Two Questions That May Greatly Improve Your Church’s Ministry -- By: Kevin DeYoung

Journal: Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry
Volume: JDFM 04:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: Two Questions That May Greatly Improve Your Church’s Ministry
Author: Kevin DeYoung


Two Questions That May Greatly Improve Your Church’s Ministry1

Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung has been the Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan since August 2004. He attended Hope College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He blogs regularly at The Gospel Coalition, speaks frequently at conferences including Together for the Gospel, and has been a contributor or author of numerous books including The Hole in Our Holiness (Crossway, 2012) and Taking God at His Word (Crossway, 2014). Kevin and his lovely wife, Trisha, have six children: Ian, Jacob, Elizabeth, Paul, Mary and Benjamin.

I’m no management consultant, leadership expert, or church growth guru. But if you love your church and want to see it as effective as possible–for the sake of evangelism, education, exaltation, and whatever other E’s you may have in your mission statement–try asking these two questions. One is from the pastor for his leaders, and the other is from the leaders for his pastor.

Question #1—Pastor To Leaders: “How Can I Improve My Preaching?”

Most pastors have no mechanism for regular, thoughtful feedback on their preaching. Those laboring on larger church staffs may have a built-in worship review, but most pastors in the country don’t enjoy such a luxury. And even if they do, it would be wise to solicit feedback from lay leaders in the church–the kind that are mature in the faith, have demonstrated longstanding commitment, but don’t live and breath the details of planning and

evaluating worship services. I have my annual evaluation coming up in the next month. I plan on asking our elder vice-president how I can improve my preaching.

If preaching is the most important thing we do in ministry, why not be more deliberate about trying to develop new skills, weed out bad habits, and get some much needed fine tuning? For most of us, the feedback on our preaching consists of “Good job, pastor” or “Nice sermon, pastor” as people file out after the service. And when we get criticism it often comes from cranky church members who aren’t happy with much of anything. I think most church members love their pastor and are normally pleased with the preaching (or they wouldn’t stick around). But I also know that every pastor can get better. If Timothy was told to fan into flames the gift he had, shouldn’t we–I’m talking to my fellow pastors–look for ways to blow fresh wind across faint coals?

Obviously, this first question is not one you ask of just anyone. We aren’t looking to poll-test our latest sermon series. We a...

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