Some Sundays I hear more feedback from my sermon than others. Ordinarily I get only positive feedback, though in this context it wouldn’t surprise me to hear negative.
Then there’s the mixed-message feedback. Yesterday one person came up to me following the service and told me how great she thought the message was. Then she said, “It’s always better when you preach from the scriptures.”
I graciously received her words as an affirmation.
Because as far as I know, I always preach scripturally. This is my plan, intent, aim, and focus each and every time I preach.
In fact, I referred to specific passages in the Bible less than I usually do. Yet her interpretation was that this time, apparently more than usual, I preached “from the Bible.”
Her response could have been from any number of things (other than the scriptural basis for my sermon, which it clearly couldn’t have been). The congregation was more responsive than usual, and there is a real likelihood that I spoke more clearly and less theologically than I do sometimes.
Having had almost 24 hours to let it settle, the main thing I take away from the experience at this point is wondering how often I give people mixed messages. Do I mean to say one thing, yet say another?