Thursday, December 4, 2008

Response to "interrupting pastor" question (Spiritual Q&A @

Below is my response to a question that I answered for Soul Solutions Healing Group. My response, responses from other writers, and many additional spiritual articles, are available at the Soul Solutions Healing Group Team Blog ( The following response addresses a question about a congregation member interrupting his pastor when the pastor is delivering a message.

Interrupting the pastor can certainly be regarded as impolite and inappropriate. The interruption may cause the pastor to lose focus, which can consequently limit the impact of his intended message. However, I truly believe that all things happen for a reason. Opportunities exist in all seemingly negative events.

The Lord possibly conveyed His word through the member’s interruption; or He may have a deeper meaning behind the behavior of this situation. For example, the Lord might have prompted the congregational member to speak out during the pastor’s message, not necessarily for the congregation to hear the words emitted from the man’s mouth, but for the congregation to witness a lesson in diplomatic attendance to unexpected, undesired circumstances. With this type of occurrence, the pastor has an opportunity to address the congregational member in such a way that he can bestow valuable behavior management lessons to the rest of the congregation and also clearly reiterate boundaries that exist while delivering his message. This challenge may have been injected into the church body as a growth opportunity for the pastor, select congregational members, or the church as a whole.

A similar situation may occur in a school classroom when a misbehaved child interrupts the lesson because he feels compelled to speak. Although serving as an interruption to the intended lesson, such an occurrence provides the teacher with an opportunity to exhibit diplomatic behavior management strategies and clearly reiterate classroom boundaries. Whether in the classroom, in a church, or in another setting, such an undesired event can promote strength and growth opportunities when approached from an appropriate perspective.

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