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7 Things the Pastor CAN’T Do From the Pulpit

5. He cannot share with the congregation the personal doubts he struggles with concerning the Lord or important doctrines.

Such as salvation, the Incarnation, the Trinity, the Virgin Birth and the Atonement.

If he has such issues, let him read Psalm 73 a dozen times and take its message to heart, then work out his doubts in private.

6. He cannot tell the congregation that he struggles with porn or lust. 

Some things are better dealt with privately—or at least between himself, his spouse and a faithful counselor—but never in public.

The pastor who tells his people that he has a lust problem is creating more problems for himself than he can imagine. Every woman in the church will think he’s undressing her when he shakes her hand. When that happens, his ministry has come to an end.

7. A minister cannot rebuke anyone publicly from the pulpit. 

He cannot call names and slander someone, no matter how strongly he feels.

Again, he may do it, but not and retain the respect of Christians who know the word and reverence His name. Mean-spirited preachers will always have their defenders, but this does not make it wise or right.

Let the preacher honor His Lord, reverence His calling and bless His people.

Let the preacher never forget he has not been called to “share his heart” with his people but to “preach the Word” (II Timothy 4:2).

Let the preacher not fall prey to the temptation to be transparent to the point that he lays stumblingblocks in the paths of his people.

Let the preacher say to himself a hundred times a day, “This is not about me; this is about Jesus Christ” (see 2 Corinthians 4:5).

Let the preacher with overwhelming doubts have enough integrity to a) get help, b) stay on his knees, c) not preach his doubts, and d) get out of the ministry if the doubts and questions remain unresolved.

We will all stand before the Lord and give account.

Let none of us have to account for having caused God’s people to stumble.   

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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.