How to Increase the Power of your Preaching Through Stories

by Kelvin Onongha

Jesus is perhaps the greatest Storyteller in history. He told stories not to entertain crowds, not to carry on a philosophic dialogue with seekers and skeptics, and not to establish a name for Himself as the Transmitter of knowledge and wisdom. He told stories—simple and elegant—to reveal the nature of God, the problem of sin, and God’s redemptive mission. Jesus was the Great Communicator of the deep and abiding lessons in the plan of salvation in simple and understandable forms.1 He spoke the language of the people and showed keen understanding of their pains and pleasures.2 As a Master Teacher, He taught theology that was rooted in day-to-day life and expe­riences rather than in abstract and abstruse theories. Although His stories and sayings were vivid reflections of everyday life of the period3 in which He lived, they still carry a timeless value to our own time.

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Expository Narrative Preaching

by Laurence Turner

In this chapter I do not set out to map the characteristics of postmodernism.  Other contributors to this volume do this more than adequately.  Rather, I assume a general familiarity with postmodernism and consider one very particular way in which its challenges may be addressed by better understanding a major genre of biblical literature.  First, we will explore the nature and style of biblical narratives in order to make their mode of operation clear.   Secondly, we will consider what contemporary preachers might learn from biblical narrators about communicating effectively to postmoderns. This approach is based on the twin convictions that biblical narratives speak directly to our postmodern age and that preaching in that context, if it is to be truly Christian, must still be biblically based.

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Six Guidelines for Preaching to Postmoderns

By Rich Nathan

Postmoderns are drowning in an ocean of choices and are looking for guidance. In the face of endless options and perspectives, people are frustrated by the complexity of life and have found that the rules they were taught as children no longer seem to apply. Every belief, every fact, every person seems to have another side to them or another angle to it. How do we speak the guiding truth of Christ to a world of shifting perspectives and endless options?

People Are Looking For Authenticity In An Age Of Sales Pitches

It simply isn’t sufficient to build the positive case for Christianity, the wonderful contribution that Christians have made to the world. One significant bridge building technique is to admit that there are valid objections to the way Christians have treated others in history. For example, I have spoken as a Jewish person to the way some Christian heroes have related to Jews. I’ve read passages from Martin Luther’s “On the Jews and Their Lies.” Luther recommends that Jewish synagogues be burned to the ground and that Jews be driven out of their homes and be forced to wander from village to village, friendless, and homeless. He recommended that Jewish books be burned in the public square, that their businesses be destroyed. Luther’s viewpoints might have been the seed from which German Nazism and barbarism like Krystalnacht, the Night of Broken Glass happened. 

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Preaching in a Postmodern Culture

By Graham Johnston 

It is the heart of every pastor to reach the lost and disciple them in the ways of Christ. But some of us will never be successful at doing this because we do not understand the postmodern culture around us.
Unless you have been asleep at the wheel for the last couple of decades, you have undoubtedly noticed the profound changes in our culture and grappled with how these changes relate to pastoring a church. The fact is, preaching effectively in today's world requires a significantly different approach from preaching in prior decades. If biblical communicators fail to perceive the significant ideological shifts affecting humanity, the church may wake up to discover that preachers are merely talking to themselves about matters only the deeply committed comprehend.
How should a pastor respond to these societal changes? How can he best connect with and challenge the postmodern listener? The following four principles provide a good starting point. They will make the difference in the efficacy of your preaching in our postmodern climate.

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First Steps in Postmodern Preaching

By D.P.Teague

Many pastors who preach to postmodern people say that one of the greatest challenges is to earn the right to be heard and believed. We earn this right by being authentic, biblical, relevant and holistic.

1. Being Authentic

People today crave authenticity. That's why Johnny Cash, the singer, had a great appeal among young people even in his elderly years. 
How can we be authentic communicators? For centuries it was taught that authentic speech entails three elements:

Logos = our words

Ethos = our character

Pathos = our conviction

In other words, authentic communication involves not just what we say, but who we are. If this was true for centuries in the past, it is especially true in the postmodern era.

Postmodern people respond best to those who are:


People want to know who we are and what we do, not just what we say and believe. They want to know the difference the living God makes in our own lives.


It is not enough just to read words from a manuscript. Do we have an honest passion as well?


Postmodern people do not like to be controlled or manipulated. They do not respond to guilt or obligation. They do not want emotionalism for its own sake.

Focused on God

Our purpose is to change lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We are followers of God, not preaching machines. We teach people to be disciples, not trained listeners.

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