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Reaching Different Generations

With an audience ranging from Builders to Millennials, preaching has changed—or has it?

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I cannot adopt a single approach to reach people today. Things have changed — the generation behind me, often called Generation X, tends to trust feelings over facts — but there's still a place for rational apologetics in our preaching. Many mid-life seekers still connect with the "Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord" approach. They want historical evidence for Jesus.

The young adult seeker, however, tends to ask different questions. He or she says, "I want to know there is a spiritual reality. I could live with it being myth, but I want to know it touches my soul."

I'm finding I have to use more "spiritual" terms in my preaching now. Twenty years ago pastors tended to stay away from such language because we were afraid of sounding churchy. Many non-Christians feel comfortable with spiritual language, although not knowing the reality behind it.

Recently, for example, a woman asked if she could have lunch with me and one of my associates. She said she had an important ...

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