his words and treat people rightly.   But I also pray for DISCIPLINE for him in the most holy of forms.  Prayer is power, after all.