Simply ask, which compliments stir me up the most?
If I swell with pride because someone compliments the form of the sermon or my delivery of the sermon or my writing skills then I’m probably on the wrong track. As James Denney has aptly put:
No man can bear witness to Christ and to himself at the same time. No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is might to save.
If on the other hand I’m encouraged because someone says, “that sermon was really helpful” or “I’m encouraged by your work” or something similar then I’m probably on the right track. My chief aim in preaching and writing must be to feed Christ’s sheep (be helpful) by holding their hand to feast on the Bread of Life.
As a side note if you want to encourage a preacher or a writer rather than telling him that he’s awesome let him know that he was the means God used to help you see that Jesus is awesome!