One of the most challenging aspects of message or sermon delivery in the church, and in many spiritual settings – the effect of which is unknown to many of us as it goes to reduce the positive outcome of our sermon delivery has to do with the area of audience definitional ambiquity and compositional complexity
This peculiar delivery challenge is actually common with the conventional nature of our congregational setting based on the varying demographic make-up of worshippers characterized by a differing spiritual maturity or experience, and need per time.
While in the secular or conventional school or academic or educational setting there will be a class division and disparity that is purely based on maturity or experience, in the church we tend to have an audience that lacks this class divisional design or demarcation.
And the challenge that this situation creates is that a preacher or teacher in the fold will have an audience that is simply made-up of both the matured and the imatured, the experienced and the inexperienced, canal and spiritual brethren, and sometimes even a mixture of believers and unbelievers to teach or preach to at the same time and place.
This is really an unthoughtful and complex delivery situation in that the preacher or the teacher will have no difinite standard to adopt in his or her delivery. And this is even more complex when there is no formal, or a defined approach of separating the matured from the imatured believers, or nominal members from the workers or ministers or leaders as done by Jesus in His ministry time on earth in some instances whereby He separated His disciples from the multitude so as to teach or instruct them separately based on their differing strength or grace and status.
Truly, the Sunday school system has suffered in this regard. A situation whereby you have brethren of varying spiritual growth to impart at a given time and place with the same message strength. Consequently, only a segment of the mixture will be built while others suffer spiritual deprivation on a continuous basis, and this will in the end impart negatively on the spiritual growth and maturity of the church in its entirety.
Now, this strange delivery situation in our local churches only calls for a strong help of the Holy Spirit. And, on the side of the pastors, preachers, teachers, etc. it calls for a conscious awareness of this situation, and therefore efforts must to a large extent be geared toward careful consideration and understanding of the demographic intent of the congregation or brethren we teach at any given time, and indeed have the brethren go through a moment of introduction which may reveal their spiritual status per time in an instance that permits that before delivery takes off.
Finally, churches must as much as possible design an approach whereby messages can further be delivered strictly to a set of brethren with common spiritual needs, hunger, growth, and strength. This is no doubt an enormous challenge, but the positive outcome in the end worths the sacrifice.
Prof. Stewart Mba, Pastor