When to 'back off'

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by J.R.Maddox, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. J.R.Maddox

    J.R.Maddox
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Tonight in our deacons meeting I was taken to task in a very subtle way about 'hammering' a little to hard on folks and being to confrontational. Our attendance has wavered the past 18 months after a 35% increase the first 2 years of my ministry in this church. In an attempt to address in an open forum the reasons we may be struggling in our attendance this brother brings up that folks are just weary of being 'hammered' on. None of the other guys agreed with him yet they did not object to him neither. I am not new to the ministry and do not consider myself a novice in the work. I have never had this said before to me and have never had to respond. On the other hand I am a 'hard' preacher. I do exposition and I do believe myself to be balanced, but I do also attempt to preach the word with power and passion. This church has not in my belief had a expository preacher in her past...

    here is my question...when is hard to hard...when do you back off even if you feel like your balanced. I just want to please the Lord in my preaching but I also want the folks to know how much I dearly love them.

    Any advise would be welcomed.

    J
     
  2. SteveD

    SteveD
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    JR
    There may be a number of reasons why this brother feels you are too hard in your preaching. Here are a few ideas that may be or may be not the case. 1. The Word of God has convicted him 2. He is an over sensitive person who lives an emotion based Christian life 3. He has a wife who is offended by somthing you said from the pulpit. The list goes on but I think that as expository preachers we have to stick to the text and not preach out of personal frustration over someone who doesnt like our style of preaching. Truth gives us passion to preach and compassion and love give us our purpose to preach. I have had folks accuse me of being too hard and others commend me for sticking to the Word regardless if the message touches a sore spot. Keep on and trust God.
     
  3. J.R.Maddox

    J.R.Maddox
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2006
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Steve...your prayers are appreciated.

    J
     
  4. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    JR,
    What was your growth from the first 2 years?
    Was it from transfer growth? If this is true than maybe the exodus from other churches of unhappy people has subsided.
    Was it from conversion growth? Then maybe a change in how you do visitation and evangelism is in order. Sometimes programs and ministries have a 'shelf life' and they die a natural death. Sometimes doing the same thing loses effectiveness not with the people we are reaching, but with the people doing the reaching.

    About how balanced your preaching is ask a trusted friend (from outside the church) to listen to the tapes of your preaching and see what they think.
     
  5. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    0
    J.R., what can you learn from the meeting? Even though it is a criticism from this deacon - perhaps even unwarranted - maybe something can be learned from his comment. It may give you a chance to reflect on your preaching style (facial expressions, demeanor, etc.) Do you come across as always angry? If a sermon has been challenging, do you build up and encourage the congregation to the task - or do you "guilt" them?

    If you are satisfied that there is no truth to what the deacon said, then move on and continue in what you're doing. If, on the other hand, you identify something you can improve upon - do it.

    I think we may be sharing a common experience - I've heard this before, too!

    Also, remember this: sometimes when you are true to the Word of God in your preaching, the crowd will get smaller, not bigger. Don't allow church members - even deacons - to back you off from doing the will of God.
     
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about a one-on-one private meeting with the complaining deacon. Ask him for specifics. I've heard hard, hammering sermons before. The ones I didn't receive well were those which I felt hammered unfairly. You don't have to defend yourself to him, but hearing him out could prove beneficial.

    We had a young fella to guest-preach one night. Every word he spoke was true. But everybody in the auditorium went away angry. This young fellow raged and ranted, stomped around, spit and foam, and mugged. He used every trick in the book to get amens, and put us down when he didn't get them. On top of that he did all this for more than an hour, making us a half-hour late for choir practice. He didn't preach to us, he preached at us, at top volume, too.

    This young preacher would probably have been shocked if somebody had told him he came across as arrogant. But he did. And I realize that back in his home church, they may eat this stuff up. Our folks can handle hard preaching, but not that.
     
  7. Plain Old Bill

    Plain Old Bill
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Messages:
    3,657
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have you tried recording your sermons and then listening to them?
     
  8. go2church

    go2church
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,304
    Likes Received:
    6
    Love the idea of having some trusted soul listen to a couple of tapes and give you an assestment, I think I would start there. Everyone seems to have a different definition for expository preaching, but maybe a short topical series on angels or how music was used in ancient times will give a bit of the break they think they need?

    Don't you just love it when folks tell you to preach wahtever is on your heart and then afterwards tell you "whoops sorry, but not that part of your heart". Gotta love those sheep!
     
  9. TheWinDork

    TheWinDork
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd tell 'em, If they didn't like it, they could hit the door.

    Keep preaching the Word Brother, don't let no sissy'fied sinner stop you. I used to hear that all the time.. "you're hammering them too hard!" Finally I told the deacons and the members, this is the way I preach and if you don't like it, go find you a compromising Church and attend there..

    I haven't had a problem since. :D

    TheWinDork
    Pastor of an Acts Chapter 6 type Church and not a Deacon run Church!
     
  10. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    um, Windork...

    if you're not kidding...

    "A gentle answer turneth away wrath."

    --------------

    Praying for you JR--wisdom to respond rightly, conviction to stand by truth, humility to honestly evaluate the what and the how of your message and delivery, and a hunger for righteousness on the part of your church and its leadership.
     
  11. All about Grace

    All about Grace
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    1,680
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are going to "fault" one way or the other, fault on the side of grace.
     
  12. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    15,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow, I am having a hard time seeing your approach in light of 1 Peter 5 and the role of a shepherd.

    I guess you know better than Peter, huh?
     
  13. TheWinDork

    TheWinDork
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    0
    No, But I do believe in Pastoral Authority and a Acts Chapter 6 Church, and I don't believe that deacons should be telling a Pastor how to run his Church. and obviously, You do.

    Deacons are to be APPOINTED, Not elected and are to serve UNDER the authority of a Pastor, and should NEVER, EVER tell a Pastor how to preach!

    End of Story.

    Argue with the Bible, Not me :D

    TheWinDork
     
  14. TheWinDork

    TheWinDork
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is the common response from those who want to live in thier sin and not have a real preacher, preach the WORD OF GOD. and they also don't want the Holy Ghost to convict them.

     
  15. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    4,807
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll tell you the same thing I told PastorSBC a while back: Simply preach the truth. Don't worry about whether the church grows or not, just leave that up to God. Doesn't mean you shouldn't witness, go out and evangelize, etc., just preach the truth.

    Preaching the truth offends some who want to be entertained only, and they will leave.

    Now, while it's true that deacons shouldn't be telling the preacher how to preach, in most Baptist churches, the elders are called "deacon", and it is the elders' responsibility to make sure the preacher is preaching the truth.

    If you're butting heads with an elder, and you're preaching the truth, then you need to be prepared to stick to your guns and not compromise your principles and doctrines just to tickle people's ears.

    Also, by "hard" preaching, I'm assuming that you are talking about expositional preaching the gets to the root of the matter, as opposed to the fluff that pleases so many people. If you're talking about the ranting and raving and yelling kind of "hard"...
     
  16. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is the common response from those who want to live in thier sin and not have a real preacher, preach the WORD OF GOD. and they also don't want the Holy Ghost to convict them.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Buddy...if that accusation is directed at me, then...well...hooboy.
     
  17. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2003
    Messages:
    15,125
    Likes Received:
    0
    I never said the deacons should be telling the pastor what to do or what to preach.

    My entire point was on the harshness of your statement.

    The deacons I am priviledge to serve with are godly men that love me, pray for me, support me and have never once told me how to carry out my calling. But I am also not telling them, "do things my way or hit the door." There should be mutual respect and love between the pastor and the deacons.

    You made my point for me, thanks [​IMG]

    1 Peter 5:2-3 "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you , but being examples to the flock."

    I really never thought I would ever be discussing anything with someone named "TheWinDork" [​IMG]
     
  18. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hope Mr. Windork has his resume up to date...

    Most folks that make those type of caustic remarks tend to have multiple numbers of "ministry opportunities" in relatively short periods of time...
     
  19. TheWinDork

    TheWinDork
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Messages:
    434
    Likes Received:
    0
    it's become clearer and clearer to me, what kind of board this really is. :(
     
  20. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Enlighten us :D . What kind of board is it?
     

Share This Page

Loading...