This post is part of the series on Preaching for youth. I’m a big fan of adapting your sermon to where your audience is in their spiritual journey. It means spending time to analyze where the majority of my audience will be in their journey with God and trying to determine what they need to make the next step. That means that when preaching for youth, I often preach seeker-sensitive, because I know that a lot of students are at the very beginning of their spiritual journey.
But I’ve discovered that not everyone knows what preaching seeker-sensitive means. There are a lot of prejudices and wrong associations about preaching seeker-sensitive, although I must admit some of them are caused by preachers applying the principle wrongly. Let me try to make clear what seeker-sensitive preaching is not.
It is not watering down the gospel
It is not just preaching the basics
It is not saying what your audience wants to hear
It is not presenting Jesus as the easy fix for all your problems
It is not choosing easy Bible passages
It is not avoiding words like hell or sin
It is not just preaching positive messages
It is not just topical preaching
It is not staying under 15 minutes time-wise
It is not using only short Bible passages
It is not preaching a less radical message
It is not just preaching from the New Testament
It is not preaching to make people feel good
It is not avoiding difficult topics
It is not preaching the prosperity gospel
To me, seeker-sensitive preaching means adapting my sermon to the fact that my audience is, for the most part, not committed to Christ. I see it as a golden opportunity to preach the Gospel in all its force, allowing God to work in hearts and draw people to Him. It means I carefully choose my topic, my passages, my words, my tone and my style so I have a better chance or reaching my audience with the wonderful news that Christ died for their sins. That’s it.
In the next post in this series on Preaching for Youth we’ll have a look at how you can adapt your message to make it seeker-sensitive.
What does preaching seeker-sensitive mean to you?