How do we preach Mark Antony style? How do we connect with and convince people who may have showed up cynical and skeptical?
One last thought: Be yourself. That dude who came in to your service for some odd reason but thinks this Christianity and church thing is a load of crap, he needs to think that he could hang out with you. If you seem like someone who is too religious, too holy, too cheesy, well then it may hardly matter what you say. He needs to think, “Oh, wow. That guy is normal. I could hang with him.”
So be normal. I make sure I’m myself. That may seem, well, obvious and very easy to do, but it’s not always. There are expectations on preachers. You know the bible totally, you never sin, everything is together. It’s difficult to not live up to all that. But it makes you real when you don’t. So be honest when you don’t know the bible, sin, or don’t have all your stuff together.
I will actually push this pretty far, perhaps too far. I will make jokes that border on inappropriate and irreverent, to help ensure that no one could possibly leave thinking I’m the “typical preacher.” The people who want a “typical preacher” won’t like that, but I’m not concerned about them. If they leave and won’t come back to my church, they’ll go to some other church. I’m focused on the people who if they leave, may not go to church ever again. I want to bust their negative stereotypes of pastors and help them realize I’m a guy with whom they could hang. So I have to be real, be normal, be myself.
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