This post will officially disqualify me from holding an office within the Southern Baptist Convention for at least 30 more years. It is not meant as slander. It is not meant to trash another man's preaching style. It is not even meant as a criticism. Here is the sacred cow that I'm getting ready to "insult"....I do not like Adrian Rogers' preaching. My pastor loves him, I love my pastor, but I do not share his love for Rogers' preaching. (Neither of us agree with him doctrinally on some points).
Apart from his anti-Calvinistic missiles here is why I do not like his preaching style. The alliteration and the constant "Here's what I'm going to tell you, Here's what I told you, etc." comes off to me as inauthentic and far too crafted. I think in days gone by this was the hip thing to do. Rogers did it better than anyone. Even his alliteration was alliterated. And it is a great tool for learning. Many books on preaching encourage you to use things like this to assist your hearers. Even parts of the Bible use it in forms. So, I am not against alliteration.
I am not sure what the underlying cultural values where that drove this type of preaching in Rogers' day--I was not in church then. But I do know that in our culture today for those under the age of 35 a far more effective method is passionate, messy, yet authentic preaching. I think people my age and younger are turned off by slick preaching and flashy rhetoric. People listen to passion and follow those that have it.
So here is my question and a little advice. The question is this--How do you effectively preach to those congregations that have Adrian Rogers-Charles Stanley-lovin' Southern Baptist as well as "what the heck is a Baptist"-Jesus lovin' postmoderns?
Advice--Preach the Word. Do not try to follow Adrian Rogers and do not try to follow Mark Driscoll or Matt Chandler. Be authentically who you are. If it helps you to think and preach with alliteration then do it but do it authentically. If you could care less about alliteration and are a messy Jesus lovin' postmodern preacher then do it authentically. Do not try to be who you are not. And lastly consider what John Owen said, "If the Word does not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us."