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The Agony and Ecstasy Of Feedback

What sermon evaluations taught me

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My preaching was getting better and better. People were captivated by my sermons every Sunday. I was nearing my maximum potential as a Christian communicator—at least I thought so.

My wife brought me crashing back to reality. "Darling, you have developed a couple of bad habits during your sermons that really detract from your content and presentation."

Feedback … ouch!

I genuinely recoiled at the suggestion that I needed improvement. I was not at all certain I wanted to hear what she had to say. It was easier to see the church growing—almost every Sunday—than to acknowledge I needed to refine my skills.

Yet feedback is necessary, and we grow through it. But it is not always pleasant.

When I finally listened to my wife, I realized she was right. I had developed a habit of clapping my hands together to emphasize points. It seemed a nice touch, but I was hitting one ring against the other and creating a loud, irritating clank. And to help people through difficult points ...

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