Whoops: Preaching to the Unchurched (5)

The reason I started this blog was to try and help pastors who truly want to reach people who are far from God, but may need a little help with that. This is about the only thing I do well, so someone suggested I share ideas. — Anyway, I recently read a sermon by someone who is a great guy and great preacher and who wants to reach the lost. Yet in this sermon he made, in my opinion, some critical mistakes that would keep him from connecting with the unchurched, and may well keep them from coming back to his church. I received his permission to share some examples. — So here’s the deal…

Read the following excerpt from his sermon and see if you can spot the “mistake.” Then I’ll share with you what I saw, and how I would correct it.

The last group, mentioned in verse 18, is the Stoics. The core tenet of Stoicism is cosmic determinism. They believed that the laws of nature have already set in motion what is going to happen, and the best thing we can do is accept our fate with a cooperative attitude.

So what’s the problem? I’m not comfortable with so cavalierly using the term “cosmic determinism.”

So what’s the solution? I would have said, “is what’s called cosmic determinism.” By simply adding those two words it gives the impression that “cosmic determinism” are not words you use regularly and feel comfortable with. Because if those are words you use regularly and with which you feel comfortable, you are not a guy I can hang out with! And I think that for most unchurched people, one of the main things they’re asking about you is, “Is this a guy I could hang out with?” It is absolutely critical that you help people to think they could. So it’s important that you make it sound like “cosmic determinism” is a foreign term for you, just like it is for them.