Let me emphasize again that these truisms are not intended to beat up us preachers! Rather they express common truths about the way we behave, and should alert us to where we can improve.
The next truism builds upon the first. 2. Most preachers find constructive criticism difficult to receive. Of course, most people find any kind of criticism difficult to accept because it often seems to come at the wrong time from the wrong people. Yet, the public act of preaching makes genuine feedback ESSENTIAL. Unless preachers actively seek honest feedback from some, whose love for God and for the preacher qualifies them to "speak the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15), they can easily stagnate.
Is this easy? Oh no. Perhaps preachers are some of the most vulnerable communicators because they speak on God's authority from his Book to such widely diverse hearers. Yes, the Holy Spirit gives words and applies truths but too easily the flesh of the preacher can obscure the glory of God. None have enough breadth of experience or depth of insight to be able to relate to everyone, but when we allow others to critique us (lovingly and prayerfully) on the preaching journey we can grow by their help.
I have blogged before about this need for preachers to be open to others. I have been told that it is different for me because I am teaching students in seminary who expect honest feedback. But do we really think that a couple of classes in seminary has given us enough feedback for a lifetime of habit-forming? Do you think this truism is justified?