Full disclosure: many of these things were learned the hard way because I said many of these things. In fact, I think we have all said things pastors should never say.
So with that apology out in the open, and realizing that we all make mistakes, here’s the list:
7 Things Pastors Should Never Say
1. We’re not here to reach churched people.
Yes, Jesus said he came to earth to seek and save the lost. But that was not the ONLY thing he did.
He also spent significant time teaching a small group of followers whom He said would go on to do greater things. I understand the heart behind reaching the lost, and I understand tailoring certain environments to accomplish that. But in your zeal to reach the lost, don’t discount the comprehensive mission of the church—to go into all the world and make disciples.
When you say, “We’re here to reach unchurched people; there are plenty of churches for Christians,” you alienate people of faith and communicate that they have no real place of ministry in your church. You insult the 65-year-old grandmother who has served Jesus and children for 40 years.
Whether you mean to or not, you foster a spirit of competition among area churches over who is more evangelistic and who is more missional and who is more Bible-based.
Say, “We care about reaching the lost,” but don’t say you don’t care about church for Christians.