The difference in preaching isn't always what you think at first.

On any given Sunday, whenever a sermon seems to fall short of what we'd hoped for (realistically or otherwise), we quickly look for a reason. Our notes (or manuscript) were flawed. We didn't deliver the message powerfully enough. We didn't get enough sleep the night before. The sanctuary was too hot. Or too cool. People just aren't as hungry for spiritual growth as they should be. …

I think there is another explanation, perhaps more common than many of the above. It has to do with the match-up between the message and the group.

One helpful insight of the past decade is that not all groupings in a church are the same. Thinkers in the area of church growth have pointed out that when you put the saints together on Sunday morning, you have a celebration. In medium- and large-size churches, the individuals don't all know each other personally, but that is not the focus; they are rather caught up in worshiping God.

Break into groups of anywhere from twenty to a hundred, and you have a congregation-people ...

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