by David Mains – Mainstay Ministries

There’s a huge difference between street preaching and giving a sermon inside a church. On the street you have to work much harder at capturing people’s attention. You also have to quickly get across what you want to say, or people will simply walk away on you. Most church sermons, if preached out-of-doors, would not hold a crowd for very long.

The exceptional preacher, of course, was Jesus. He drew great crowds in the open air and his hearers hung on every word. Revivalists like John Wesley and George Whitefield were also great street preachers. Like Jesus, they, too, often resorted to stories to keep people’s attention. Of course, that was a different time from the present. When the traveling preacher came to town he was often the big attraction of the day.

If you preached your last Sunday’s sermon in the open air, would anyone stop to listen? It’s a good question to ask yourself. If your answer is “Probably not,” your preaching style might need some tweaking.

People in church usually look like they’re really listening to what’s being said. It’s quite amazing, however, how little they retain. Some of that is because they are poor listeners. Another factor could be that the sermons they hear aren’t that interesting or relevant.

Why not work on your introduction to next Sunday’s sermon, so that you feel it would capture people’s attention even if you preached your sermon on the street.

Advertisements