Does How You Preach and What You Preach Matter?

According to research conducted by Alban Institute consultant, L. Carrell – it does. One statistic I found particularly fascinating revolves around the question, “What do you Sunday congregants really think and feel about your message? What is their actually take- away?” I would invite you to take a moment to consider the answers and how you know, really?

The research shows that more than 78% of all listeners’ questions say they have “never” discussed a sermon with the minister. If this is true, then how do we really know what the lingering effects of our message is on someone?

The research regarding Sunday mornings is current data and statistics and might support you in the creation of Sunday lesson, as you keep these things in mind. Call me if you have any questions

Rev. Toni G. Boehm, Ph.D. 816-304-3044 revtboehm@aol.com Listeners' Response by Lori Carrell

Does preaching matter? You may want to let the perspective of thousands of listeners from across the United States contribute to your thinking about the potential value of preaching. These adult listeners attend all kinds of churches - tiny and mega, but mostly medium; healthy and troubled; mainline, evangelical, Catholic, and community. More than 78% of listeners say that they have "never" discussed a sermon with their preachers, so how could you possibly know what your listeners are thinking?"

Pastor, here's why we listen and why your preaching matters to your listeners:

1 -- We Listen Expecting Inspiration When asked to list elements of the church service "most likely to have an impact on my spiritual journey," the number one answer from listeners was "the sermon." Preachers did not predict their listeners would answer that way! Said a listener from a coastal state, "I like good music and my church friends, but I come on Sunday hoping for inspiration from the sermon, inspiration to encourage my spiritual growth."

2 -- We Look to Your Preaching for Spiritual Leadership One listener admits, "I can get better presentation from television preaching, but I want to hear this person I know, this person who knows me, this leader in our community of believers...." Though some analysts predict that a few podcasting super preachers will soon proclaim to a great global pew, right now, in 2014, most Christ-followers are seeking spiritual direction from the public spoken words of their pastors.

3 -- We Rely on Your Preaching for Spiritual Content Please hear this crucial response from your previously silent listeners: We are listening to you for spiritual content that we have determined is a priority for us, listening to hear God's voice through you, listening for something we don't hear or view or download anywhere else.

4 -- We Listen to Your Preaching Expecting Long-Lasting Impact Even when the pastor hasn't used inspirational language, hasn't included ideas for implementation, or hasn't asked for change (all desired by listeners!), listeners are still committed to contemplating the content, because they perceive there is potential for spiritual growth to occur.

Affirming that preaching matters is itself transformational. If you actually believe that those minutes you will spend communicating with your congregation next Sunday have the potential to make a significant difference you may approach the pulpit and your prayer life and your sermon preparation a little differently from the way you did last week, when you wondered if those spoken words of yours were evaporating.

For as long as you continue to speak for God publicly-to preach or teach or proclaim - a close, authentic examination of your sermon communication through reflective practice is needed. Hundreds - now thousands - of other preachers have done so, enhancing the spiritual journeys of their congregations.

Preaching That Matters provides the opportunity for you to challenge yourself, prayerfully - for your calling to preach is high and holy.