ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, September 20   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Faith and political views
In my church...




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Peter Mead
 

7 things preachers never say: criticism and apathy

It hurts when people’s grievances seem to inevitably hit the most visible targets in the church, which tends to be those who lead and preach.

BIBLICAL PREACHING AUTHOR Peter Mead 10 JULY 2017 12:56 h GMT+1
Photo: Ben White (Unsplash, CC)

This series looks at seven things preachers never say. Last time we thought about the burden of expectation. How about this for another:



2. Both sides of negative response can really sting, that is, both criticism and apathy.



As a preacher, there are hosts of factors at play in my ministry. There are tangible and intangible costs to what I do. There is the immediate and the long-term. As a preacher, I may spend hours during the week praying for the people and preparing to preach to them. As a preacher, I may be forfeiting a number of other paths I could have walked down in life. At times I will see the positives that come from being in a preaching ministry. Believe me when I say it is one of the greatest privileges imaginable. At the same time, some negative responses really can sting.



It hurts to be criticized. It hurts when people criticize your motives or lie about you to others. It hurts when the preacher is being roasted more than the joint of beef during Sunday lunch in every household of a congregation. It hurts when people throw stones and storm out of the door. It hurts when people’s grievances seem to inevitably hit the most visible targets in the church, which tends to be those who lead and preach.



Sometimes criticism is justified. But it still hurts when instead of coming to you, those with grievances decide to broadcast their complaints to others instead. It hurts to have to always be the mature one when others are being profoundly immature. When sheep go on the attack it can really hurt!



But there is another side to negative response:



Apathy also hurts. When you pour out your heart in prayer and burn the candle at both ends in preparation, only to be met with polite apathy, it stings. The polite comments that amount to “nice sermon” when you have just given everything you had to preach it can really sting. When year after year of preaching is met with the expectation that you will just be ready to do it again next week, but without much gratitude or apparent responsiveness, that stings.



We don’t preach for human affirmation. Preachers tend to be like parents – our goal is not to be liked, it is to lovingly give what is needed by the people we love. But preachers are also like parents in that both criticism and apathy can really hurt. We preach for our audience of One, but that doesn’t give us infinitely thick skin.



 



Peter Mead is mentor at Cor Deo and author of several books. This article first appeared at his blog Biblical Preaching.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - 7 things preachers never say: criticism and apathy
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
VIDEO Video
 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.