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How To Discourage The Preacher

by Anon.

An unknown author offers pointed suggestions for discouraging your minister.

  1. Hear him “now and then.” Drop in a little late. Do not sing; do not find the texts in your Bibles. If you take a little sleep during the sermon, so much the better.
  2. Notice carefully any slip he makes while you are awake; point out the dull portions to your friends and children; it will come around to him.
  3. Censure his efforts at usefulness; deplore his want of common sense; let him know that you won’t help him because A. B. does, because you were not first consulted, or because you did not start the plan yourself.
  4. Let him know the follies and sins of his hearers. Show him how much he overrates them, and tell him their adverse criticisms of himself.
  5. Tell him when he calls what a stranger he is; how his predecessors used to drop in for an hour’s chat, and how much you liked them.
  6. Never attend the prayer meeting. Frequent no special service. Why should you be righteous overmuch?
  7. Give him no intimation when you are ill. Of course he should know, and your offended dignity, when he comes to see you, will render his visit pleasant. On no account intimate your recovery.
  8. If he is always in his own pulpit, clamor for strangers; if he has public duties,, and sometimes goes abroad, complain that he is never at home.
  9. Keep down his income. Easy means are a sore temptation, and fullness of bread is bad for everyone—but the laity.
  10. As he will find it hard to be always at home to receive callers, and always running among the people, and always well prepared for pulpit and platform, you will be sure to have just cause for complaint one way or the other.


Patient continuance in courses like these, modified according to circumstances, has been known not only to discourage but to ruin the usefulness and break the spirit of ministers; to send them off to other charges, and sometimes to their graves.—Sel.

-From Feb 1919 Word and Work

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John 10:10