How can a preacher apply a text to the church as a whole?
- Look for ways to teach and affirm biblical commands about what the church does when it gathers.
- Look for opportunities to teach the congregation about their individual responsibilities to one another in daily Christian living.
- Look for ways to promote trust in the church’s leadership.
This doesn’t require you to wait for texts that explicitly address those topics. For example, any text encouraging Christians towards humility can be legitimately applied by exhorting church members to submit to their leaders and one another.
In conclusion, a preacher should develop an eye for perceiving the Christian life through a congregational lens such that he can see how any biblical command will look when it’s applied to the life of the whole church. One practical way to do this is for the preacher to take the application points in a sermon he’s going to preach and ask, “How would this look if it was applied to our church as a whole? How does this point relate to the corporate life of our entire church?”