Podcast Episode 13 | 11 min
Asking for, seeking out, and receiving feedback that will help you grow as a preacher.
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Matt Woodley: This is Matt Woodley, editor of PreachingToday.com, on Monday Morning Preacher. I’m here with our guest host, the always dynamic and insightful wonder kid of preaching, Kevin Miller.
Kevin Miller: And side-kick to the superhero of preaching, Matt Woodley.
MW: Well, I want to introduce another superhero. Not of preaching, but of football. Peyton Manning, who in his 17 seasons as a pro football quarterback threw for over 71,000 yards and also 539 touchdowns, he was also the MVP of the NFL five times. As we say in Minnesota, that’s not bad.
Over his career, Peyton Manning also did something else, a little known practice that was behind the scenes, and he probably exceled at this maybe more than any other NFL player. You want to guess what that was?
KM: Dumping Gatorade on the coach?
MW: That’s a good guess, but he actually never did that, I don’t think. He actually exceled at getting feedback, at looking at his game. He paid special attention to his interceptions, all 239 of them. So he would analyze that film backwards and forwards, get feedback on it, look at it. As one article from ESPN said, “Manning was willing to put himself under the microscope.”
KM: I think I see where today’s episode is going. Are we going to talk about putting our own preaching under the microscope?
MW: Absolutely. The painful art of getting feedback. So here is one of the things that every preacher needs on their top ten list: Get feedback. Figure out how to get it, figure out how to learn and grow from it to become a better preacher. The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “Be diligent in this matter, let people see that you are making progress.” So Kevin, why do you think it’s so hard for us as preachers to get good, honest feedback?
KM: Well, let me count some reasons. For me, on Sundays I’m still usually too fresh, the sermon’s a little too emotional and raw for me that I’m not ready for the feedback right away, and then beforehand I’m kind of feverishly working, trying to get the sermon finished. I also wonder who’s the best person to give me feedback on my sermon? How do I get somebody that I trust but who knows me, knows preaching, will take the time, will not say too much.
MW: I can relate to all of that. Another point is that as preachers we’ve delivered a sermonic baby, and we don’t want people coming up and going, “That baby was kind of ugly,” or “That baby’s nose is really big,” or whatever. It kind of hurts. Some of this has to do with us being overly sensitive, but some of it is we really put ourselves out there and we’re up there baring our souls and to be criticized can really hurt. So we’re going to talk today about how to get good, honest, clean, helpful feedback that will help us grow. I have three tips.
Matt Woodley serves as the Editor for PreachingToday.com and the Pastor of Compassion Ministries at Church of the Resurrection in Wheaton, Illinois. He is also the author of God With Us: The Gospel of Matthew (IVP).