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Preaching has a long tradition of one-way communication. You may want to consider experimenting, though, with another alternative well suited to our culture: dialogue.

When Jesus taught, he rarely depended on monologue. The New Testament records that he asked 153 questions. "Whose likeness is on this coin?" "Which one was this man's neighbor?" Jesus, the Master Teacher, engaged in dialogue.

There are various ways to introduce more two-way communication into your sermons. Each preaching situation has its own rules, but one or two of these ideas may work in your church.

Q & A: audience to preacher

Speakers often use this method following a message, but we can also allow people to ask questions within a sermon. Wording like this prompts feedback: "Have I made that clear?" or "Can I clarify anything?" This puts the responsibility for clarity on the preacher so listeners don't feel stupid for asking.

Q & A: preacher to audience

We can ask the congregation either closed or open questions. To focus ...

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From Issue:Fall 2000: The Pastor's Changing Role
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