Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why is my pastor always yelling at me?

Composite conversation had with many laypeople:

Why is my pastor always yelling at me?

I come to church every Sunday. I worship and praise the Lord. I am faithful in my church. I give. I serve. I witness. I work.

So, why on Sunday mornings do I get yelled at with veins a-popping by my pastor?

Is he mad at the Supreme Court over recent decisions?

Is he mad at President Obama over Obamacare or other decisions and actions?

Is he mad at all those homosexuals who are now getting married?

Is he mad at the latest defeat of the army of righteousness in the culture war?

Is he mad at the deacons for not doing everything he suggests?

Is he mad at some member who criticized him?

Is he mad because Sunday school attendance is not as high as it used to be?

Is he mad because the church didn’t take off numerically like he thought it would?

Does he have a rock in his shoe every Sunday?

Is something amiss at home?

Does he think he is underpaid and under appreciated?

Is he mad because he thinks that  faithful members expect him to show he is serious about sin by ripping and roaring, spitting and spewing every Sunday?

Isn’t there something odd about the blood vessels bulging and tonsils throbbing for a 30 minute sermon followed by the normal placid demeanor as he greets us while we are leaving?

Does he think it is expected of him?

Has he fallen for the old standby that teaches if you have little to say, just say it loud and wing it on from there.

Is he frustrated in the pastoral ministry and believes a screaming sermon is the way to get a larger church?

Does he think a sermon is enhanced by histrionics?

Does he think that what works well at pastor's conferences where one pastor shows his best stuff to his pastor colleagues will work just as well in a local congregation?

Is preaching supposed to be a performing art?

Does he really know what people think about his preaching?

Do you think he just doesn’t know any better?

Should I go have a friendly chat with him or just endure it?


Doug Hibbard said...

Have you considered getting him a new battery for his wireless mic?


Oh, not that kind of yelling.

Anonymous said...

"Does he really know what people think about his preaching?"

Given the comments and likely underlying attitudes that I have witnessed on various Baptist boards and blogs that pastors and lay ministers frequent, for them to hear that congregants are concerned about their preaching is only encouragement for them (i.e., pastors) to continue and redouble their efforts in said problematic form. A good many Baptist pastors and lay ministers apparently perceive themselves as (perpetual) victims for God, a role they play with pride, thus perceiving little or no need for self-reflection (as was evident in the recent response to your concerns about one using the word “filth”) concerning such.

Lee said...

A lot of pastors are not good writers or orators, they are imitators and they imitate whomever they happen to think their church members think is the latest religious superstar. I can't tell you how many preachers I've seen touch their forehead with their glasses, like Adrian Rogers used to do, or assume the wooden, stiffed-backed lean of Charles Stanley. I think that's where a lot of the yelling comes from.

Good preachers spend a lot of time studying, planning out there sermons, and sticking with what God led them to preach without the influence of highly emotional cultural issues. That cuts down on the yelling.

steve said...

I can't imagine all the reasons that some pastors yell. For some traditions, yelling is the form of delivery. You are not worth your salt unless you can double cluth & yell with the best. For some I think it may be that their yelling is trying to overcome insecurity or lack of knowledge. I am reminded that a preaching professor told me one time that you can fake passion by yelling. This piece really got me thinking about a church that I served. I began to see my preaching becoming increasingly negative. No yelling, just negativity. It made me sad that I had let the toxic environment come out in sermons. I have tried really hard no to make that mistake again. Sadly, I think it is too easy for pastors to give in to the bully pulpit. It only makes you feel better for a moment and never changes anything for the better long term.