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Preaching to an Unknown Audience

Item#: MM21-10


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Practical advice for connecting with unknown audience members, especially your digital listeners.

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Guest: Dr. David Schmitt is a pastor and teacher. He currently teaches preaching to future pastors.

Introduction: Explore ways to best connect with the growing online audiences and to avoid the pitfalls of this new experience.


  • How to connect
    • Consider common contact points with those unknown people—help them find a connection
      • Cultural experience, events in the world
      • Self—if authentic, passionate, and sincere
      • Community of faith
    • Foundational truths, basic teachings
      • Message of a sermon
      • Check your assumptions
    • Helpful practices
      • Welcome and acknowledge online visitors
      • Speak TO not ABOUT
      • “Backing into theology”
        • Start with the human experience, a story
        • Then explain those theological terms
      • “Rhetorical spaces”: help listeners identify with your examples
    • Dangers to avoid
      • Missing what God calls us to do
      • Reducing faith to reason rather than relationship
    • Value in doing it?
      • Fulfills the Great Commission
      • Models how we want listeners to speak—what and how to speak
    • Follow-up
      • Recognize online potential
      • Curate the resources
        • Invest in organization
        • Additional info, resources
      • Contact points
      • Connections with people

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