I hear all kinds of comments after a sermon - I always love the feedback even if it's less than positive! There's always the old standard, "good sermon Pastor." It's always nice to receive encouragement of any kind - so I don't want to discourage those who might pull this one out on occasion. But there are some post-sermon comments that really get my attention. Here are a few of them.
1. "I was re-reading the passage you preached from ... "
My prayer always is that Sunday's sermon will drive people to the word of God. I pray that it would compel them to read on their own. That the treatment of the scriptures would have been intriguing enough for them to look into the Bible themselves.
2. "That specific part of your sermon helped me to change the way I ..."
One of the driving goals of preaching is life change. Only the Holy Spirit can accomplish this in a person's heart, but I believe that the Spirit uses the preaching of God's word as change agent in the hearts of believers. I believe that there are specific parts of every message that God has hand-crafted for certain believers that will be a catalyst for change. We are not supposed to be just hearers, but do-ers of the word.
3. "Can you explain what you meant by ..."
I like to view most sermons as the start of a conversation. For those 35 minutes on Sunday I realized that the conversation is very one-sided. But I always pray that it will continue. Sometimes it continues with me, which is great, but most often it continues in small groups or over coffee somewhere. When people push back about a certain point in my sermon it gives me a chance to either explain further what I meant or to learn from the body of Christ. I'm still learning and working out my faith as well.