In my ministry, I have the pleasure of interacting with college students from local Christian universities. These students attend chapel services several times per week. The chapel speakers are usually guests of the universities–most of whom have national reputations and large followings. This means that students regularly have access to premier speakers.

The upside of this is obvious–what a blessing to hear such preaching and teaching!

The downside is less obvious–and may not show itself until after you graduate. When you move to a new place and are visiting churches trying to find your new church family. If your preaching palette has been formed largely by the professional circuit of premier speakers (plus, if you love sermons, a steady diet of the most prominent voices via podcasts and Youtube) you may have a hard time listening charitably to the local pastor who is doing their best to deliver the Word week in and week out.

Now, there is such a thing as terrible preaching–preaching that isn’t true; preaching that’s theologically abusive; preaching that is actually damaging. I’m not advising you to stay and try to listen charitably to that. But if you can tell that the messages are Biblically sound and Gospel centered, but aren’t quite as ‘perfect’ as what you’re used to–listen well. Listen charitably. Listen in such a way that the Pastor knows you are for them.