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PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS:

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By their love for one another. By their consistency of life. By their commitment, even unto death ... Per Leonard Sweet, Postmodern Pilgrims, worship should be: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS:


1
  • PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • Strategies

2
WHY STRATEGIES?
  • There are great philosophical and cultural
    differences that permeate our society
  • There may be great philosophical and cultural
    differences that separate you as ministers from
    those to whom you minister
  • The increasing diversification of the army
    requires us to adjust our methodologies to
    accomplish the religious support mission
  • Strategies provide intentional direction and
    focus for our methodologies

3
POSTMODERNS AND MOSAICS
  • Postmodernism is a way of thinking
  • Mosaics (millenials) are a demographic or
    generational category (1984-2002)
  • Not all Mosaics are postmodern in their thinking
  • Many boomers and busters ARE postmodern in
    their thinking
  • Mosaics
  • First generation to be surrounded by the
    influences and cultural baggage of postmodern
    thought
  • Understanding postmodernism
  • Helps us understand Mosaics (and others) who have
    been heavily influenced by postmodernism

4
DECONSTRUCTIONISM
  • Deconstructionism denies the objectivity of truth
  • Language is its own referent, nothing objective
    behind it or above it
  • Texts have no objective meaning meaning is what
    the reader finds in the text
  • Deconstructionism is the ground of popular
    relativism no absolutes
  • Not all Postmoderns are deconstructionists
  • But few escape its influence, e.g., in academia
  • And most share its skepticism about truth

5
DECONSTRUCTIONISM
  • Deconstructionism has heavily influenced the way
    we think and learn
  • Whereas classical scholarship sought the true,
    the beautiful, and the good, the postmodernist
    academy seeks what works. The traditional
    academic world operated by reason, study, and
    research postmodern academia is governed by
    ideological agendas, political correctness, and
    power struggles.
  • Gene Veith, Postmodern Times, 58

6
COPING WITH POSTMODERNISM
  • Acknowledge the paradigm has shifted
  • The church is no longer part of the
    establishment
  • We are living in a Post-Constantinian era
  • In many ways, the Post-Constantinian era is
    remarkably similar to the Pre- Constantinian era
  • How did the early church live?

7
COPING WITH POSTMODERNISM
  • Lessons from the early church
  • At the minimum, the early church sought to
    transform culture, rather than assimilate it
  • At times, it stood against culture
  • Early believers demonstrated the Christian faith
  • By their love for one another
  • By their consistency of life
  • By their commitment, even unto death
  • By their willingness to share the faith with all

8
COPING WITH POSTMODERNISM
  • Connecting to Postmoderns?
  • Remember- this is the MTV generation
  • Multi-tasking, non-linear learning
  • Short attention spans- homiletic structure?
  • Community-based learning
  • Be willing to dialog- not pontificate
  • Make use of story and personal witness
  • Remember that faith comes by hearing the Word of
    God!

9
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • The importance of imagery
  • The postmodern age is an image-rich age
    therefore postmodern preachers should draw on
    image-rich narratives and stories to present the
    gospel and make it clear. Craig Loscalzo,
    Apologetic Preaching, 22

10
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • The importance of authenticity
  • Apologetic preaching must offer the Christian
    faith without attempting to sell the church. AP,
    24
  • The presence of God is missing
  • The institutional church is no substitute for the
    reality of Gods presence
  • The preacher must be a loyal critic of the
    institutional church

11
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • The importance of authenticity
  • How something is said is as important as what is
    said. Graham Johnston, Preaching to Postmoderns,
    127
  • Be aware of the importance of language in either
    affirming or marginalizing people.
  • Sermons which are illustrated only by stories
    about men, quotations from men, and portraits of
    men receive an increasingly unfavorable response.
    Neither do they reflect a biblical reality.
    Haddon Robinson, A Voice in the Wilderness

12
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • The importance of theology
  • Apologetic preaching requires ministers to be
    servants of the Word. To neglect this theological
    task ranks paramount to ministerial malpractice.
    AP, 26
  • But, Lecture style sermons, with the preacher
    removed from the realities of life, do not
    communicate!!!

13
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • The importance of theology
  • The preacher is to give meaning to a culture
    that desperately seeks significance but does not
    know where to turn to find it. AP, 26
  • 21st century life presents multiple ambiguities
    and contradictions
  • People still seek, at some level, an
    understanding of life
  • Connect the dots between doctrine life

14
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • Preaching is a conversation grown large
  • This does not remove the doctrinal foundation of
    preaching
  • But adjusts its manner of presentation
  • Suggesting rather than arguing
  • Developing rather than concluding
  • Engaging rather than mandating
  • Thus saith the Lord
  • Is not incompatible with a servant stance
  • The Preacher is a fellow pilgrim

15
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • Consider Dialogic Preaching, Johnston, Preaching
    to a Postmodern World, 150
  • Use of the Socratic method
  • Use of conversational style
  • Use of body language, informality, openness
  • Consider Inductive Preaching, PtP, 151
  • Ask the question, pose the problem- start where
    the listener is!
  • Lay out the evidence and consider possibilities-
    engage listener in dialog
  • Work towards a solution- maintain suspense

16
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • Consider Storytelling, Johnston, PtPW, 155
  • The gospel is a story
  • Consider Jesus' use of parables
  • The Movement
  • Introduce the story with suspense
  • Use specifics and vivid imagery
  • Personalize (what does this say to you?)
  • Maintain flow!!
  • Internalize the emotional
  • Summarize your point

17
PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • Consider Multi-Media
  • How does our culture conveys its message???
  • The role of drama
  • The use of contemporary music
  • The rediscovery and employment of the arts
  • The opportunities afforded by digital and
    electronic technologies
  • The role of humor

18
MINISTRY TO POSTMODERNS
  • Per Leonard Sweet, Postmodern Pilgrims, worship
    should be
  • Experiential
  • Participatory
  • Image-Driven
  • Connected
  • This is supported by the work of Colleen Carroll,
    The New Faithful, and Robert Webber, The Younger
    Evangelicals

19
MINISTRY TO POSTMODERNS
  • We have focused our concerns primarily on
    preaching to Postmoderns
  • But- What are the implications of Postmodernism
    for other forms of ministry
  • Pastoral Counseling?
  • Religious Education?
  • Children and Youth Ministry?
  • Bible Studies?

20
MINISTRY TO POSTMODERNS
  • How does Postmodern thought provide new
    opportunities for ministry?
  • With its rejection of a rational worldview?
  • With its openness to personal story?
  • With its emphasis on the community as teacher and
    determiner of truth?
  • With its willingness to question the supremacy of
    scientific method?
  • With its rejection of human progress as certain?

21
  • PREACHING TO POSTMODERNS
  • Strategies
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