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The Preaching Congregation

Compelling Preaching

The Preaching Congregation program invites clergy and congregation members into a structured process of mutual exchange that brings the congregation into a deeper appreciation of sermon preparation and development and provides the preacher with informed feedback during sermon creation as well as after its delivery.

The process within participating parishes will create a rotating 16-week program that brings together preachers and a handpicked group of lay members to create a generative feedback loop around the creation of each Sunday sermon. Not only will parish members offer their reactions after the sermon, they also will join in exegetical exercises on the lectionary texts for future Sundays, giving the preacher additional insight into the community in advance of crafting the sermon. The sermon then becomes the work of the whole congregation, meaning there is never just a preacher but always the preaching congregation.

The Episcopal Preaching Foundation received a five-year grant of $829,000 to develop this collaborative feedback model from the Lilly Endowment’s Compelling Preaching Initiative. The Compelling Preaching Initiative is part of the Endowment’s longstanding interest in supporting projects that help to nurture the religious lives of individuals and families and foster the growth and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States. Read the release

Executive Director Peter Wild offers a short video explanation of the Preaching Congregation initiative.

Interested in learning more about the program? Fill out our contact form, and we’ll be in touch!