Being called out from the pulpit

WP Greet Box icon
Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.

It’s one thing to be “called out” in a general way because you’re convicted by Truth. That’s the work of the Spirit, and it’s a great thing (though in the moment we don’t always think so).

It’s another thing entirely when you’re specifically “called out” from stage, the sermon stopped, and you’re told “I hope if you’re going to be a preacher that everybody in the audience talks when you preach. You’ll reap what you sow.”

Ouch. (you’ll see that in the video below)

I was called out once for using an electronic Bible. That was fun.

Check out this clip.

Is it ever appropriate to call out somebody publicly, from the pulpit?


(HT: Todd Rhoades)


Christ follower, husband, father, writer, small groups pastor at Saddleback Community Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • josh_phillips

    At least he told the guy he loves him. That makes it alright, doesn’t it?

    • Ben Reed

      Of course it does. Bless his heart. :)

  • Matt Endris

    I have been called out once as a youth for goofing around in the back during a revival service. Yes, I deserved it and it did me good. I today look back as a pastor and do have an appreciation for what that evangelist did for me, though at the time I was a lot embarrassed.

    • Ben Reed

      Embarrassing for sure!

  • Amy

    Yikes. This is pretty harsh. It would be interesting to know what exactly this guy in the audience was doing because his response seems really way out there. I once saw Jerry Seinfeld respond to a talker by smiling and pleasently saying… “And how are you today? You are pretty chatty. Maybe you’d like to share a little bit about yourself. Please speak loud enough so that we can all enjoy what you are sharing.” That stopped the talking without all the harsh embarrassment referenced in this video.

  • Andrew Mason

    A little too harsh for my style. It does help to be in your 60’s or above if you’re lookin’ to pull it off though :) Classic clip nonetheless…

  • Ben Thorp

    I think it’s pretty common in youth settings to call people out from the front. I don’t think it should be a normal thing in an adult context, though. When it does happen, I think it should be prompted by the Spirit, and not by annoyance, though.

  • Paul

    It would have been really impressive if he threw his shoe at him, performed an exorcism, however this could have all been avoided simply placing a AK47 or 9mm Carbine on the lecturn. I have heard that if you start the development of a sumon on your knees, and end it on your knees you will end up having something better than a AK or 9mm, to offer to his flock. Of course that’s what I have heard.