When pastors preach or someone shares the gospel, they start with, “your’re a sinner and need Jesus.” On the one hand, this makes sense. Apart from Jesus we are sinners. We need a Savior and we can’t save ourselves.
The problem in our culture is that the idea of being a sinner is not something everyone agrees with, nor can they relate to.
This past Sunday, I started preaching through the gospel of John at Revolution Church and was struck with how John takes Jesus back to creation. John talks about Jesus being at creation, with God the Father, creating all things.
He does this for an important reason and one that impacts preaching and sharing the gospel. Zach Eswine in his book Preaching to a Post-Everything World points out that within all of us is a longing for the garden. If you think about relationships and community, we long for community where we are known and know others. We want to be accepted. We strive for that. We long for the relationship with God that Adam and Eve experienced in the garden. We long for our work to be meaningful and purposeful. We long for rest that is truly restful.
We long for the way God created life to be lived.
When you preach, you need to start with the garden, where Scripture starts. Scripture does not start with “you are a sinner in need of grace.” It starts with God, in a world created as it should be. Show the desire that are universal to all people. Show them why they have the longings they have. Then, how sin has tainted and ruined those things. Then, how Jesus is the answer to those things, how Jesus changes everything.