Wise words here from Sam Crabtree:
“…give your congregation the benefit of the doubt that they may possess knowledge. They may know the very thing you are about to teach. Don’t assume your message is the first time they have considered such things. Don’t preach down to them.” (Crabtree, Practicing Affirmation , 110)
Us youngin’s certainly need to heed Crabtree’s warning here. Just because we are considering things and wrestling with things for the first time does not mean that every person in our congregation is too. One of the quickest ways to not only bore, but also alienate, your congregation is to preach down to them. (You probably already know that though don’t you?)
This takes a good amount of wisdom and pastoral sensitivity to accomplish. I say that because in one sense we should never assume people know anything. But at the same time we should not assume that they are ignorant either.
In the end this is a call for humility. May I heed it…