This morning, I got to my office and in my mail box was an envelope addressed to me. I opened it, and it was a letter of strong critique from my most recent sermon.

Some of the key elements in this letter were the person didn’t like my style. They wrote that my quick pace contributes to my stuttering, actually my quick pace is my style and well my stuttering is a problem that I have been dealing with for years and years. I don’t stutter intentionally, it is something that is present with me in every conversation, every sermon, every lesson, etc.

Second main critique was the length. I went a little long, but what is frustrating is that the majority of people have told me that they liked my lesson, that they were into it.

So, once again I apologize for my length. I do not preach week in and week out. Am I trying to get better? Yes. Do I love to preach? Yes. But, preaching is no easy task. I am working on it, when I get the opportunity. I take it seriously. I know that someone each week is going to not care for what was said. I get that. What I don’t understand is #1 — how our church members can sit through a double over time football game and be into it the whole time, but when a lesson runs long on Sunday morning, they are up in arms. #2 — many good people often offer critiques, but how many have ever preached?

So having said that, I appreciate this brother’s openness to write a letter to me and he even signed his name.

Dear brother,

I am working on things. Thank you for your critique of my lesson. I realize that my lesson was lenghty, and that I speak rather quick. I can assure you that my next lesson won’t be so long, and secondly my speed, well I am working on that too. Just so you know, I am a work in progress. I don’t get to preach that often. So, church please bear with me. I am not a pulpit minister by the way, I am a youth minister who just so happens love to preach.

About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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2 Responses to

  1. stutteringme says:

    As a person that stutters myself, I feel you. People seem to think that they’ve got the pathology solved, and make assumptions (X,Y, ans Z) that would “cure” the pathology. Ultimately, I view it as a prejudice, really.

    And as a professor, I’ll get some of the same types of comments. Sure we can try and improve things to a certain extent, but there’s also the freedom of the listener to either: (a) leave, or (b) become tolerant of the cards in which we were dealt.


  2. Pingback: Stuttering on the Web: Incipient Stuttering & Pastoral Feedback | Stuttering.Me

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