Preparing a Sermon for the Real Congregation
LaRue’s next element of great preaching is the significance of the waiting Congregation. In this element, the congregation is involved in the entire preparation process.
Some preachers do this in a formal way. They have people from all walks of life to sit in “sermon preparation committees.” I think that this can be an effective mans of determining what the congregation wants, but LaRue is speaking of the fact that even those who do not have such a committee have the people in their thoughts as they prepare the sermon.
The preacher thinks about the woman who just lost a child. What does the gospel say to her. The young man who is running from the law, the young woman who is worrying about being pregnant, and that one who is thinking of breaking God’s law in some way. The preacher has the “waiting congregation” in the preacher’s mind as the preacher seeks to prepare and deliver the message. LaRue states: “every effort is made to say for them and to them what they (the congregation) would say if they should have the chance.”
The waiting congregation should not only affect the preaching moment, but also the exegesis of the scripture for preaching.