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How to Get Respect in the Pulpit

Tips from a veteran communicator.

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Steve Brown, a long-time pastor and speaker with Key Life Ministries, offers this advice:

Tell people you're human

Some people have no idea what goes on in a pastor's life, so we may need to challenge their stereotypes. I'll mention in the pulpit, " A man said to me, 'Reverend, some day I'm going to take you out and show you the real world.' I said, 'I see more of the real world in a week than you'll see in a lifetime.' "

Don't violate your personality

To be respected, we must use well our natural gifts. Someone once asked an ambassador, a short, frail man, why he talked quietly whenever he was with important people. " When a big man shouts, people take him seriously, " he said. " When a little man shouts, he just looks silly. So I talk quietly. "

Be straight with people

In stewardship sermons, I might begin by saying, " You know all about the missionaries we support, about how our church reaches out to the homeless. " But then I'll pause ...

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