Getting to hear Tim Keller, Matt Chandler, James Meeks and Andy Stanley speak about preaching was like a preacher’s heaven. So good. Here are some notes from each talk:
- How to persuade unbelievers in a sermon: Learn how to persuade with people’s own beliefs, Use people’s beliefs against them, You have to solve heart problems with the gospel, You have to demonstrate to the non-Christian that you know what it is like to not believe, to doubt, and Speak to non-Christians directly. Talk about what they are thinking in that moment. By doing this, you communicate that you know they are there and that their doubts matter.
- Postmodern people want to know how the gospel fits.
- If you preach to the heart every week, the non-Christians will hear the gospel every week.
Matt Chandler preached from Luke 15 to show what happens when preaching happens.
- When the gospel is clearly preached, the most heinous sinners are drawn in.
- Gospel preaching deconstructs and then reconstructs at the same time.
- Jesus isn’t just after the prodigals, he is after the self-righteous hypocrite as well.
- Don’t live vicariously through someone else or books. Don’t have other people hanging out with lost people’s stories.
- Trust the bible.
- If you move from biblical doctrine, you’ll have nothing to save people to because you won’t have anything to save them from.
- Whatever you want people to know or do, you must preach that.
- Preach the announcements.
- Your approach to preaching is everything.
- Your approach is more important than content.
- If you take the wrong approach in preaching, it won’t matter if you have good content.
- If you don’t care what people do with what you say, you don’t care about people.
- Jesus didn’t come to make a point.
- Preachers aren’t to make a point or be right, they are to win people.
- The foundation of our faith is not the bible but an event.
- The problem when you say “The bible says” is what else the bible says.
- You take the bible seriously because you take Jesus seriously and Jesus took the Old Testament seriously.
Then they had a panel discussion and here are some tidbits from that:
- Churches that create an environment for outsiders are positive. Churches that don’t are negative. Churches that go negatively quickly are inside focused.
- People aren’t a truth quest; they are on a happiness quest. Preaching needs to start there, embrace the tension people have and then move them to the gospel.
- If the gospel doesn’t hit on the redemption of all things, it is hard for people to move forward and see the point of things.
- We need to care about eternal suffering, but also all suffering.
- A preacher needs to be the most sanctified version of himself, not someone else.
- A preacher needs to have fun. If you don’t have fun, otherwise people won’t have fun.
- When you preach, give non-Christians an out and tell them, “you don’t have to do this.”
- If you give non-Christians an out in a sermon, they lean in.
- A good critical question for a preacher to ask after a sermon is, “Was the sermon fair in its viewpoint of non-Christians?”
- A preacher should be prepared.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Don’t forget that the work of preaching is supernatural.
- Don’t have faith in your sermon, have faith in the Holy Spirit.