Russell Moore's "Word to Young Preachers"
As a young preacher myself, I am both humbled and encouraged by Dr. Russell Moore's "Word to Young Preachers."
He says that truly great preachers are very bad preachers who have matured over the years through receiving honest criticism from others. The preachers destined for a lifetime of mediocrity in their preaching ministry are those with above average natural ability who are so constantly affirmed and rarely critiqued that they never grow (and in the process become puffed up with pride).
Of course, growing as a preacher (not merely in delivery, but also in expositional integrity and quality) requires a lot more than accepting criticism. It requires the hard labor necessary for improving upon one's shortcomings.
Being nearly finished with seminary/divinity school, I've acquired the basic tools and knowledge vital to an effective preaching ministry (appropriate to the educational level of most of our society). Yet I'm still pretty rough around the edges in some key areas. Are their churches gracious enough to allow young preachers to develop through both critique and affirmation? The Bible states merely that ministers of the Word must be "able to teach" (the Word) and warns of the pitfalls of rhetorical mastery. However, the truly great preachers are those who are able to proclaim, illustrate, contextualize, and apply the Word with conciseness, conviction, and clarity (as opposed to the grandiloquence of the Joel Osteens and Robert Schullers of the world).