Pastors: Don’t Assume We All Know What You’re Talking About
Phil Cooke

Phil Cooke

I’ve listen to an enormous number of pastors lately who assume everyone in the audience knows what they’re talking about. Whatever the subject – communion, the presence of the Holy Spirit, the Bible, the altar call – whatever, they preach as if the congregation is all up to speed on what it means.

But the truth is, there’s a wide range of people in a typical congregation. Some a long time members, others are new, and still others are outsiders or visitors.

The bottom line is this: If you really want to make an impact, go through your notes and look at anything that might be confusing, new, or not clear, and take the time to explain. It doesn’t take long, and it will reap enormous rewards for your listeners.

Pastor Jack Hayford was brilliant with this. In fact, I sometimes got annoyed that he would explain everything, but I realized that it was necessary to make sure his audience understood exactly what he was saying. Plus, it never hurt me to hear it again.

Why is the Bible considered authoritative?
Why does communion matter?
Why bread and wine?
Why do we sing at church?
Why does the Bible consist of different books?
Does God still heal today? Why?
The questions are endless, and yet most pastors never think to address them.

Never forget that there are people out there who have little clue about what you’re talking about.

And it won’t hurt the more experienced people to hear it again.

***

Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a producer and media consultant to churches and ministries across the country. His latest book is “The Way Back: How Christians Blew Their Credibility and How We Get It Back.” Find out more at www.philcooke.com.

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