I don't know of any UU minister who is not open to congregants expressing disagreement with them. We know that we preach to opinionated people who know how to speak up for what they believe. Most of us enjoy a little give and take on the content of our sermons, although coffee hour is not often the time for in-depth dialogue: too many other obligations and our own immediate post-performance tenderness.
And I don't know of any UU minister who is not anxious to hear of life experiences that were not included in our sermons. One Mother's Day, I met a man whose mother died at his birth and his father never re-married and he could say that he never had a female parent-figure at all in his life. He didn't really get Mothers' Day, at all. I was informed by his experience, and happy that he shared it with me.
What makes us nervous are kinds of criticisms:
One starts with "I'm offended that .... " To be offended is to be mocked, or scapegoated, or personally diminished, or disrespected. It's not that we don't think that we ever offend, and we want to hear about it when we do. Giving offense is a serious mistake on our part. Many of us define the work of the worship service as creating, with words, an inclusive community. We work hard at it. Saying that you were offended by the service is like telling a surgeon the patient died on the table. It's a terrible failure, the nuclear weapon of criticism.
Ministers get nervous when the language of offense is used too lightly.
After all, disagreeing with the content of a sermon is not the same as being offended by it. Even having the position that you hold on a public issue satirized is not being offended. Being disturbed by prophetic preaching and made uncomfortable is not grounds for offense. Hearing religious language, music and rituals that you don't subscribe to is not the same as being offended. A sermon that doesn't include your life experience does not offend, per se.
Ministers are sensitive to the possibility that we might offend people. Because of that, the accusation packs an emotional wallop; it gets our attention. To escalate into the language of offense makes a minister nervous.
The other trigger for ministerial nervousness is the response that starts with "I don't think you have the right to ...."
I am defining "Making a Minister Nervous" as using language that escalates differences of opinion into areas that seem threaten a minister's call to that congregation. It's conveying the message the ministry is on some sort of double-secret probation. Imagine your bosses reminding you every time you failed to meet their expectations that you have a job only at their discretion.