To attack laryngitis in your congregation head on, talk with your congregation’s lay and clergy leaders about how to start conversations about faith when you gather for worship.
• How can sermons become the first word rather than the last?
• How can you shape fellowship time so it becomes a training ground for the faithful to grow, rather than simply a social time to see old friends?
Over the next six months, we’d like to hear your answers and stories. Send them to elizabeth.hunter
@ thelutheran.org. The results will find their way into a future issue of The Lutheran.
1. Provide questions each week related to the sermon theme for people to think about or discuss with others.
2. Meet in small groups after Lenten, Advent or other services to discuss questions.
3. Don’t serve the food right away when you gather for a picnic, potluck or other meal. Have leaders facilitate mingling with a question that encourages all to share a faith story. Talk to people you don’t know really well. Finally, ask a layperson to lead the mealtime prayer.
4. Match Sunday school or other group topics with preaching texts so people not only hear the message but also process it. People remember almost all of what they say—almost none of what they hear.
5. Ask people questions about times in their lives that relate to the theme of a text (healing, reconciliation, etc.). Consider providing crayons so people can draw pictures of the incidents before they share. This prep time can help many people share more easily. In groups of two, ask people to share their stories or their drawings. Together pray, thanking God.
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© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers