Being a Pastor Communicator is a special calling. God gives you messages to share with much prayer and personal preparation required.
The fact that God uses humans must be frustrating for Him since we carry so much baggage that we have to overcome.
As a Pastor, you want to communicate God's message as effectively as possible. As a communicator, you wrestle with 1) how much to say 2) how to say it 3) how to engage, and 4) how to get out of the way. I'm sure you can think of so many other battles too!
Do you want to connect with your congregation in such a way that they'll accept the message?
Since effective communication rises and falls on knowing your audience, here are 3 pre-sermon questions that need answering before stepping on stage. Especially if you want to engage:
1. Where is your church audience coming from?
I'm not talking about where they were born necessarily. We all know that if you're lovingly confronting your spouse, you don't want to do it after a bad day. It's essential to know what's going on in their life before entering a conversation.
For your congregation, think about current events, community challenges, or demographically what they may be experiencing just before entering the worship center. It's up to the worship leader, the campus pastor, and you to make the transition. Consider starting the transition in the parking lot with music or greeters!
2. What is your church audience expecting?
Good communication is about managing expectations. If someone leaves without being fulfilled, they're less likely to return. Don't really know what they're expecting? Then start asking people in the lobby: "What do you want from the teaching time?" "What else would you like to get during the sermon?" "How can we improve with our services?"
Getting the worship leader or campus pastor to set expectations is another great way to manage this. Saying things like, "Today, I know you're here to find life direction from our Heavenly Father. You won't be disappointed!"
3. What does your congregation really need?
This is the role of a parent, a leader, and a pastor. Delivering what they're expecting but ensuring you're providing what's needed. You've done the heavy-lifting all week, so after your study and editing, you have His message to deliver. Next to God, you should be most aware of your congregation's needs, so it's up to you to deliver it so it will be received. And like good medicine for the soul, it'll be a balm for whatever is ailing your congregation. Love them with what's needed!
Sermon delivery is an art. And I believe God empowers certain special people to deliver His message.
It's a lot of pressure. Know your audience; then engage them with love.