After talking passionately for several minutes, someone in the crowd interrupts by loudly saying, "Dude, you're preaching to the wrong audience!" How embarrassing and sad. You completely missed your target. It turns out that this particular audience was present to hear about impressionistic art. These folks had no need for what you had to say. In a different location was the crowd who would have benefited from your words. Plainly put, you were preaching to the wrong people.
This is what happens every Sunday in church buildings all across the world. Tomorrow morning thousands upon thousands of preachers will preach to the wrong people. The church doesn't need or benefit from being preached at. The church needs no monologue lectures telling them the gospel message. Sitting passively, listening to a preacher is the worst way to learn anything. It's not necessary and borders on a waste of time. This is because the preachers have targeted the wrong audience.
The correct audience is actually outside the walls of the church building. Preachers (which should, by the way, include all of us) should target the lost, not the church. It is those separated from Jesus Christ who need to hear good preaching. They are in desperate need of the gospel. Although they may not want to hear it, they need it. They actually gain from solid preaching.
As the church as a whole we need to do a better job with our aim. Preaching to the church is a waste of both time and effort. There's no benefit. Instead, let's make sure that we aim our message in the right direction. That direction is to those who need it: those who don't (yet) follow after Christ.
Part of me wishes that tomorrow someone somewhere would stand up during a worship service and say, "Dude, you're preaching to the wrong audience!" Alas, that's not likely to happen. Despite that, let's all work on our own aim and have plenty of target practice. The lost need the good news. May we target them liberally.