The Moving Word

Writer, Preacher, Bookworm, Student of the Word

Meeting the Preacher at the Door after the Sermon

close-up of a businessman shaking hands with a businesswoman

by Richard Mansel

There is a time-honored tradition of the preacher meeting people at the door as they exit the building after worship. Few Christians give any thought to how fragile and weighty that moment can be.

As soon as the last amen is uttered, the race begins. Attendees who don’t want to talk nearly run out the door. The preacher is outnumbered and barely gets a chance to shake a few hands as the wave moves past him.

Various threads are possibly running through his head.

  • He wishes he could make more of an impact on those fleeing attendees.
  • He’s wishing he could have been more effective in his sermon.
  • He’s wondering how many were in attendance.
  • He’s hoping people were edified and affected by the sermon.

Those in attendance leave; children rushing, parents chasing, brethren chatting. As they file past the preacher they may share a greeting, handshake or hug and maybe a perfunctory “good sermon” or “enjoyed your lesson.”

A kind word is always appreciated but when it’s uttered out of habit or compulsion, it doesn’t carry the same weight. The preacher is looking at people’s faces wondering how they were impacted by the sermon.

If no one says anything about the lesson, the preacher is left wondering. Satan may seek an inroads to discouragement (1 Peter 5:8). Preachers are susceptible like anyone else (Romans 3:23).

Many preachers are passionate about God’s Word and they spend many hours preparing their sermons. He puts all he has into the lesson and would probably enjoy discussing the sermon to get some feedback.

Sound preachers are special people and deserve our respect (Romans 10:15). The least we can do is support them.

  • Offer genuine comments about the sermon.
  • Let him know what parts touched you.
  • Engage and edify.
  • Ask constructive questions.
  • Inspire him to keep going.
  • Show appreciation.

It’s easy to take the commonplace for granted. We must make a conscious effort to be better. A great place to start is helping preachers grow in confidence and resolve. While sometimes silence is golden, it is often deadly and dispiriting.

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