My Job as the Sermon Critiquer: Part 2

My Job as the Sermon Critiquer: Part 2


If you haven’t read Part 1, you can find it here.


When it comes to Sermon Critiquing, I find that my input into Adam’s messages really matters because I know Adam.  I know when he doesn’t look comfortable with a topic or message.  I know when he is trying too hard. I know when he hasn’t prepared adequately. I know when he is “reaching to far” with an illustration.  I think it is best, however, for preachers and speakers to have a few people from whom they invite input. 

Messages and sermons are serious business.  People give of their valuable time to show up and hear you or your husband talk.  How humbling is that?  Being able to grow, learn from mistakes, and listen to another’s viewpoint can be challenging.  You can make it easier to hear.  

(Because Tree by Water is for Pastor’s Wives, I will write this to the woman who is listening to her husband, but the same could be done for the female speaker.)


Here are a few tips:

1.     Discern the mood.  If he is wounded or depressed, rip up the comments and give him a hug.

2.     Write your ideas down.

3.     Delete anything that isn’t necessary. If he is just being himself, let it go and let him be him.  Make the list as short as possible.

4.     Share it if he asks, and (almost always) only if he asks. 

5.     If there is an URGENT change, and he doesn’t want your input, you have to determine if you need to blast past the wall and avert him from future disaster.  (Ex. He looks like a jerk, or uses a word that is offensive). 

6.     If you find it useful, read books on speaking and leading.  It is very useful to know the culture, knowledge, and direction he wants to go.

7.     Start with the positive.  VERY IMPORTANT! 

8.     End with the positive.  VERY IMPORTANT!

9.     Be honest.  Don’t lie. Ever.  

10. Give grace.  Speaking repeatedly is a heavy weight and responsibility.


You have the opportunity to shape a very important aspect of our Christian communities.  Your wise words, thoughtful insights, and loving response really make a difference in the lives of many.