I mentioned yesterday that I was going to a seminar by Rico Tice on preaching evangelistically. It was a great morning as Rico gave us lots to think about as well as examples of how to take people over the “pain line”. The pain line is a series of truths that people need to accept and take on board as they come to faith: trusting the bible as the way to find the true identity of Jesus; understanding the cross in the light of the reality of hell and the wrath of God; the need to repent. Rico has a real gift of making these truths clear in a way which not only makes sense but makes the hearer know that he is for them and not against them.
This Venn diagram (taken from Tolkien’s observations of preaching – letter to his Son 24 April 1944) shows the framework Rico works with for his preaching.
I’ve added the biblical references. Rico focused on virtue, dealing with the secret sins of lust and anger and the need for genuine self deprecation in the preacher. On art he modelled ways to get people to see parallel scenarios to the gospel (e.g. “smoking Kills” warnings on cigarette packets) which connects with the hearer and makes sense of why he speaks to them about Christ. Knowledge, the bible, again getting people over the pain line so that they will be willing to look at the bible. I’m looking forward to hearing the MP3s of the sessions, because I’ve forgotten how he put things! [the MP3’s are now available at the Castle Church website]