I spent some time with Rico Tice going over the older version of my talk. It was the best feedback session ever. Brutal. But good. The biggest thing I'll take away is Rico saying "You can't just hold up Christ the Rock, you've got to show how the world is sinking sand." It immediately struck home with me. That's definitely a weakness in my preaching.
I've never really "preached against the culture" because I never want to come across as a Daily Mail reading nay-sayer. But the world is sinking sand, and prophets are meant to point that out. "Go out and get them" said Rico. "Don't just let down the net, go out and get them. Get your hook into them and reel them in."
So now, instead of just saying, "Follow Jesus, He's great" I also say - "And right now you're already following something. But it won't get you through death will it?"
Instead of just saying "Jesus brings joy" I also say "The world doesn't really do joy does it? Distraction, Entertainment, Comfort, but not Joy."
I've always been comfortable "painting Jesus in attractive colours". I hope I get better at that too. But I also need to show them the bankruptcy of the alternative. Not just Song of Songs. Ecclesiastes too.