What to Do if Your Pastor is Boring
Dr. Julie Barrier, along with her pastor-husband, Dr. Roger Barrier, have taught conferences on marriage and ministry in 35 countries. The Barriers are founders and directors of Preach It, Teach It providing free resources in 10 languages to 5 million visitors in 229 countries and territories. The Barriers pastored 35 years at Casas Church in Arizona, Julie has served as a worship minister, concert artist and adjunct professor at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. She has authored or composed of over 500 published works.
- 2015 Sep 08
What do you do If your preacher is boring? You can help him, you know...But first, a little humor.
You know your pastor’s sermon is boring if:
1. You have to poke your snoring husband more than three times AFTER he’s drunk a grande double shot expresso and ½ dozen donuts before the service. Especially if he starts to drool.
2. Your five-year-old son is picking his nose, playing Angry Birds and never looks up.
3. Your daughter is texting her boyfriend and giggles when he makes goofy comments about the pastor’s Hawaiian shirt from across the sanctuary. (Sorry, Rick Warren)
4. Your younger daughter is drawing handlebar mustaches and horns on the preacher’s bulletin photo.
5. YOU are finishing your grocery list and only hear him say “BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH….”
6. No one is opening his/her Bible.
7. Every one is looking at their watches hoping to beat the Penticostals to Hometown Buffet.
8. No one remembers the sermon by the time they get to Sunday school.
My pastor-husband says that being boring is the cardinal sin of preachers. He trained by serving as a children’s pastor to a room of 300 squirming, sweaty little bodies. They let you know right away when you have lost their attention. Spitballs start to fly. Potty breaks come all too often and the noise in the room increases exponentially.
How Do Your Help Your Boring Preacher?
Well, it depends on the level of trust and the depth of relationship you have with him.
Every church member can pray for his pastor. Daily. Earnestly. If you need a fantastic prayer guide four your pastor and wife, go to http://www.reviveourhearts.com/resource-library/30-day-challenges/. Nancy Leigh Demoss has created 31-day prayer guides for pastors, pastor’s wives and churches. Put one on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror. (Whichever one you use the most!)
Don’t complain about your pastor. Earnestly bring him before the Lord. And DON’T, please DON’T form a prayer group to gripe about him. That also includes having “roast preacher” for lunch. You’ll end up with kids who become jaded and ditch church as soon as they can.
Be his biggest cheerleader with notes, encouraging comments and a warm handshake when you leave. If your minister feels like he can’t trust you, or that you will criticize and betray him, you have no opportunity to have input into his life. My godly Dad befriended every pastor he had: good, bad or ugly. And they adored him for it. EVERY one of them still write letters and call him to this day
TAKE NOTES IN EVERY SINGLE SERMON. Read the passages in your Bible or on your YouVersion event notes. Ultimately the Holy Spirit is the real teacher and he can speak to you personally through the Word.
If you or your husband have access to the pastor and he is open to your input, send him great, inspiring stories, links. Sometimes a sermon point will be solidified by a super illustration. Send him great jokes (the clean kind, of course). Humor often disarms listeners.
A staff member or supportive elder board can suggest sermon evaluation/comment cards as a way of keeping the pulse of the congregation. My husband used them for many years. They contained questions like:
Was the sermon helpful to you? How can you apply it this week to your daily life? Is there a further question you have about the passage? Did you feel encouraged, convicted, blessed? Did you see God (Jesus) in a new light? Did you learn ways to love others more? Also included in his eval forms ask the age, marital status, and amount of time the commenter has been attending the church. The evaluator was not asked to include his/her name unless they so desired. (Worship comments were also included. Obviously the worship/media can enhance or detract from the upcoming message.) Including other service elements may make an evaluation form less threatening to the pastor himself.
Also, if you are a staff member, take your pastor with you to great conferences with great preachers. If you think you can’t afford to go, see if someone in the church will subsidize the trip. Your basketball skills or golf game will never get better if you play with mediocre players.
Some pastors have not had the opportunity to receive theologican training, but would love to have had finances to take seminary courses. Most theological schools have great online courses and independent study options. A loving congregation who has a pastor eager for advanced education would be gracious to provide needed finances.
If all else fails, you have to decide if you need to change churches. As Americans, we tend to have a “consumer mentality.” Church hoppers are at an all-time high. But remember, you and your children need time to develop deeply committed, spiritual mentors and friends. And if your children love your church, DON’T leave. Ultimately your first job is to provide them with a spiritual experience that will shape their young lives. Go to a mid-week Bible study. Uses internet Bible resources. Listen to your favorite pastor online.
God created the local church for a reason. And He loves His shepherds. You can, too!