Being a preacher is easy…
As long as you don’t want to get any better.
If you want to improve, you have to pull back the curtain and walk into this terrifying arena called FEEDBACK.
Before you have a nervous breakdown, take a deep breath and relax.
This doesn’t have to be like dental surgery.
Think of it more like getting your car washed. A little time and effort = a better-looking vehicle, inside and out!
So let’s get right down to it, shall we?
First things first: You don’t need to listen to everyone. You do need to listen to someone.
Slanted, biased, or skewed feedback doesn’t get you where you want to go. You need the find the right people.
Find friends, not foes or fans.
Foes: You’ve been in church world long enough to understand this group. A foe doesn’t have to be a vicious enemy. It could be someone who wants you to preach to their specific preferences (theological and stylistic). It could be someone who wishes you were more like the church’s previous pastor. It could be someone who’s mad because you missed their son’s graduation.
If you feel any sense of animosity, do not seek this person for feedback.
Fans: Fans are people who love everything you do. Unlike your foes, they like your style so much more than the previous pastor. As fulfilling as it is to be around these people, you don’t need to seek them for feedback. After all, if they love everything you do, they’re not going to offer much to help you get better.
Friends: These are people who genuinely care about you and your preaching.
Because they care about you, they’ll bring two things to the table.
- They’ll want to see you get better.
- They’ll be honest with you.
Write down the names of three friends. Ask them, “Will you help me become a better preacher?”
Ask them to pay close attention to your next sermon. Encourage them to take notes. Then, follow up with a phone call or face-to-face conversation. (If you prepare a week in advance like we teach you to do in Preaching Rocket, you may have time to give them your sermon before Sunday. That’s next-level preparation!).
P.S. If you register for our Preach Better Sermons event, we’ll give you a FREE TRIAL of Preaching Rocket! We’ll help you eradicate the pain of sermon prep immediately.
During that discussion, DON’T ask, “Was that a good sermon?”
Ask, “What’s working and not working?”
Other follow-up questions:
- Was it clear?
- What could’ve been deleted?
- What made an impact?
Bottom line: constructive feedback will help you become a better preacher.
But keep this in mind: how you receive feedback will determine if you continue to get it.
So take it in with a spirit of grace, gratitude, and love. Thank your friends profusely for taking the time to help you improve.