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AdamL

How to address a guest pastor in error?

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What do you think would be the best way to address a guest pastor that is in error during his preaching?  Would it matter how much of an error it is?  Should he be approached directly or would it be better to speak to my pastor and see what he thinks about it and he can address it with the guest preacher if he feels the situation warrants?

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54 minutes ago, weary warrior said:

I agree fully with Alan and DaveW. The pastor is the place to go for this. Having said that, however, I will add this. Whenever error is spoken from the pulpit, whither it be a guest speaker or our own pastor, we have a teaching session at home. I set the family down in the living room after the service, get out our Bibles, and study out what was wrong. Even if the subject was correct, but scripture was incorrectly pulled from context and improperly twisted to back up correct doctrine, we point it out and address this at home. I do not allow scripture to be used dishonestly to preach honest truth. The well being of the church falls on the pastor's shoulders, but the well being of my family falls on my shoulders, not that of my pastor. I do not shirk that responsibility.

Double-like.

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I remember being on deputation and visiting a church for their missions conference.  The pastor sat us missionaries down privately before the service and explained that he'd  be seated behind us on the stage.  This was so that he could address any errors we made while preaching.  I was a little startled by that, as I'd never experienced that before.  Then, he went on to explain that he'd had a missionary preach one time and his whole message was way off Doctrinally.  The pastor was quite embarrassed and when the man finished preaching the pastor got up and preached to correct the first preaching.  Definitely the right thing to do!  A pastor has a dire responsibility to ensure his congregation know the truth.  I can imagine it was embarrassing for him, but I bet the people respected him for it.

Personally, I've never had to deal with that side of the equation, but I will share a different story as I've had to deal with a church member correcting me.  I won't go into detail on the exact subject matter, but I was preaching one day and a new member disagreed with a very minor point I made (nothing to do with salvation or any other "weighty" matter).  He interrupted my preaching to make his point.  We had a dialogue back and forth which was getting nowhere, with each of us defending our position.  In hindsight I let that go on for too long.  Finally, after about 15 minutes I told him we'd have to agree to disagree and could talk about it more after service, privately.  He backed off, but that was also the last time he ever stepped foot in our church.  He and his family left and never came back.  I called to check on him after a couple of missed visits and he told me it was "too expensive" to come to our church due to the cost of gas.  However, he was telling our church members whom he saw in the store that he was angry and wasn't coming back.  I guess lying is an okay sin, but disagreeing on minor points of the Bible isn't.  Interesting. 

Anyways, I say that to say that as was mentioned prior you should let minor issues slide and deal with them privately as there's a large chance it's an honest mistake (we all make them) and you don't want to embarrass them over it.  Anything large should definitely be handled by the pastor himself.

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Sadly, people who see 'error' in their pastor are also the same who feel it necessary to jump right in and have their say. I usually adopt a regular approach of, If you disagree with me, write it down, and come see me after service, but bring your Bible, I'm not interested in how you 'feeel' about a matter. generally works pretty well, though sometimes there are some who still want to ask questions, or interject their thoughts on a matter-if they are new and have something valid, I usually accept it, but if it goes on too long I will, as said above, end it to talk about later. I may threaten them with getting out late if I can't get through the lesson in a good timely manner.

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On ‎05‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 6:51 PM, Alan said:

Good question.

If it was just a minor error I would probably not mention it. Sometimes while preaching we (me included), say things inadvertently in error, that we may realize ourselves.

If we feel we need to discuss it, sometimes, after services, we may want to approach the speaker, and/or, the pastor and ask for clarification.

If the error is major, see the pastor first. Let the pastor handle it. Maybe the pastor noticed the error and is planning on having the error rectified after services. If the error is major, and needs to be addressed at the moment, it is still the pastors responsibility. If the church needs to be informed, than the pastor is best to handle the way he sees fit.

Normally, after services, in a private setting, is the best time to handle the situation. 

 

Amen! And I might add, ANYTHING that has to do with the church: unity, doctrine, finances, etc. is the pastor's responsibility. Everything should be run by him for approval.

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Best idea would be to toss a paper airplane up there with "read me" written on the wing. As he opens it you can detail your disappointment in full and explain that he needs to repent on the spot. 

as he is reading, send another airplane to the piano player, with the same "read me" written on the wing. When she opens it, have written: "as the piano player comes and plays softly" (he/she will know whats up). 

No baptist can resist soft music and a firm rebuke and not make a point to hold an impromptu alter call. 

Glad to be of service. 

Edited by Gorship

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If it's something minor, I would let it slide. But if it's a serious matter, like preaching Calvinistic doctrine, I would respectfully mention it to the pastor one(1) time. If he doesn't deal with it, and it happens again, quietly leave. I don't believe in causing strife in God's house and would hate to be labeled a trouble maker.

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If it is minor, I would probably let it slide.

If it is major, I'd probably talk to the pastor.

If it is monumental, I'd probably stand up in the middle of the sermon and walk out in complete disagreement. Monumental error is if the preacher says Jesus Christ is not God. 

Edited by BaptistJonStewart

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We had this happen just recently.  An otherwise very good Pastor that I would consider IFB in every other way has fallen into the error that the "church" has replaced the "jewish nation" and all the promises given to the Jews for all eternity have now been stripped from the Jews and given instead to the church.  I simply pointed out to the pastor that while most in his congregation are rock solid on the correct doctrine concerning this, we have many "baby Christians" and new members who may be confused and within 2 weeks we had a very thorough message solidifying the correct doctrine.  I recommend going to your Pastor.

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If  the guest speaker uses the phrase "touch not God's anointed", and/or  mentions in a mocking tone others who have disagreed with them in the past,  your going to them in private may seem well received and amiable, but you could be mocked or even 'rebuked' from the pulpit later, maybe even by name (if you aren't present); your going to them privately to save them any embarrassment, will not matter as "Matthew 18" won't be considered because it's all about their ego I guess. But that should be no deterrent. Right is still right. 

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