Postmodernism 11 - Preaching to Postmoderns

From Sunesis. Posted with permission. Read the series so far.

The postmodern church began as a reaction to the megachurch movement and the impersonality of the big churches. The emerging churches all started small and promoted the superiority of their smallness. That is not heard so much anymore, now that some emerging churches have become the next megachurches. Some of the postmodern church members and leaders may not be believers; this is obvious as you look at some of their beliefs. There are, however, some believing postmoderns; there should and could be many more. Most postmoderns are outside any type of church. We have a great opportunity to evangelize them.

Postmoderns like groups, and there is much to be said for the use of small groups in reaching the postmodernist. Those who are truly postmodern still value the group and the group mentality. Small group Sunday Schools (perhaps too formal for some postmoderns) and home-based small groups (more inviting for the postmodern) can be used effectively to reach this group (and moderns, as well).

Postmoderns value authenticity and transparency, although they are burdened by the issue of power and control as well. Note our US President who has both the most transparent presidency (by his own account) and the most authoritarian presidency (by others’ account) in the history of the United States. True believers have the greatest basis for authenticity—we were sinners, dead in our trespasses and sins. No one claims otherwise. We were saved by the grace of God and not because of our own abilities or efforts.

Postmoderns value discussion. Believers cannot yield to the pluralism of our day, but this pluralism opens opportunities to talk about Christ, Christianity, and salvation. We hold to the truth, but we are also willing to listen to the objections and viewpoints of the postmoderns. Listening is not the same as agreeing. Postmoderns are more willing to accept a non-scientific view of origins, so some are as open to creation as they are to evolution. Because of their pluralism, they are willing to listen to the minority view and reject the authority of Romanism or mainstream Protestantism. Because they like narrative, they are interested in listening to your story. They are willing to accept the miraculous, so salvation is not beyond their intellectual comprehension.

Winning a lost postmodern is not much different than winning a lost modern or premodern. Our God is unaffected by human philosophies. The gospel does not vary with the winds of human change. The Holy Spirit continues to convict the world. Jesus Christ is just as much the Savior of a 21st century postmodern as He was the Savior of the early church.