Are you a mature worshiper? If you are easily edified, even after listening to a dull pastor preach, then it sounds like you are a mature worshiper. Praise God for people like you! Some of us have great gospel preaching pastors who knock your socks off every week with passionate words and piercing truth. Some of us don’t. Some of us have faithful but dull pastors. It would take mature believers to recognize good faithful preaching if the pastor’s persona doesn’t quite appeal to your short attention span.
On the Gospel Coalition blog, writer Steve Burchett gives five suggestions for when your preacher is not John Piper. In short, he suggests:
1. Rejoice that your preacher is a man who proclaims the gospel. (I would add that if your pastor does not proclaim the gospel, don’t rejoice, find a new pastor!)
2. Recognize that certain men are uniquely gifted by the Lord to have an international ministry and appeal, but this is not the norm.
3. Eagerly receive the truth as it is proclaimed, even if it sounds like the preacher is reading a phone book. This is a sign of maturity if you can do this.
4. Listen “outwardly” to the preaching. This means showing eye contact and nodding when you agree with his point. This will encourage him and stir up his confidence.
5. Verbally encourage your pastor. Take a few moments to tell him what was especially helpful and/or convicting from the sermon.
I think these are great suggestions. And remember, your dull pastor doesn’t have to stay that way. By God’s grace he can improve or become appealing to you. It is your duty to encourage him and help him recognize what is and isn’t working using positive reinforcement. And if your pastor is not dull, you better believe he could develop that trait! That’s why I try to encourage my pastor as much as I can. Not because he is dull but because every hard working preacher needs feedback.
So this coming Sunday, be sure to show your maturity, be an active listener and approach your pastor with encouraging words after the sermon!