The Preaching Report Card

"Good sermon," the churchgoer mumbles every Sunday, shaking the pastor's hand as she leaves the sanctuary. The pastor wonders, Does she mean it?

We wondered, too. We wondered how eager congregations are for change in a time when communication is changing rapidly and dramatically.

We wondered how pastors go about their task, and whether the preaching moment is all they hope it will be. So we asked pastors and the people who listen to them to talk to us about preaching.

Our nationwide survey of 206 pastors and 2,233 church attenders was conducted in February by the research department at Christianity Today International.

Some of the results are unexpected. Listeners are satisfied with what they hear. Their pastors are good communicators, listeners say, but our survey indicates the people don't always get the message the pastors intend. And on some issues, the view from the pew is very different from the pastor's perspective.

We asked several noted preachers (pictured below) who are also teachers ...

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