Is it common to tell the minister that you appreciated a sermon?
If one truly appreciates a particular sermon, is it common to email the minister and let him know? Do ministers get a lot of emails like that? I would email a minister quicker and more often if I knew I was not the only one who did it! But I do not want to make him proud. And I would really like to do it anonymously.
P.S.: Thank you for this forum, it's the only place we can ask these questions.
No it is not common and probably shouldn't be done each time either. Ministers are also sinners and thirsty to feed their ego. After Rev. John Newton came of the pulpit on one particular Lord's day, his elder said to him, "Pastor, that was the best sermon you ever did." Newton answered, "You are the second person that told me that." In other words, his own heart said it and it isn't helpful in such a case to have praise heaped on you.
Whenever God uses them to bless you, the praise and thanksgiving goes to God and it is much better that you praise the Lord in private for His goodness He passes on to you through your minister.
But that doesn't mean that you can't regularly voice your appreciation for the work that your minister does. I suggest that when a particular message is blessed, that you communicate in such a way that the honour goes to God while you acknowledge him. For example, instead of saying, "Pastor, that was a great sermon..." I suggest you say, "Pastor, I like to let you know how the Lord used your message yesterday to .... and I
really appreciate all the work you put in preparing that message from God's Word."
One of Satan's most effective tools is discouragement and the work in ministry is often discouraging because the fruit isn't so often seen. Therefore make you sure that your minister hears from time to time that the Lord is using him in your personal or family life. That gives encouragement.