I preach for a target audience, and I hit it every time. My secret? I use a focus group, and it consists of one person—me.
Yes, I preach for me.
I can hear your objections, your accusations of self-centeredness. But let me explain.
To "preach for me" means to speak on what I want to hear and to deliver it in a way that I would find compelling. If I think I would enjoy it and be transformed by it, I preach it. If I would be bored or not benefited, I toss it into the proverbial wastebasket.
That means I prepare my sermons based on my interests and needs. It isn't selfish. It is a tool to better serve others. Of course, when God needs me to speak to an audience much different than me, I have to place myself in their shoes. When I need to talk on a topic that isn't immediately relevant to me, it takes a bit more imagination. But if I'm able to make the topic come alive for me, I trust my preaching will be interesting to them, too. I can't know what others really ...1
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