How to Prepare – Know the Congregation

The preacher’s preparation must include attention to the congregation. As far as possible, the preacher should have a knowledge of the congregation and current events therein.

You may think that this is simply being idealistic, but it really is not. How can the preacher get this knowledge? The preacher learns about the congregation by observation during worship, or prior conversations. In addition, the preacher can explicitly speak to members of the congregation as well as the pastoral staff to gain an understanding of the congregation to be addressed.

When you are on this fact finding mission, please discover if the church is a traditional church or a contemporary hip-hop oriented church. This will affect your presentation to that congregation. Determine if the church is made up largely of youth, age, or a mix. And remember that adequate sermonic preparation makes it possible to change things like the introduction or close on the basis of these observations. The more you know your sermon, the more you can improvise over it to adequately address the needs of the congregation.

Sherman Haywood Cox II

Vanderbilt Trained Minister (MDiv), Univ. of Alabama Trained Software Developer (MS), Author, Blogger (, Husband, Son, Brother, Father.

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