Preaching and teaching is a core part of the Reader ministry. This demanding and important gift needs to receive continuing support, encouragement and training if it is to stay fresh and be helped to develop and grow.
The Developing for Ministry program offers regular training for preaching and Readers are encouraged to make the most of these opportunities. But there is no substitute for receiving feedback from people who actually hear you preaching.
A practical way to receive and share feedback is for two or three Readers within a particular area commit to hearing each other preach every 12-15 months. They meet afterwards to give feedback as ‘critical friends’. A preaching evaluation form can be downloaded to help guide this. (One or two members of the congregation could be invited to complete these too – but not be part of the feedback discussion itself.)
Each Reader chooses the occasion as they would find most feedback most helpful – e.g. All Age, Baptism, Service of Word, Eucharist etc.
Feedback needs to focus on core aspects of public preaching:
- Delivery – voice, projection, posture, ‘presence’, use of notes etc.
- Structure of sermon – flow, development of argument, central focus.
- Use of bible – exposition, theology, context
- Applicability of the sermon to the local congregation/context
The intended outcomes are:
- Mutual encouragement of loving interest and support for the shared ministry of preaching.
- Constructive, practical feedback for strengthening and developing the preaching gift.
- ‘Critical friends’ who are committed to the flourishing of each other’s ministry
- Emerging priorities and recommendations for further training.
To Getting started approach two Reader colleagues and agree dates. If you need suggestions of who to contact, your local Reader Sub Warden will be happy to help.