What should you do when a tall guy with a harmonica attempts to interrupt your preaching by playing a loud off key tune? Well, you may want to try what I did. It stopped him cold. (Click here to start at PART 1 of this series.) See some tips about dealing with hecklers below.
Hecklers can be a real God-send. Do you know why?
Immediately, if you get a good, loud obnoxious heckler, whatever crowd you are preaching to, will suddenly pay attention. Wouldn’t you? How fun is it it to see some guy preaching the Gospel get shut down by a horn, a drum, a stick, or a water cannon?
I love this old familiar image of George Whitefield being heckled while he preached. Think this deterred him? (Click here for larger image.)
Another thing: Keep your sense of humor. Preaching in America can be fun. Don’t lose your cool. Stay in the moment and laugh a little. Sing a song. Encourage that heckler to go for it. The crowd may even listen to what you have to say.
George Whitefield wrote this 300 years ago:
“I believe I was never more acceptable to my Master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields. Some may censure me; but if I thus pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
“I never was more opposed and never met with so great success. I hope I shall learn more and more every day, that no place is amiss for preaching the Gospel. God forbid that the Word of God should be bound because some deny the use of churches! The more I am bid to hold my peace, the more earnestly will I lift up my voice like a trumpet, and tell the people what must be done in them before they can be finally saved by Jesus Christ.”
Next: Preaching to the Hari Krisnas in PART 5.