4 Tips for Inspiring a Congregation
Managing a congregation can be challenging at the best of times. You need to focus on the right message, delivered in the right way, to reach the right people. And it can always be difficult when you know people aren’t listening.
So how do you inspire a congregation and get them more involved?
Involve them (literally)
It may seem like the obvious answer but if you can’t engage people, you need to involve them instead. It’s too easy to spend time talking at people, and we all know this isn’t the most effective way of getting your message out there.
When it comes to teaching and inspiring children, involvement is the only way to get them to pay attention, and the same applies to adults.
Involve a Q&A session, or get people up and moving about to keep them listening to what it is you’re saying. Even incorporate a game or two if possible. Anything that detracts from the norm and gets them mentally or physically involved is a winner.
Create a community
Although they might be a congregation, are they a community? Host coffee mornings and local events, introduce people to each other to encourage conversation, or allow people to mingle and network both before and after.
Creating a community spirit can be difficult and to start with as you won’t know if it’s working or not. Try thinking outside the box a little; how can you get people to support each other, how can you get them communicating without you in the middle?
Installing an outdoor noticeboard can be a great way to help build that community spirit. People can contribute and help manage it and provide a central place where members of your congregation can share news or ask for help.
Everyone remembers humour. And humour is often the easiest way of getting through to people. Do you want your congregation to pay attention and remember what you’re saying? Then inject some humour into your talk.
That doesn’t mean you have to include a knock knock joke when you can see people nodding off, but spend time thinking about how humour can bring your talk to life.
Change the setting
When it’s a glorious day outside and the sun is shining, the last thing anyone wants to do is sit inside where it’s cold and draughty. Moving your congregation outside could provide surprising results and make your talk a lot more memorable.
For the older members of the congregation, this might be a little more difficult, and sitting on the ground might not be very practical. You’ll need to gather together some chairs and set them out but this is an easy hurdle to overcome and it will definitely breathe new life into what it is you have to say.
Inspiring a congregation isn’t impossible, but it does requires reassessing your current methods and potentially changing how you do things. Do be afraid to get everyone involved and allow others to input ideas to create a true community feel.