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Keeping Ourselves on Target

Every preacher is evaluated, one way or another, by every listener. Constructive evaluation won't happen, though, no matter how willing I am to receive it, unless I'm asking the right people the right questions at the right time.
—Bill Hybels

When I first began teaching publicly, as a youth minister in the early seventies, I taught in a conversational, dialogue style. After all, there were just twenty-five kids. When my material wasn't all that useful, one of the students would raise a hand and say, "Can we move on?" Then I'd realize I was missing the mark, or I had overstayed my welcome in the Book of Leviticus, and we would move on.

I stayed with that style for more than a year, but then we started outreach programs, and all of a sudden the group jumped from 25 to 150. My teaching style soon became inappropriate for the larger group; I actually had to start putting together formal messages. In a panic, I went to a senior pastor friend and said, "I have to start giving full-blown messages ...

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September
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