Unless the whole community is converted, a preacher ought not to be satisfied with preaching only, or mainly, to his own members. Where this is the case, there is something wrong with the preacher. If there is no interest, he should awaken an interest.
But alas! Probably none needs awakening more than himself. A man cannot be deeply interested in anything without, if he tries, exciting an interest in others. This is doubly true in the great matter of salvation. A lack of interest in the congregation-much more, the lack of a congregation-proves that the preacher is spiritually dead.
“Let Zion’s watchmen all awake
And take the alarm they give.”
If you cannot get the people to come to you, then go to them. Visit them at their homes. Show an interest in them, a sympathy for them. If you are in town, hold a meeting in the street, just before the time for meeting in the church.
Form a procession and march, with singing in the Spirit, to the church. This never fails to draw a congregation. Keep up an interest in the meeting. Long, dull, prosy prayers and exhortations drive the people away. Get others to take a part in the meeting. Begin in the Spirit, and go on in the Spirit to the close.