Responsiveness 2

Thermometers2Continuing the list of factors that influence the responsiveness of a congregation.  Some you can influence, some you just live with.  Actually, today they are all things to influence:

5. Subject – Some subjects will be more engaging than others.  If the subject seems less engaging, don’t settle for low engagement . . . what can you do to engage the listeners?  Is there a way to bring a narrative aspect to the message, either in organisation, in setting of biblical scene (i.e. preach the narrative setting of an epistle section), or at least in illustrative content.  A good preacher can make a dull subject engaging.  In fact, a good preacher will do so without hesitation, since only listening listeners will typically be touched by a message.

6. Level – Engaging content preached over the heads of listeners, or patronisingly offered, will not actually engage.  Too heady and people feel intimated and drift.  Too patronizing and people get frustrated and feel like their time is being stolen. Make sure you pitch things at an appropriate level.  Just because you have read technical material in your preparation does not mean that people need to know that.  Aim to communicate, not to impress.

7. Proxemics – Are you elevated above the listeners, are you on the same level, or are they looking down at you?  How far away are they?  Is there furniture separating you from them?  These things can all make a huge difference.  Sometimes something as small as standing beside the lectern instead of behind it can make a huge difference.

8. Spiritual Maturity – Perhaps this is the overall goal, but if you are preaching to a church over a period of time, then hopefully this will increase.  As maturity increases, people should be leaning in more to biblical preaching that offers Christ and engages hearts.  (Bear in mind that when temperatures increased in some, the New Testament always seems to show others that became harder . . . response will not be universally positive!)

What other factors would you add to the list?

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