I Think I’m Doing Something Wrong

Yesterday, after the sermon, a member came up to me and gave me a compliment. Except it was the worst compliment I could receive.
She said to me, “I really enjoyed and loved your performance.”
And still, this morning, it is bothering me. Someone else told my wife (well, maybe it was the same person), “I would’ve paid to see something like that.”

I wish my wife didn’t tell me that.
These two compliments haven’t been sitting right with me.
In no way was I performing. The balance beam, that was an illustration to show that a lot of Christian hold on tightly to their comfort zone and not move beyond that.

I wasn’t out there to get a laugh. The purpose of my sermon wasn’t to get a laugh but to show how I, and many others, are dropping the ball. But in a loving way.
I wasn’t out there to entertain. I wasn’t preaching so that they can sit and enjoy the sermon. I want them to learn and to apply as much as they can.

So am I doing something wrong? Am I too casual in my approach to preaching?
It’s not that I’m taking preaching lightly. I never do.
And like I said, when I pray for the sermon and for the people I preach to, the prayer isn’t “God, let them be entertained” but “God, speak to them through me.”

A part of me is asking, is it really me or is it these people who misunderstand my purpose and passion?

I don’t know where to go from here. But I was (and still am) mortified that somebody said they enjoyed my “performance.”

5 thoughts on “I Think I’m Doing Something Wrong

  1. I think people need to be taught how to be Bereans. They need to be taught to think about the sermon. They need to be taught to search the scriptures. They need to be taught to listen. They need to be taught to let God work in their lives through His word delivered by His prophets.

    I hate to hear, “I really enjoyed your message/sermon.” I ALWAYS ask questions in response, such as: “what part of it did God use to speak into your life?”, “what part of it convicted you of something?”, “What in your life is reflected in the message?”, “What’s going on that what God said today was meaningful?”. It always catches them by surprise. But it begins to teach that I expect them to let God work in their lives through what is being preached. Sometimes I get someone who actually tells me something meaningful.

    Its NOT a performance. But there is only ONE you must please: God. Seek Him and HIS righteousness and the rest will follow.

  2. From what you wrote – I would say that some people are shallow. That person obviously didn’t get the point of the message.
    I wouldn’t let it bother me.
    I’ve been preaching / pastoring 38 yrs. I’ve most likely seen it all.
    One could say that you should not have used a balance beem etc. or such the like.
    However, I know preachers that are very animated; one who jumps over the pews and gets very excited.

    My point is: if you are following the leading of the Holy Spirit, don’t let it get to you. Preachers are supposed to please the Lord not man.

    I would add – make sure that you are not looking like a performance – and that your message is natural and not “staged.”

    Hang in there and keep looking up.
    Just as we ask our folks to keep their eyes focused on the Lord – so must “I”.

    God Bless

  3. Here is what that person said: I will always remember this thing you did today. That means she has a very long time for the message to work with her and on her and through her.

    If our only point is to entertain, then we are doing something wrong. But we should seek to be engaging and worth paying attention to.

    I have no doubt this person did not realize she was upsetting you.

    Bring passion to you work. God will work through you.

  4. Thank you everyone for your encouragement.
    It’s not that the person’s comment upset me, more like troubled me, because what I do is not a performance or an act and it just made me sit and think, am I doing anything to let people believe this?
    But I strongly believe that I’m not making it about me. And I will never will.

    But I am grateful for all your words.

  5. finding the right words to say is not always east for everyone. When that person talks about a performance, I think it could mean lots of things. I would be most concerned about your reaction to it.

    You know why you did what you did and you had solid reasons behind it, in fact I believe I commented awhile back how your idea helped me prepare my sermon. Your sermon and your preparation were effective, the preparation effected me.

    We have a God who created all that we see with just a word. We worship a great creator, shouldn’t the church posses within it the most creative elements in it.

    People learn in many different ways. You know that so you used a visual cue, a powerful one.

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