What’s the best time to solicit listener feedback – before or after preaching a Sunday sermon?
While it can be helpful to hear what listeners have to say after you’ve preached a sermon, there’s not a whole lot that you can do in terms of making any changes. If you ask for input before it’s given, however, you can still adjust your direction or emphasis.
“But how can you do that?” someone asks. “How are you going to get feedback if no one’s heard your message?”
The solution is really quite simple. In the process of turning sermon ideas into a sermon outline and, ultimately, into a finished sermon, you ask for help early on in the process. In fact, as soon as you’ve figured out the subject, response, “how to” and “how long” you can seek input. How? You can get on the phone with a key member or two and say, “This is the subject and text I’m planning to preach on next Sunday (or better yet, two Sundays from now).Here’s the response I’m asking for. This is the “how to” and the “how long.” What do you think? Is this going to be relevant to where you are in your life? Give me some feedback, will you?”
Such calls should prove incredibly helpful. And, each call shouldn’t take over five or ten minutes at the most. That’s if you don’t have time to actually meet for an hour with a small group to get their input.
None of these individuals has to analyze the whole sermon. You don’t have to tell anyone ahead of time the opening, closing, or key illustration. You just want to know if the overall direction you’re heading is helpful to them. Is the subject relevant and do you agree that the response I’m calling for is important? … Are the “how to” and the “how long” beneficial? What would you change? You tell me, because I want to be as helpful as possible. What if you chose the subject you wanted me to preach on sometime in the future?
I can’t prove it, but I believe the best preachers are the ones who get input on their sermons even before they preach them.
For more information on how to create better Bible Sermons and how to turn Sermon Ideas into effective, meaningful Sunday Sermons, please click here to visit David Mains’ website.