Over the years of being actively involved in both, ministry and the fashion industry, I have been a mute spectator to many a mishap in the church. The explanation varies from, “We don’t know any better” to “It’s the anointing that will draw them!”. Now, I definitely don’t want to be a critic but I personally feel that there are some typical patterns that alienate the congregation from the preacher. And that’s what I wish to share with all my friends who are or wish to get into ministry.
You could be a TV evangelist or a pastor, but may I request you to please continue reading. Don’t switch off, just yet. Here are some guaranteed turn offs from the pulpit.
I am alarmed at the number of people who get this wrong. If you want the younger generation to take you seriously, here is a tip. Please don’t try to dress like them unless you are as old as they are. Donning an Elvis Presley-inspired wardrobe won’t work either!
How about investing some time and money into what is trendy, taking your age into account? It does not have to cost an arm and a leg, but it will cost you some effort. Don’t wear what every other pastor/ preacher in town is wearing. Wear what is distinctively you and speaks about your personality.
The era of perfect deep voice died a decade ago. When you get behind that pulpit, please don’t put on an accent. Please don’t try to sound like you have the perfect deep bass voice. It’s done and over with.
You can’t sound like you have just stepped out of an All India Radio commercial. People connect with friendly, approachable voices. Bill Johnson, Mark Driscoll, Randy Clark, all sound normal. Talk normal and you’ll be amazed at the results. Similarly, just because the last famous preacher in your city used to scream, you don’t have to! Be genuine. Be yourself!
This may sound too harsh to many but I have noticed that many of us as preachers and pastors succumb to a sedentary lifestyle. If not the gym, the least we can do is pick up a sport. It is important. Fitness is important in every industry. And ministry is no different.
Being fit is essential to how you look on and off the pulpit, your energy levels and self-confidence. And to hide behind the garb of spirituality is a lie. I have heard so many excuses against a lifestyle of fitness and they are just that, excuses. Let’s treasure what God has given us, and work at maintaining it. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Another thing that I encounter often is the hyperbolas that are used from the pulpit. Keep it real. If you are ‘shaking a city for Jesus’, let others say so. Touching nations, shaking the world, life transformation, seize your destiny… There has been such abuse of these terms that the congregation simply tunes out to such lines now.
The point is this. Let’s not hype up the message. Let’s direct people to His Presence. Be real. I do believe lives are transformed. But I prefer to have people say it than market it myself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,”What you are speaks so loud, that I can barely hear what you say.”
Is your life in sync with your message? If not, you will be tuned out. Look around some of the pulpits in your city, you will find many who have been tuned out.
In finality, I would like to add that I am not being offensive to any one in particular. I have immense respect for all ministries, preachers and pastors. My intent is to purely point out that we need to be in touch with what we need to do to reach this generation. We must make efforts to look out for changes that are coming and adapt, so as to ensure that our message is relevant.