The difficulty of delivering a message is in inverse proportion to the size of the audience. To face the individual soul with the Word of God … is one of the heaviest commissions given to our charge. Where there are ten men who can face a crowd, there is only one who can face the individual. Gentlemen, it seemed as though I could preach a sermon and never meet a devil. But as soon as I began to take my sermon to the individual, the streets were thick with devils” (J.H. Jowett, The Preacher, His Life and Work, cited in Mastering Pastoral Care, p. 20).
I find it much easier to preach to a large group of people than to speak to people one on one about their souls.
I can easily be direct, confrontational, bold, and energetic in front of a crowd, but I am a chicken across the table from a person.
I am glad to know I am not the only one with this experience.