open bible with pencil

Colleague Critiquing

In 2019, Dr. William S Dobbie, Professor of Public Policy of the Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, MA, USA, visited Australia to speak to the Independent School’s Association.

Dr. Dobbie spoke about the factors which encourage academic progress in students in middle teenage High Schools in the US.

A prominent factor was the availability of experienced colleagues to observe and give feedback to younger, newer teachers. Colleague feedback according to Dobbie was the best use of extra funding for education and did more to accelerate academic progress in students than many other more expensive options.

On 1 February, Robert Gottliebsen wrote a column in the Australian entitled, ‘Let’s Learn Some Lessons’.

He spoke about our low performance in education as being a potential threat to our national prosperity.

Referring to a report by NSW Productivity Commissioner Peter Achterstrat, he points out the failures in teacher training and recruitment in Australia and then turns to solutions.

“Like any other worker a teacher cannot improve without setting goals, striving to achieve them and receiving insightful, regular and constructive feedback and correctional help…Systems of classroom observations including peer-to-peer and supervisor observations need to be implemented”.

Every week, at least once, we Pastor/ Preachers stand before our people to deliver a sermon.

The sermon is on average 20-25 minutes, it is an explanation and application of the Bible, which we believe to be the Spirit inspired word of God. The preacher does his own research, writes his own script and then as animatedly as is possible delivers his material to the church. And he does this, on average, at least once, for 45 weeks of the year!

Preachers need help and I believe the best help we can be is to one another, colleague observation, constructive feedback.

I am part of 4 Preaching clubs, each club has at least 13 other preachers, as well as 1 or 2 non-preaching experienced listeners.

I know the benefit of being critiqued,  at a recent club meeting I preached a sermon on Judges 3, and as a result of the insightful critique, the next day I restructured and refined my material and the result is a better sermon.

If colleague critique is good for the teacher it is equally good for the preacher. The coffee, food and fellowship is also a great benefit.

A number of groups have formed throughout Australia, our Trust coordinates 4, one in country NSW and 3 in Sydney. There is only one Club with vacancies at the moment, it is held quarterly on a Wednesday at Abbotsford.

Why not make this investment in your preaching, both you and the flock will benefit.

Use the contact form to register your interest.