Pastor Teaching Tips: Don’t Do These 10 Things When You’re Teaching
Everything you do, say, and write about as a church leader has great significance. Your mission and calling is to lead the congregation and clergy, and this takes wisdom and prudence. For ministries that focus on training church leadership, these pastor teaching tips are invaluable. But instead of focusing on what might be obvious, here are some common mistakes you can easily avoid. Don’t do these ten things when you’re teaching:
1. Taking out personal offenses during your sermon
You are a spiritual leader, but you are far from perfect. This means you will have times of conflict and feel that things in your congregation are not right. There is a proper way to address these issues, however. Never use the pulpit as a stage for personal grievances.
James 3: 1–Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
2. Threatening people to make them give
Financial gifts must be done with willingness. God never asks those who don’t want to support the church to do so. If you must do a fundraiser, ask for donations, or specify how donors can help the church, always make it a voluntary thing to give. Never coerce, manipulate, or use the church for your own financial gain.
Phil 2: 3–Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
3. Shaming Your Congregation
Make it a rule that you never call out people’s shortcomings in a belittling way. Many who come already know their sins—as a pastor you are there to shine a light, and not a spotlight on those who already feel ashamed. Treat each member of your church with respect, the way the Lord would treat them. Failure to abide by this pastor teaching tip can lead to an exodus of members.
2 Timothy 2:15–Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
4. Misusing your power as a pastor
Being a pastor is a little bit like being a celebrity. People might want to do you favors. When this is done in the true spirit of giving, they will be blessed. But if they offer you favors in exchange for personal gain, then as a pastor you should shun these agendas.
1 Timothy 3:2–Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.
5. Making Unnecessary Jokes
It is fine to use humor in your speech, but this must also be done in the right spirit, and never maliciously. Many of your church members will expect a reverent attitude in the church, and they are there to be taught—not just entertained.
Titus 1:7–Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain
6. Glorifying yourself in the eyes of your church
Giving your personal testimony is essential when teaching. Everyone loves a true story, and if you are sharing lessons that you learned personally, this is fine. But be careful about glorifying yourself or bragging too much. Keep the focus on the lessons learned, the wonderful things the Lord did for you; not just how great you were.
John 3:30– He must become greater; I must become less.
7. Talking down to children or teenagers
Treat all members of your group with respect, from the youngest to the eldest. Sure, some of the teens in your congregation may be a challenge to teach, but never belittle or undermine their importance in the church.
Proverbs 27:23–Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.
8. Looking sloppy while teaching
Before teaching or preaching a sermon, pray about how you will present yourself. You don’t need to suit up necessarily, but you should be well-groomed, well-dressed, and present an image that people can look up to and even inspire. Remember that you are there to communicate a message, and how you show yourself to your audience will be the first step in persuading them to listen.
Hebrews 13:7–Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
9. HUGE pastor teaching tip: Don’t force confession
Never put anyone on the spot when teaching. If you want to tell someone’s story, this should be agreed upon before the service. If one of your church members would like to share their hearts and confess some lessons learned, plan ahead with them how it should be done in public. Never take anyone by surprise or make them feel cornered.
Ephesians 4:15– Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
10. Not having scripture to back up your claims
It is easy for many pastors to get carried away with personal doctrines, or even their own interpretations of Scripture. Everything you teach must be a part of your church’s principles and have its basis in the Word of God. If you cannot prove your point with Scripture, then don’t try proving it at all.
Ephesians 4:11,12–So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Let These Pastor Teaching Tips Be the First Step of Many
Enjoyed these tips and reminders for your church leaders? For more pastor teaching tips, we have a lot of resources that we hope will be valuable to you and your church leaders.
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