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Pastors, Don’t Make This Mistake on Sunday

We preachers sometimes torture the faithful with our complaints about the unfaithful.

We don’t mean to do that. It’s just something that happens, usually as a result of our frustration.

Listen to the typical pastor or staffer addressing the congregation:

“A little rain never hurt anybody! And where is half of our congregation? But oh no, they couldn’t make it today.They had no trouble sitting through the ball game yesterday in freezing temperatures! Or playing a round of golf in the rain. But let a little sprinkle drop out of the heavens and they can’t make it to church today!”

Or this one:

“People can stand in the stadium for hours and cheer for their team until they are hoarse. But the same people come to church and want cushions on the pews and would die if they had to crack a smile or actually open a hymnbook and sing.”

This sour song has countless verses …

“We can sit for hours in front of the television, but complain if the preacher goes five minutes over time.”

“We love a good comedian, but if the preacher tells a joke from the pulpit, he gets anonymous letters telling him he’s profaning the Lord’s house!”

Or, another common refrain …

It’s Sunday night and only a handful have shown up. The preacher is fit to be tied.

“Where is the dedication these days? People just aren’t as committed as they used to be?”

You get the idea.

Of all the foolish things ministers do, this may be the least smart (I’m bending over backward to avoid using the word “stupid” here): Afflicting the faithful who made the effort to be in church with our frustrations over those who didn’t. 

There is a certain catharsis in playing the blame game.

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Joe McKeever has been a preacher for nearly 60 years, a pastor for 42 years, and a cartoonist/writer for Christian publications all his adult life. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.