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8 Surprising Things That Church Members Noted About Me

8 Surprising Things That Church Members Noted About Me

Over my years of ministry, I’ve been surprised by things that church people have noted about me (especially during preaching) and pointed out. I write about them today not because I was ultimately offended, but because I’m probably a better gospel minister today in some ways because these folks were so honest with me. Here are some of those things:

  1. My shoes needed polishing. Like, desperately so. I’m not sure I had ever polished my Sunday shoes until a deacon I deeply respected (and a former military guy) pointed out how bad they looked.
  2. I wasn’t wearing my wedding bandI had taken it off for some reason prior to church that Sunday, and I inadvertently left the house without it. In a church with more than 1,000 attenders, one wife in the room noted from her screen view that I was not wearing the band. I’ve never forgotten it since then.
  3. My shirt needed ironing. To be honest, I hadn’t ironed my shirts any more than I had shined my shoes. I didn’t realize how wrinkled they were until I started ironing them.
  4. I had preached the text before. It wasn’t the same sermon, but it was the same text. A church member (more than one, actually, I would learn later) noted in her Bible every Sunday what text I preached. Over the years, I began pointing out when I knew I had preached the same text in a church.
  5. It was always a good thing to keep breath mints in my pocket. was offended at first when this church member talked to me, but I grew to understand how much he loved me as his pastor. He was just being honest.
  6. I talked too fast when preaching. This was early in my ministry, and any pause in my words felt like an eternity. I had not yet learned that strategic pauses can, in fact, be helpful.
  7. You’re not supposed to button the third button on a three-button suitcoat. I admit this was a long time ago (like, when such a suitcoat was in style…). You can tell from this post, though, that I still remember this rule.
  8. I used the word “irregardless” a lot. I prided myself on my use of the English language, but I also loved this word—a word that is, in fact, not the best English. I just didn’t know about that problem at the time.

Preachers, what surprising things have others pointed out about you?

This article originally appeared here.

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Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on Twitter @Clawlessjr and on at facebook.com/CLawless.