Seasoned with Grace

First, use some dry, self-deprecating humor to disarm your audience containing the leading political and religious figures of the day.  Next, state your theme clearly and repeat it in various ways throughout your message.  Then use powerful, historical illustrations that, because you have studied them thoroughly, you can use with authority to highlight your theme.  Sprinkle in a little more disarming humor.   Draw your audience into full agreement with your theme by tying it to an inarguable consensus already present in the room.  Show a humble graciousness to those you know that are about to disagree with you because you know it is only by grace these things have been revealed to you. Through the whole presentation be unashamedly Christ-centered.   Then in a few words softly yet persistently apply your theme to the most critical issue of the day with a power that brings everyone to quiet reflection.  End with a song that in itself applies the message.

That is precisely what Eric Metaxas did at the National Prayer Breakfast last week with President Obama in attendance.  It would be worth your time  to watch this 30 minute presentation (you can view it here) of how Metaxas gets thousands of people to reflect seriously on the issue of abortion.  See WORLD’s review “No Pious Baloney” or the National Review’s article “The President and the Prophet” to read how this talk has captured much more attention than the president’s own speech which followed.

Indeed, in aiming for hearts, perhaps the Lord will use Mr. Metaxas’ message to cause our president to examine his own.


  1. Jared Olivetti February 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Wow. What an incredible, powerful moment. It rejoices my heart to see the gospel being proclaimed so faithfully to our president and leaders. Thank you very much for passing this on to us!

  2. Tim Bloedow February 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

    V. interesting Barry. Look forward to listening to the talk. Reminds me of something I noticed in Paul’s method of communication in I Corinthians. We’re in the middle of ch. 4 in our Men’s Fellowship and I only just picked up on this dynamic so I haven’t looked back to see if it shows up earlier than ch. 4 as well. But in ch. 4, you see Paul using stinging sarcasm in v. 8 and following, then in v. 14, he says he writes not to shame them, but to warn them as his dear children (so he eases up his rebuke there). Then he pummels them again – “some of you have become arrogant…”. Then he eases up again: “Shall I come to you with a rod of discipline, or shall I come in love and with a gentle spirit?” There seems to be a very interesting and probably wise dynamic going on here in the way Paul is dealing with that congregation in the face of some very serious sin.

  3. Jeff Kessler February 20, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Barry: I watched this and it was fantastic!

  4. Barry York February 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    I’m glad you men “Amen-ed” this with me.

  5. Jeff Kessler February 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    For the second year in a row, the guest speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast gave a speech that has captured more attention than President Obama’s. Dr. Benjamin Carson’s 2013 speech deserves attention from Christians too.

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