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5 Things To Never Say to Your Pastor

never say these things to your pastor

People say the goofiest things to their pastors.

To be sure, most pastors are aware that sometimes remarks made against them are more a reflection of the person making them, and they are good natured enough to let most things roll off their backs. In fact, pastors may even find some of the more outlandish things congregants tell them amusing or humorous. 

But then there are the times that congregants cut their pastors deep with their words. This may happen in a single instance, but it more often is the aggregate effect of multiple offhand remarks and unwarranted criticisms that begin to weigh them down over time. 

Pastors work hard to serve the people of their churches well, and so it stands to reason that those people should also strive to serve their pastor well—particularly when it comes to how they can use their words to lift him up rather than tear him down. 

Here are at least five things to never say to your pastor.

1. ‘People Are Saying…’

For all the criticism a pastor receives on a weekly basis, almost none of it is offered to him directly. He will hear about it through notes on connection cards, second-hand accounts, and warnings that “people are talking” from congregants who put themselves forth as personal confidants but really only have personal agendas. 

A wise pastor I once served under was always quick to respond to anyone who implied that “people are talking” with a simple question: who and how many? 

Sometimes, no one is really talking—except the person who is saying that people are talking. Other times, the talking is taking place among a small group of individuals within the church who neither carry much sway nor contribute much by forward missional progress. 

This isn’t to say that their feelings aren’t important or that they aren’t valued members of the community created in the image of God. It is to say, however, that it is not the wisest course of action to let their opinions set the decision making framework for the entire congregation. 

If you are one who is often tempted to bring up the issues that “people are talking” about, you may be one of these individuals. Remember that Paul warns us not to tolerate the behavior of Christians who “are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies” (2 Thessalonians 3:11). 

If you have a legitimate concern about certain leadership decisions that are being made, speak for yourself sincerely and directly, without any guile or manipulation. Otherwise, just be about the work of the gospel and encourage others toward the same.

2. ‘So That’s Where My Tithe Is Going’

To some congregants, it is a mortal sin for pastors to have anything nice, and they aren’t afraid to remind their pastors where their paycheck comes from.