Preaching: Mark Antony Style (2 of 5)

How do we preach Mark Antony style? How do we connect with and convince people who may have showed up cynical and skeptical?

One of the keys is to have a dialogue. The lost person you are trying to reach has a bunch of questions and objections to what you’re saying in your sermon. If you don’t acknowledge that, they will walk out with those same questions and objections. Yeah, maybe they listened to you, and hopefully you planted some seeds. But, more likely than not, they left thinking, “He believes he knows what he’s talking about, but he wouldn’t if he knew my questions and objections. If he let me ask my questions and make my objections, I’d make him look dumb. He’d discover he doesn’t know what he thinks he knows.”

So how do you overcome that? You have a dialogue. You ask his questions and present his objections. Then you answer them. I’ve heard of a few churches that actually allow dialogue, so that dude is given a mike and a chance to throw down. That’s an option. But for me, I ask his questions and present his objections. In fact, I sometimes fear that my sermons might sound a little schizophrenic because I spend a lot of time having a dialogue … with myself.

So it might go: “So God asks us to give Him ten percent of our income. And you’re like, ‘Are you kidding me?!?’ No, I’m serious. So you’re thinking, ‘But it’s my money. And how in the world could I afford to live on 90% of my income? I can’t even make it on 100%! This is just another church trying to get rich while I get poor.’ Man, those are good questions. Let’s talk through them…”

Or, “…and so our problem is sin. Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Great, another church talking about sin and telling me that I’m bad. But you know what? It’s not you. It’s all of us. Me just as much, maybe more than you. Let’s talk about what sin actually means…”

And, “and our choice to sin leads to separation from God, and if we die in that state we’ll be separated from God for all eternity, which is what the Bible calls Hell. And you’re thinking, ‘Unbelievable! You’re gonna go there? I thought this church wasn’t like that!’ Well, I don’t like talking about this either, but if I believe it, and I care about you, what kind of jerk am I if I don’t talk about it? Now the question you’re probably asking is, ‘Why would a loving God send someone to Hell?’ And that’s a great question. So let’s talk about it. I think there’s probably three answers to that question ….”

Make your sermon a dialogue. Try not to let the skeptical cynics leave with questions you haven’t answered or objections you haven’t addressed. Next time we’ll talk about being crazy, until then – don’t take your clothes off for the video, even if you need the money.

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