How To Speak To The Less Than Ideal Crowd

We’ve asked some of our high school seniors to give a testimony to our 5th and 6th graders explaining how they discovered their God given potential over the years.  This past weekend only 6 students showed up to hear our first senior speak (We usually have 50).  Afterwards she said, “I didn’t realize how the size of an audience would impact my speaking.”  You could sense a little disappointment in her voice, but nonetheless she delivered a great story and did it with love.
Unfortunately, we’re not always mature about the crowd that we receive on any given Sunday because it isn’t the ideal audience that we envisioned.  Maybe it’s because they are too small, a little noisy or disengaged.  With that said how do you speak to the less than ideal crowd?  You should always:

  • Be Ready To Adapt – When the crowd is small for us we might turn off the mic, grab everyone close and deliver the message in a small group setting.  If it’s nice outside we’ll move it outside.  To force your same routine over and over again can sometimes derail you off of God’s plan for the evening.
  • Keep Going – You might want to quit because the crowd is restless or small.  Sometimes we have to speak through the noise.  I’m not saying you can’t take a pause or two to grab the crowds attention, but don’t hold them from hearing God’s word, they need it. 
  • Focus On One – If the crowd is 1 or 1000 think of a student you want to hear this message.  You don’t have to stare at them the whole time, just keep them in mind.  Make it your goal to speak to that one student.  Too often our disappointment and frustration with the crowd is because we are trying to reach everyone at once.
  • Thank God – Whether it was a rough night or smooth sailing be sure to always thank God.  Even in our disappointment God finds fruit to bear.  While it might have been an awful night for you a teen’s life could have been changing.  Besides, everything we are doing is about Him, so give Him the glory.

I’m not sure what the ideal crowd is, or what you are expecting but in the end what we do isn’t about us, it’s about God.  After all it’s not like Christ always had an “ideal” crowd to speak to.  You can only imagine how difficult it was for Him to speak to people who were confrontational.  You and I know it isn’t about us, in the end it’s about God and sharing His story.