In a recent blog post, Michael Lukaszewski pointed out that – despite what many pastors think – your members are not just like you. Some of the ways they differ:
- They don’t know who John Piper or Steven Furtick are. They are confused when you quote them without context.
- They aren’t familiar with their Bibles. When you say, “You know . . . like it says in First Timothy,” they absolutely don’t know.
- They don’t work in a Christian environment. They aren’t surrounded by Christians who love worship music and some have bosses who are jerks.
- They can’t leave their jobs to come up to the church. They have to work a set schedule, and their boss doesn’t consider coffee at Starbucks leadership development.
- They don’t read many books. In fact, they don’t read much at all.
- They are on Facebook, not Twitter. I don’t have stats for this, but pastors seem to move to Twitter but people seem to live on Facebook.
- They don’t go to conferences. It’s a way of life for many church leaders, but most people don’t do it.
- They don’t go to church every week. This might be the biggest of all. You’re there every week; they are not. (from http://michaellukaszewski.com/ via http://toddrhoades.com/)
As we prepare to apply biblical truth in our sermons, one of the most valuable things we can do is pause and consider the viewpoint of the listeners. Based on their own life experience, how will they hear and understand this truth – will it make any sense to them? Is there a way to express this truth that demonstrates we have an understanding of the world in which they live?
Michael Duduit is founding Dean of the College of Christian Studies and the Clamp Divinity School at Anderson University. He also serves as Professor of Christian Ministry. He is the founder and still serves as Executive Editor of Preaching magazine, one of the nation’s premier publications for pastors. His email newsletter, Preaching Now, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences. He is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching, Joy in Ministry: Messages from Second Corinthians, Preaching with Power: Dynamic Insights from Twenty Top Communicators and Communicate With Power.