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10 Rules on How to Listen to Your Preacher

Updated on April 13, 2015
James J. Reeb, early preacher in America.
James J. Reeb, early preacher in America. | Source

My confession

I am not, actually far from, an expert on preaching as in delivering a sermon on Sunday morning to my flock. I wish I knew more about preaching from behind the preacher instead of my place in the pew. That might enlighten me with more understanding of this tough job.

I say "tough," due to the fact that preaching is a tough job. It doesn't matter who is doing the preaching--a man or woman who is sincere about sharing the Good News of The Gospel will always find it rough going when they preach their hearts out to an unresponsive flock.

Aimee Semple McPherson, preaching on Feb. 18, 1927.
Aimee Semple McPherson, preaching on Feb. 18, 1927. | Source
Cordie Howard Casada, 1907 - 1972.
Cordie Howard Casada, 1907 - 1972. | Source

Preaching is not an easy task

Preaching can be disappointing, frustrating, and lead many young preachers to an early burn-out and causing them to just leave the pulpit all together. To me, this is sad. I can relate to defeated preachers because I taught an adult Sunday School class for over four years and a teenage class for six months of 2014. Both ventures were tough. Never easy. But the most trouble I had was not from the teenage class, but the teacher for the adult class. Each Sunday I would take my place before the class and do my best with the scriptures, then after I was finished, the Sunday School superintendent would get back behind the pulpit and openly find fault with my teaching. And got clean-away with it.

Henry Aremstrong, April 8, 1950.
Henry Aremstrong, April 8, 1950. | Source

Criticizing is a delicate matter

I always thought, scripturally-speaking, that if (a) man or anyone has a problem with you, first try being discreet and private with him (or her) as you bring the problem you have with them out in the open. But this guy did his problem-sharing (about me) to the entire church crowd.

But back to the preaching of the word that I love to hear from qualified preachers. I was raised by Godly parents on how to listen to our preacher in our church when I was seven years of age. But many in our society simply do not how how priceless it is to follow these

10 Rules on How to Listen to Your Preacher

Bro. Randy Silas, in Bethel, Tennessee preaching in a tent revival

David Hutton, 1931, street ministry.
David Hutton, 1931, street ministry. | Source
Hearing a man's confession.
Hearing a man's confession. | Source
Induction into the Methodist Church.
Induction into the Methodist Church. | Source
John Allen Hudson
John Allen Hudson | Source

Rule 1: Do not look at the preacher with a blank stare on your face. He will think you are fast-asleep.

Rule 2: Do not squirm and move around in your pew. If you are uncomfortable, either try to get it under control or leave. You do not want to ruin the service for everyone.

Rule 3: Do not look around the sanctuary every few minutes and wink at friends. If the preacher does see you, and these men have eyes like eagles, he will know that you aren't interested in his message.

Rule 4: Do not yawn no matter how sleepy you are. It wasn't your preacher's fault that you stayed out all night with buddies drinking and celebrating at the Bob Segar concert.

Rule 5: Do not, if at all possible, fall asleep. This is one of the rudest gestures one can fall prey to during a worship service.

Rule 6: Do not whisper to anyone seated near you. If you do, then others will start whispering. This is similar to a grass fire in a dry season.

Rule 7: Do not stand-up, go to the rest room and return over and over again. If you are having over-active bladder problems, see your doctor Monday.

Rule 8: Do not pass notes to your girlfriend if she attends your church. This is something junior high school students do, but you are not in junior high. You are a full-grown adult.

Rule 9: Do not have a small bag of cheese curls hidden in your inside suit pocket and eat while you listen to your preacher who has obviously worked the night before on his sermon. This is very disrespectful.

Rule 10: Do not slouch-down in the pew like someone with no raising. For a kid to slouch, it doesn't look that bad, but for an adult like you to slouch, it looks plumb ignorant.

In closing, may God bless you with a good day.


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, dahoglund,

      How are things in Wisconsin Rapids? Hope all is well with you.

      You right about good manners. I have thought of that route.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      These rules, I think, are a reminder of good manners.