5 Ways to Tell if Your Pastor has no Idea What He’s Talking About

There have been a number of times when I have preached a sermon on a subject I did not fully understand.

For over 14 years I have been preaching right through the Bible. I have to tackle whatever is next. If you’ve ever read a Bible, you know there are some pretty tough things to explain in there.

Pastors don’t know everything. We’re just like you!

Some pastors don’t mind admitting they don’t know everything, others try to cover that fact and maintain the infallibility ruse. Pastors, from time to time, are just blowing smoke up there in the pulpit. Here are five indicators that your pastor has no idea what he’s talking about.

1) Quoting people
One of the best ways to sound smart while having no concept of what you’re talking about, is to quote people. Lots of people. Or just quote one person a whole bunch of times. Quoting people makes it appear as though you are well-read. In reality, you’re just quick with Google and you have no idea what you’re talking about.

2) Repetition
Although all sermons should contain some repetition, you know your pastor is in trouble if he just keeps repeating the same thing using different words the whole time. He has successfully crammed 2 minutes of content into half an hour, because he has no idea where to go next.

3) Story time
If your pastor is constantly telling stories after reading every phrase of a verse you can trust that he is attempting to keep himself interested in what he’s saying. The more these stories have nothing to do with anything in the verse, the more you know he’s lost his way.

4) Copy Cat
This one is just like #1, except this pastor doesn’t mention who he’s quoting, because then he’d have to admit where the quote stopped. This one is harder to detect, you have to know Christianity pretty well to figure this one out. Most pastors have a favorite preacher or author and will frequently copy their favorite guy’s sermons point for point. John Piper has preached many a sermon in churches he’s never been in. When you don’t know what you’re talking about, just copy a guy who thinks he does.

5) I don’t know
Saying “I don’t know” can be tough for anyone, it’s especially tough when people are looking to you for answers. When a pastor actually says “I don’t know” you can trust him. He does not know. Either that or he does and he’s afraid of you. But that’s another post.