“Can I Get An Amen?”
Mark Dever, in speaking about preaching, say this . . . .
Mark Dever audio clip — @ 14:08 Mark of the presentation on preaching
Alright, the second thing I try to accomplish with my introductions – usually — is to involve the non-Christian present – and at best – and I don’t think I always suceed at this by any means — this is what I am trying to do —
Let them know that they are heard.
That their concerns, and questions, and objections are being taken into account in the sermon they are to listen to.
Sometimes Bible-believing preachers will mock the outside world — I don’t think that useful.
I do think there are some text you preach on or someplace in the sermon, you may faithful do that every so often or if it’s found in that text.
But I think particularly when you begin — you want to show – the non-Christians who are present – that you understand they’re there – and you’re intending to engage with them too — during the sermon
Generally, people who are differing with you will assume that your arguments are off – because you don’t understand something about them – their concerns — their perspective
Well, I would like to understand them — I’d like to show them that I am preaching as someone who has at least — has tried to understand them.
I like the words — “I don’t think that useful.” That is a good way to express the nature of mocking the beliefs and behavior of “those in the outside world” or the “non-Christian” — which are also sensitive words used to refer to “unbelievers.”
There is a sensitivity that Dever expresses in his words and wording which authenticates his stated desire to reach the hearts of those who may be listening, who may well struggle with what he is preaching!
It is easy to fall into the rhetorical arena of combat and move more towards “expression that persuasion.” “Pastoral & Rhetorical Bluster” may go over well with some – many? – of God’s people and some congregations, but if you are desirous of and expecting the presence of those in the outside world, it may not be useful!
There are preachers who enjoy such Bluster — with the throwing of “red meat” into the arena. Sometimes because . . . .
• it feels good to us as Christians. “We” see ourselves as marginalized and dismissed by the world around us and this is a little verbal counter-punching.
• it generates an “Amen.” We enjoy some kind of audience response or responsiveness.
• it carries the flavor of “pastoral endorsement” — “Can I get an ‘Amen’?”
• “we” just want to get it off of our chest — “There, I said it, and I believe it and too bad if some don’t like it!” Perhaps there may be some, or many, in the congregation who disagree or don’t like me saying this-or-that, but I am saying it because I am a stalwart of the truth (or stubborn)!
• of insensitivity. It is not until something lands at the doorstep of our house or family that we see it a little different. It was easier to speak about this-or-that until we were dealing with or facing it — “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”
• it is believed to speak of one’s strength. One of the admired traits of a leader is a strength, resilience, forthrightness, and boldness and some believe that they are emulating that in such bluster.
I understand the temptation — been there – done it.
I also understand the “push-back” . . . .
“Our responsibility is to speak the truth, boldly, and unashamedly. To preach the whole counsel of God. Let the chips fall where they may!”
I also understand that time mellows a preacher, and the faster one mellows, the more likely that pastor is to come across winsome and not abrasive, to want to be more persuasive than expressive.
Additional Audio Clip Mark Dever on preaching to the non-Christian
Audio Clip of Mark Dever Giving An Example Of Actually Introducing A Message