Convocation is hours away, and with it the official start to my third year at this hallowed abode of learning. If indeed the plans of my heart are one with the steps established by the LORD, then following this year I will be examined by classis, be given preaching consent, and will be coming to a pulpit near you. In anticipation of this, I have a favour to ask of a few of my readers.
Each year, each student writes three sermons for sermon session: one from the OT, from the NT, and from the catechism. What I’m looking for is a number of my readers who would be willing to give my sermons a layman’s critique. It is one thing, and a very helpful thing, to have your sermons critiqued by fellow academics who are not unlike technicians in a lab, but it’s something else for sermons to be read and heard by those who aren’t professors or aspiring ministers. It’s the laymen, after all, who will have to live with my sermons for years to come.
There are requirements. You must be willing to use blunt force, and to drive it home with what will look to others like cruelty. Devastating one-liners are welcome. If I’m not left in tears, wondering whether or not I should have stuck it out building cabinet doors, then you aren’t doing your job. Okay, I exaggerate. The point being, while your critique doesn’t have to make Ann Coulter blush, neither would I have you hold back and wonder whether it will make me “feel bad.” It probably should, for the LORD “giveth grace unto the lowly.”
You don’t need to be a sermon expert for this, but I am looking for a thoughtful and thorough analysis. It does not matter who you are, or whether I know you personally or not. I’d want to know what sort of questions a passage raises in your own mind, and whether or not I anticipated and answered those questions. I’d want to know whether my illustrations are helpful, or whether I’ve emphasized a lesser point at the cost of a greater one. I’d want to know if my application penetrates the dark recesses of the heart, or if it sort of floats above your head on a cloud of useless gaseous uplift. I’m looking for your straight, honest, and unfiltered opinion with the hope of being forged into a better sermon writer.
If you are interested in this, please respond privately at firstname.lastname@example.org where I’ll provide you with some more exact criteria for judging.