Thursday, September 18, 2008

Preaching Boot Camp (An exercise in Tough Love)

This is on the back of Point 7 of Driscoll's critique. Mark claims: "The preaching here lacks three things: apologetics, mission and application." Whether he is right or not, I've got an idea to improve preaching that involves two simple things: your iPod and some tough love. It's called Preaching Boot Camp.

Preachers don't get much feedback after a sermon. I'm not sure why that is. Or when they do get feedback, it is either a gentle critique with kid gloves or an aggressive critique by cynics who lob grenades from a distance. Who wants that?

But what would happen if a friend gave you some tough love? And you had the opportunity to deliver the same tough love back to that person? What would happen if the tough love was collegial?

Here is what I propose: If you preach a sermon on Sunday, send me a email with a link to your online sermon on Monday. I will do one sermon swap a week. I will listen and critique your sermon on two conditions:
  • You must listen to my most recent sermon and you then you must roast it. I'll be happy even if I get nothing positive. I'm just up for some boot camp. I want things to be better.
  • And you allow me to be totally honest about your sermon. All gloves off. I'll start with negative stuff first. I will offer some positive feedback too, but only after a good roasting!
Could be fun.

Who is up first?

Pic by RobertsonPhotography.


Suds said...

"Or when they do get feedback, it is either a gentle critique with kid gloves or an aggressive critique by cynics who lob grenades from a distance."

I thought you were there at St Thoms when the Coekin-ator tag teamed with Wheeler and Dale to round house me to the head!

There was blood on the floor that day.

Justin said...

There was blood on the floor that day.


Yea, but somehow deep in your wounded heart, you're thankful right? You'll never forget a word that was said that day?

Anonymous said...

Sudsy, I can remember the exact summary words-
Coek:"You blew it."

Harsh. In anyone's books.

Then when you asked a clarifying question-
Coek: "No need to get defensive."

The very definition of adding insult to injury.

Moff, I remember you nailing my sermons. At the time I wanted to stab you, but then I got used to it and it started to feel good. Like a massage.

Sudsy didn't get massaged that day. Unless it was Edward Scissorhands giving the massage.

frenchcanadianmissionary said...

Every Tuesday morning my co-pastor spends 10 minutes giving me the highs and lows of my sermon. I do the same when he preaches.

I'd be equally interested in sermon preparation. What does it take, for you, to be ready for Sunday morning? Do you write it out? Do you preach it to someone else beforehand? I posted what I do here:


Justin said...

Bonjour Rob,

I couldn't comment on your Blog. I wanted to add one thing to your Blog post: On the Wednesday, Thurs and Friday, use your texts in your pastoral meetings. Bring it to bear (if appropriate) in real situations. It makes it real, and you get real peeps feeding real thoughts to you.

I'm on record as to how I prepare: MO For Preaching

God bless.

Nigel Gordon said...

HI Justin,

I'll send you a link to my sermon from last Sunday if you like. My final talk on Song of Songs.


Justin said...

Just sent you a private email Nigel. Keen.

Anonymous said...

have found it tough ever getting real feedback out of the average punter.

we do the elders review on Wednesday of the previous sermon and then reading and thinking for the week ahead together.
one prob is the staff aren't so good at critiquing their boss unfortunately (or they were out in sunday school).

we use the student ministers for critquing and they do it well - it also helps them to be a little humbler knowing they will recieve the same.

3 parts
the message
the means of getting it across
the man & his manner

got a review form I'll post if anyone is interested.

Anthony Douglas said...

Oh, to have a website that gets sermons uploaded...maybe by year end, I guess...

I'll play, if you're happy to get it in your inbox instead. I'm great at roasts, pork especially ;-)

Anthony Douglas said...

Actually, pork's all I do. Why settle for less?

But I can critique too.