The Kids are Fact-Checking Your Sermons

So you better be careful, pastor. According to research from the Barna Group published this week by Christianity Today, nearly four out of ten practicing Christian millennials are fact-checking the pastor while they listen to the sermon. Perhaps even more surprising is that 14% of all millennials search to verify the things they hear faith leaders say.checkingcellphone

I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by this. I mean, I do it too. Whenever a pastor says something controversial, something curious, even something compelling, I am able to check the details right there while I am listening to the sermon. We do it for everything else  – watching news, listening to lectures in class, responding to advertising – why would we not do it for the sermons we hear?

Of course this shouldn’t frighten us. Of all people, preachers ought to be people who speak the truth. We ought to be well-researched and careful with our facts. Exaggeration and fact-twisting should not be part of our arsenal. They never should have been, even when they couldn’t check up on us. If anyone should feel no threat by the opportunity for people to hold a speaker accountable for truthfulness, it ought to be the preacher.

In fact, we ought to be encouraged by this. How great is it that people want to spend time engaging what we say – digging deeper? It’s a whole lot better than putting them to sleep.

And by the way – enough already with all the preaching plagiarism. Why pastors think they can get away from “borrowing” the sermons or writings of others in this day and age is beyond me. This doesn’t fool anyone, anymore. If you could find the sermon in your office on Wednesday afternoon, they can find the same sermon while they’re listening on Sunday morning. Passing off other people’s stuff as your own is sin, for which the preacher will have to answer to God – and now, thanks to Google, to all the tech-savvy people in the crowd as well.

Isn’t accountability awesome!

4 thoughts on “The Kids are Fact-Checking Your Sermons

  1. Hi Kenton,

    I’m a pastor of Woodlawn Church in St. Pete FL and I would like to thank you in sharing this post. Awesome post by the way, I think this topic is great to discuss with other preachers that has different opinions and perspective about this. I just want to high light: “Of all people, preachers ought to be people who speak the truth.” my reflection on this one is:

    Yes, the majority of society thinks that pastors, preachers and priests are people who speak the truth and they are God’s instrument to impart his teaching to the people. Some people though disagree with this and tend to question what preachers are been preaching. It’s like a cycle of Jesus’ experiences with the high priest when he still alive. There are a lot of people who followed him also there are a lot who hated him and was intimidated by his teachings and works. So for me, people who question pastors, preachers and priests of their preaching those are the people who have not been fully evangelized and accepted God in their hearts.

    I will get back to what I said: Preachers, Pastors and Priest are Instruments of God to teach us, guide us and lead us to the right path to live a Godly life for heaven is in our hearts so we should absorb their teachings through our hearts and not specifically in our minds.

    What do you think? Hope to hear your feedback soon!

  2. There is nothing the matter with fact checking someone’s homily or speech. However, if you lash out at them for doing so, you are inviting criticism and may be inciting a revolt.

Comments are closed.