I have been studying how to listen well for a Pastoral Counseling course at Liberty Seminary. This quote about congregational listening struck me as encouraging. For us preachers, kinds words and supportive comments during or after the sermon are extremely encouraging.
“Once at at preaching conference, I heard a nationally recognized African-American preacher discussing the “amens” and other vocal responses of his congregation during his sermons. Many of us were not used to such an interactive style.
“It isn’t just up to preachers [talkers] to get the message across. We need help. Preaching takes a lot of work from the congregation [the listeners] too. After services sometimes my people say, ‘We did good this morning!’ Now that’s real preaching when they feel like we did it together.”
Kollar, C.A., (2011) Solution-Focused Pastoral Counseling An Affective Short-Term Approach for Getting People Back on Track. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.53