1. If your pastor is currently doing something ministerial that is not biblically pastoral in nature (primarily praying and teaching), then either you do it, or find someone else who will. Imagine if your pastor had five or ten more hours to prepare each of his sermons per week. Of course they will be better! You will be amazed.
2. Listen attentively as if your listening is an act of worship, because it is. When you listen to God’s Word in submission, you are worshipping God. Whenever you don’t, you’re not worshipping God; and yes, it is sinful for you to ignore the Word of God when it is being preached or taught regardless if he is keeping your attention or not.
3. Remember that the sermon is not another media outlet for you to feed your thirst for entertainment. Don’t “turn the channel” because you’re not being entertained. Furthermore, don’t expect your pastor to do in 10 or less hours of preparation a week what television stations spend millions of dollars on, and hire teams to accomplish: keeping your attention.
4. If possible, get a good night sleep on Saturday night. Do you know how hard it is to engage a zombie?
5. Pray for your pastor periodically; and let him know on a regular basis that you pray for him. It will encourage him.
6. Don’t keep looking at the cute baby while your pastor is preaching. Don’t you know that a baby is less-interesting than the Word of God? Can you not play with the baby after worship? Your pastor can see you! Furthermore, don’t be talking during the sermon; and if someone walks in late, don’t look at them! Focus on the Word of God.
7. If you have an issue with your pastor, or another issue that he will not enjoy, then wait until after he is finished preaching before you bring it to his attention. He needs to focus on his most-important task: feeding Christ’s sheep.
8. Evaluate the sermon based on the Bible’s criteria for a sermon, not what your criteria or someone else’s criteria might be. Share with your pastor if you believed that he faithfully preached the Word; it will encourage him. If your pastor is like me, he will feel like a failure over 90% of the time that he steps out of the pulpit; and the other 10% of the time that he feels good is because of arrogance.
9. Attend church consistently. Whenever you miss church, even periodically, the thought crosses your pastor’s mind that you are not there because of him or his preaching. If you know that you will miss a Sunday beforehand, let him know. It will help him focus more on preaching instead of considering thoughts crossing his mind concerning why you’re not at church.
10. Don’t go to sleep. Get up and leave before you go to sleep if you cannot stay awake. Your pastor can see you; and the people around you can see and hear you.
What do you think?
Jared Moore is 32 years of age, and has served in pastoral ministry in a Southern Baptist context for 12 years. He currently pastors New Salem Baptist Church in Hustonville, KY. He is happily married to Amber and has three children. He has authored one book 10 Sacred Cows in Christianity That Need to Be Tipped. Jared is also a regular contributor at SBC Voices, Servants of Grace, Sermon Central, and Church Leaders, and occasionally writes for Speculative Faith, Credo Magazine, Gospel Husbands, and SBC Focus. I have a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Trinity College of the Bible, an M.A.R. in Biblical Studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, an M.Div. in Christian ministry from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS), a Th.M. in Systematic Theology (ABT) from SBTS, and I’m currently a PhD Student in Systematic Theology at SBTS.