preaching in a postmodern culture
rule #1…don’t engage listeners and neutralize the message
there are three dangers in doing this. first, we can lose our confidence in god’s word. second, we can lessen the effect of god’s word to bring change. and finally, we take a pragmatic approach that negates the supernatural. if we know the right switches to flip, we are tempted to reduce preaching to an art-form.
rule #2…follow the rules of effective communication
here are several practical ways to take barriers away from this awesome message you have put together: if your style is larger than the message…they will see you and not the message. if your language is more impressive than your message…they will listen to you but they will not hear the message. if you are short on creativity and long on information…the mind can only hear what the seat can endure.
rule #3…risk getting involved with the audience
we must enter the listener’s world of thinking with genuinness. a listener will become involved if they sense we are concerned about them. there is a wall between leadership and followers that must be removed…by leadership! what is our perceived attitude toward the listener’s world? ! internet, magazine, newspaper, documentaries, and real-life searches will acquaint you with our culture.
rule #4…address the real world and the biblical one
there are two worlds in their mind as they listen to us; the one they live in and the one they’ve heard about in the bible. parabolic preaching is powerful. it takes time and resources to connect yourself, but if it’s not done you will lose your audience. they spend more time in this world than they do in the historical one! to be relative is more important than to be relevant. the difference is in the relationship and not just the understanding of culture.