What you say in the sermon is important–but so is what you say before and after the message.

We live in a relational age, and the interactions we have with people make an impact on how they hear our sermons. In a recent article for Pastors.com, Rick Warren observes, “As you greet people before and after the service, you’re preparing the way for them to receive the message. Here are at least three things to give to the attenders you interact with outside the service.

A welcoming face.
A meaningful touch.
An encouraging word.

Many people who walk onto your campus on Sunday haven’t had a friendly conversation or a meaningful, positive touch all week long. Your smile, your demeanor, your openness to people can pave the way for life change to happen. Your hug, your handshake, your pat on the back may send a message of affirmation and acceptance that you may never fully understand yourself. And in a world of constant criticism and negativity, your words of encouragement can lift the broken soul.

You’re going to work hard this week preparing a sermon for Sunday. But don’t neglect the message you’ll preach before and after the service.”  [Read Rick’s full article]


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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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