How Can Preachers Receive Compliments Humbly?

February 8, 2014

“How can young preachers receive compliments humbly?”

This was a question posed to Al Mohler on his 02-08-14 Ask Anything:Weekend edition. His answer is quite thoughtful and helpful.

Here’s a brief summary, but I would encourage you to listen to his entire response. (The question begins at 7:54 and Mohler’s answer runs through 11:56).

Compliments can, of course, puff a preacher up, as Mohler notes. But they can also leave us “scratching our heads.” In general, we should receive any compliment as “a gift” no matter how it is packaged. God’s people want to respond to God’s working in their lives. However, they are not always equipped with the right vocabulary. Perhaps we need to do a better job of helping them know what to look for in a truly good sermon and how they can best express that. But, as Mohler makes clear, even though we should not be living for man’s approval, we are human beings who need encouragement. So receive any compliment humbly as a gift.

Kerry McGonigal

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In Adam by birth but in Christ by grace. That's my story. Husband to one and father of three. Pastor, homiletics teacher, and passionate proponent of expository preaching. If you like what you've read and want to be notified of future posts, take a second and subscribe via RSS or email (on the right sidebar). Opinions expressed here are my own.

2 responses to How Can Preachers Receive Compliments Humbly?

  1. Kerry, I just started reading Sam Crabtree’s Practicing Affirmation (Crossway), and it is really helpful with this kind of “conundrum.”

  2. Thanks for the recommendation, Will. I will definitely check it out.