Feel the Feedback

FeedbackDo you like feedback? Must admit I vacillate. I know I need it, but the experience is not always pleasant. Then again, I don’t want flattery.

This morning’s prayer walk took me through some woods where I came across the sign attached here. The Woodland Trust are a wonderful organisation with noble aims. They’re making a significant difference to the quality and sustainability of our woods. I’m so grateful to be able to walk among the trees, see the wildlife, hear the wind among the trees and smell the damp earth.

Reading the sign more carefully, it appears to be less a request for feedback and more a recruiting tactic. Can’t blame them. Volunteers are hard to come across. As my old PE teacher Mr Watson used to say, “I need three volunteers.” Then, before any of us could come forward he’d add, “You…you…and…you” pointing at three hapless boys in turn.

Feedback for us as speakers, or as churches cannot be for the sake of impressing people.  It must be aimed at helping us grow to be more Christlike. We’re not to seek feedback to make people feel more positively inclined towards us. We’re to ask for feedback so that we can adjust our behaviour to be more closely in line with the Spirit.

With that in mind, why not take a look at the most recent feedback form your church handed out and see how many of the questions have a Jesus-focus? Is he mentioned? Here’s an example of a feedback form I found:

Name/date/time of event, service or sermon:
Please rate this event on a scale of 1-5, where 1=poor and 5=excellent:
5
4
3
2
1

  • What was the best thing about this event?
  • What did you find helpful?
  • What could be improved?
  • What did you take away that you want to keep and go forward with?
  • Anything else you would like to say?

I’m sure the intent above is honourable. But is it the best? While we’ll do well to eliminate church jargon from feedback forms, we are not helping people or ourselves if we eliminate all references to God, Jesus, the Spirit, and the Bible.

I wonder what you think? Could you have a go at taking the feedback form above and making is accessible to non-church people, but also spiritually flavoured? Let me know. You can leave a post here, or email me on mccx@mac.com.

Many thanks in advance for your feedback.

God bless, Malcolm