How do you preach in a Postmodern World?
To begin with
Know your audience. Some churches seem not yet to be postmodern. Yet like it or not the members inhabit the postmodern world.
Have confidence in your Bible. God’s word is alive.
Dip your toes in the world your congregation inhabits. Read the Sun occasionally; 10 million people a day do.
Don’t try too hard to compete with the world. In a high-tech world, low-tech works. The sales staff of postmodernism care more about products than people. We shouldn’t.
Look at Paul’s example of preaching in a strange culture (Acts 17:16-34).
Don’t assume you know what questions your audience is asking.
Don’t assume a background of Bible knowledge; not everyone knows the stories of David and Goliath, or Noah and the flood these days.
Don’t show off your knowledge of the postmodern world until you have one.
Don’t look for the key to the scriptures outside scripture.
For each new Bible passage ask yourself, ‘What seems odd to me?’
Use visual aids to help your listeners remember the most important 5%.
Write your conclusion first. This is where you want to leave your audience.
For each of your main points try and have a story, a picture and a question.
Love God’s word and love his people; pastor and teacher are linked in the New Testament (Ephesians 4:11).
Some useful resources
Preaching to a Postmodern World
A Guide to reaching twenty-first century listeners
When God’s Word is Heard
Essays on preaching presented to Dick Lucas
Ed. Christopher Green and David Jackman
Connect Bible Studies
What does the Bible say about…
Studies available on Harry Potter, the Matrix, superheroes, football, U2, Destiny’s Child and many more. Also available as a download from http://www.connectbiblestudies.com/
A web-site for people who don’t go to church any more. Read why.
Mike Riddell is a theology tutor in new Zealand with lots to say about being human and being church. Start from his home-page and browse his world.