August 21

How to Prepare – Know the Congregation

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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.


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  1. I have always been taught, when in Rome do as the Romans. This approach only helps when you are not familar with the method of service. I to agree that there is to much entertaining from the pulpit. I asked a fellow member could he recall the meat of the sermon
    and he stated i can not truely remember, but the whoop was there and the emotions. What came to mind was my people shall parrish for lack of knowledge. Thank for all the information and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your ministry

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