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4 Involving the congregation
Interactive preaching

Tim Stratford tells of the time he preached to a new congregation for the first time. To help give him confidence, he had chosen an existing sermon which had gone well on a previous occasion. But in the new church it met only glazed looks. On reflection, he discovered some of the reasons. The new church had a different culture from the churches of his previous experience. He had been familiar with situations in which congregations were good at listening for 20 minutes at a time and comfortable with the idea of the preacher as expert with something to impart. In the new church, people tended to feel ‘put down’ by experts. They were not so good at listening to uninterrupted monologues, but what they did have was a lively sense of community and a desire to give voice to their own thoughts and feelings, including those about Christian faith and life (Stratford, 1998). In this situation interactive preaching, in which the congregation are encouraged actively to participate in the sermon, proved to be a much more appropriate and effective means of building up the church…

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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