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09 September 2010


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I have to say I'm glad we didn't have the 'sermon class' although there were classes on leading worship, including how to construct sermons and even a much-despised voice class. We were heard preaching 'in context' and feedback did once include the fact that I was very, very serious in th epulpit and not at all like the prson they knew midweek.

Definitely some good pointers in this post, says she who never tells jokes in sermons.

David Kerrigan

Hi Catriona - I certainly wouldnt like to be judged every time I preach but I cant think the last time someone adopted the role of 'critical friend' and said something that might help me spot a weakness or build on a strength. If we ever give up learning we won't just fail to improve but likely regress into bad habits, which get worse.

There's mixed views about humour - I would never just tell a joke to get a laugh, but humour is part of life and a very healthy part of it, and in my experience people do relax and warm to you if they see you're human. Laughter helps.

Tara Devlin

I totally agree. I've been able to get some constructive feedback from people in the past that had a big impact on how I speak publicly now. Also getting tapes of your sermons and listening back really helps!! Watching people do something really well, especially when it's something you also do, is a great learning experience. Thanks for sharing David.

Tim Edworthy

I've been struck by Blair's comments on high expectations in Chapter One. He speaks of being a repository of hope whilst in opposition (p15), which leads to an impossible sense of expectation, which cannot be met. I can't help thinking there is a parallel with being the newly-called minister of a church, and the same minister a few months down the line. Perhaps it applies to anyone called to a leadership position. Any thoughts, David?

David Kerrigan

The expression 'repository of hope' was indeed significant and all leaders should embody that to some degree. After so many years of conservative government I think it was the level of expectation that he found daunting. I am finding the book at times overly introspective, but fascinating all the same. There will be other nuggets I'm sure.

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