They don’t care how clever your outline is. They aren’t impressed by your grasp of the Bible’s themes. They’re not compelled by your harangue decrying our culture’s loss of confidence in absolutes. They’re not pizzazzed by your half-baked attempt to integrate technology. And they’re not feeling welcomed by your cheesy welcome wagon smile and “Good morning!” greeting.
Who are these people? And why are they so unforgiving?
These are the people for whom, hopefully, you’ve planted your church.
You can take this one of two ways.
You could criticize them for being closed-minded with respect to Christianity while they’re open-minded toward paganism. You could argue that its not your job to persuade the hard-hearted. You could complain that your big smile up front is a lot more tolerant than their frown and folded arms in the back of the room.
Or, like Tim Keller said last week in Greenville, you could preach like they’ve got one foot out the door.
I’ll be posting some thoughts in the coming weeks about what I think this kind of preaching looks and sounds like. And in the mean time, thanks to Keller, I’ll be thinking hard about whether I’m preaching with this particular kind of misisonal, contextual, gospel urgency. I think I’ve got a lot of work to do on this front. You probably do too.
What do you think it means to “preach like they’ve got one foot out the door”?