A number of years ago when I was youth pastor at Scarborough Baptist there was one particular person who always let me know if my sermons were on the money or way wide of the mark.
He would do this by looking down and shaking his head in despair (if he disapproved) or by nodding strongly if he liked what I was saying.
The problem was that over time I came to realise that the messages he approved of were the ones that kicked people up the butt or made them feel guilty. The ones he disapproved of were the ones that spoke of God’s love and grace or that had a story telling feel to them as opposed to an expositional structure.
Before I left I knew I was on the money with my sermon if ‘X’ was hanging his head in despair. If he was nodding I was thinking ‘Oh crap… what am I saying?!’
Last Sunday when I went back there to speak he got his head down early and shook it for virtually the whole sermon.
I think it went very well…