a church in carrick-on-shannon

PREACHING 1: Get their attention!

These are some wise ideas from Charles Haddon Surgeon.

 Chapter IX in his LECTURES TO MY STUDENTS  is titled “Attention!” This lecture is about maintaining the attention your hearers, the congregation. Spurgeon observes two things up front. First, we must realize some will never respond. It is just part of our situation in this sinful world. Second, some congregations find listening difficult because of the place and atmosphere. You have control over that–fix it! Third, some are not in the habit of listening. If that is the case, they must be taught to listen. As you teach them to listen, here are his suggestions for keeping their attention:

  • Say something worth hearing
  • Arrange the material in a clear way
  • Speak plainly
  • Don’t read your sermon
  • Be sure to prepare your sermon
  • Don’t have a long introduction
  • Don’t repeat yourself often
  • Don’t preach/speak too long
  • Remember the Holy Spirit must work on people
  • Be interested in the topic for yourself [have passion]
  • Use a few good illustrations
  • Use “surprise power’ [don’t always say what they expect]
  • Use a pause
  • Make them sense the importance of the message
  • Don’t let attendants walk the aisles
  • Deal with late attendance
  • Be clothed with the Holy Spirit

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