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Listening to Sermons Today

ROHO, a New York based media company that specializes in religious content is building an online sermon platform. This digital library is exclusively focused on bridging the divide between the tech industry and African-American Christians. As a company with a genuine interest in the viewing and listening behavior of African-American sermons we want to share the following insights gained through 13 months of analysis on the listening patterns of over 200 sermons.

For years several research studies have pointed to the fact that women vastly outnumber men in church attendance, yet our data shows while men may be underrepresented in the pews, they are big consumers of online sermons. In fact, the average man listens to sermons 10% longer than women.

Another interesting insight that ROHO sermon analytics show is that sermon titles really do matter. Sermon titles that provide easy to understand instructions or life applications are among the most popular in the entire library.

Every preacher knows the adage KISS: keep it short and simple. With the average attention span shrinking on a yearly basis, it is important for the preacher to deliver their message clearly and succinctly. However, our research indicates, most preachers are losing the attention of their audience due to making long introductions, perfunctory remarks and reciting tried and true jokes. To help ensure your listeners are in fact “with you” we suggest, keeping introductory statements to under 1 minute and eliminating long scripture readings, jokes, lengthy stories, and unnecessary repetition.

single post We suggest keeping introductory statements to under 1 minute and eliminating long scripture readings, jokes, lengthy stories, and unnecessary repetition.

The climax/conclusion, the most important part of the preaching moment for many, is often associated with clapping and shouting, and for most of us who preach repeating phrases or clichés, such as, “you missed it,” “this next praise...,” “I wish I had time,” or “y’all aren’t hearing me,” has become common practice. However, ROHO’s sermon analytics indicate that listeners want sermons to conclude well, to not have points repeated, and don’t want to be told that they have failed to grasp something.

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