Too often the pastor takes advantage of his pulpit to scold the congregation for nonattendance, for a poor financial response, for a shortage of volunteers, and for any other thing that disappoints him or frustrates him.

Always this is a vast mistake.

Instead of pouncing on the people with lethal strokes who did come to the worship service, why not show appreciation for those who did come, and why not prayerfully and astutely tackle the problem with all the wisdom and vigor God has given you?

T. DeWitt Talmadge one time said: “On stormy days the scolding preacher berates the people who are in church for the neglect of those who have stayed at home. He expects to bring up flowers of Christian character under the blow of a northeast storm.

Now, there are times when ministers ought to be indignant and denunciatory; but learn this, young men, you can never scold people out of their sins, nor scold them into regularity of church attendance, nor scold them into heaven.

You cannot scold your church up, although you can very easily scold it down. It takes honey to catch flies and men. Never go fishing with a crab apple for bait.”

W. A. Criswell, Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors