Amen! Preach It! Preaching and Congregational Response

Our church is usually fairly quiet when I preach, but we had some guests a few weeks back who were more than generous with their “Amen’s” and “Praise God’s” during the message. That has sparked some interesting conversations in the last few weeks about congregational response during preaching. I don’t mind preaching to a quiet church as along as they are actively listening, but I must admit, some congregational response is certainly encouraging.

I remember preaching at a small black church in Mississippi during the summer of 2000. I think they spoke during the message as much as I did! It took me awhile to get into the rhythm of it all, but it was a fun experience preaching, and one that I will always treasure.

My favorite moment? After the church had vigorously “Amen’ed” and otherwise affirmed the previous points of the message, I warned them that I might step on a few toes with my next comment. At which point the whole church shouted back to me in unison, “You step on our toes, preacher!”

How about you? What is your church like during preaching? Quiet? Responsive? How do you think it should be?

Here is an article someone sent me from World Magazine on this very topic, called ‘Amen!’ ‘Preach It!’

1 Comment

  1. Barrie says:

    I think that congregation comments during the service are an effective way for some people to affirm their belief’s when they hear some favorable conversation. I have attended many church’s that encourage this approach and found it very positive. I just came back from a trip to San Pedro Sula, Honduras and can tell you that Pastor Julio’s church in Riviera Hernandez is of this method and the whole church was actively involved in the service.


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