Too much is being made of postmodernism today. It's not that difficult to figure out, comprehend or confront.
The issue in ministry is what it has always been--a right view of God: of His character, of His gospel and of His Word - proclaimed. No one ever lives greater than their view of God.
So much of ministry today is focused on methodology rather than the Master; and everyone is trying to be the smartest guy in the room, trying to figure out new ways to figure out how to breakthrough the postmodern mindset in evangelism today. This is not that complicated beloved. How "culturally-correct" was Elijah when calling down fire on Mount Carmel; when Paul called the Stoic Athenian philosophers to repentance on Mars Hill; when Moses commanded Pharaoh to "let My people go"; when John the Baptist called the Pharisees coming out to see those being baptized as “a brood of vipers”; or when the Lord shrunk Gideon’s armies of 32,000 to 300 against a foe of 135,000, etc.? They weren't; that wasn’t their concern, focus, or preoccupation. They were not concerned with bringing the times into eternity; but brought eternity into time by proclaiming the truth of God's Word and calling people to live in the fear of the Lord.
But today, the face of evangelicalism has been altered so dramatically that it looks "doctrinally disfigured"
suffering from one too many "botox injections" of pragmaticism and ecumenism; with severe "soteriological 'nips and tucks'" that gifted "plastic surgeons" skilled with the scalpel of New Perspectivism, Inclusivism, Open Theism and Postmodernism have cut away so much of authentic gospel "tissue" that what's left is just a synthetic, artificial substitute. The "religious legislative laser technicians" have almost completely burned away the aged wrinkles of faithfulness to God's Word trying to give a "new face of influence" through political activism--turning the body of Christ into just another lobbyist group or political action committee. Seminaries are having "theological lypo-suction" done at such alarming rates that even the doctrinal positions of the Emergent/Emerging Church are looking strangely... "orthodox" by comparison. And "full body makeovers" of local churches are being done so effectively as to not have to look like church, sound like church, act like church, be called a church, or function as a church that they could be featured on a special ecclesiastical episode of "The Swan."
All sardonic metaphor aside,
here's the plain truth: the rule of faith is no longer the Scriptures, but experience; the goal of faith is no longer holiness, but happiness; the purpose of faith is no longer the glory of God, but being 'in conversation' with the culture; and the object of faith is no longer Christ, but self. In other words, 'Evangelical Christianity' is becoming completely unrecognizable.
What's the solution?
We need to recover biblical ministry in the church today; the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (sola fide - justification and imputation); and a high view of God calling people to live in the fear of the Lord. The Lord never lowers His call on His people because of cultural vacillations or proclivities. IOW, you don't need to pepper church ministry with sponsoring "poker night" this week in order to appeal to pomos in your neighborhood.
The right priority of biblical ministry can be summed up in one phrase beloved:
"It's not about us, it's all about Him."
As you read the following prayer written by A.W. Tozer at the beginning of his ministry, may it encourage you to recover the reverence of God in ministry once again.
"O Lord, I have heard Thy voice and was afraid. Thou hast called me to an awesome task in a grave and perilous hour. Thou art about to shake all nations and the earth and also heaven, that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. O Lord, my Lord, Thou hast stooped to honor me to be Thy servant. No man taketh this honor upon himself save he that is called of God as was Aaron. Thou has ordained me Thy messenger to them that are stubborn of heart and hard of hearing. They have rejected Thee, the Master, and it is not to be expected that they will receive me, the servant.
My God, I shall not waste time deploring my weakness nor my unfittedness for the work. The responsibility is not mine, but Thine. Thou hast said, 'I knew thee - I ordained thee - I sanctified thee,' and Thou hast also said, 'Thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.' Who am I to argue with Thee or to call into question Thy sovereign choice? The decision is not mine but Thine. So be it, Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done. Well do I know, Thou God of the prophets and the apostles, that as long as I honor Thee Thou wilt honor me. Help me therefore to take this solemn vow to honor Thee in all my future life and labors, whether by gain or by loss, by life or by death, and then to keep that vow unbroken while I live.
It is time, O God, for Thee to work, for the enemy has entered into Thy pastures and the sheep are torn and scattered. And false shepherds abound who deny the danger and laugh at the perils which surround Thy flock. The sheep are deceived by these hirelings and follow them with touching loyalty while the wolf closes in to kill and destroy. I beseech Thee, give me sharp eyes to detect the presence of the enemy; give me understanding to see and courage to report what I see faithfully. Make my voice so like Thine own that even the sick sheep will recognize it and follow Thee.
Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation. Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet. Forbid that I should become a religious scribe and thus loose my prophetic calling. Save me from the curse that lies dark across the face of the modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism. Save me from judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offerings.
Help me to remember that I am prophet not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to the crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I ask for no easy place. I shall try to be blind to the little ways that could make life easier. If others seek the smoother path I shall try to take the hard way without judging them too harshly. I shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes. Or, if, as sometimes it falleth out to Thy servants, I should have grateful gifts pressed upon me by Thy kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the blight that often follows. Teach me to use whatever I receive in such manner that will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power. And, if in Thy permissive providence honor should come to me from Thy church, let me not forget in that hour I am unworthy of the least of Thy mercies, and that if men knew me as intimately as I know myself they would withhold their honors or bestow them upon others more worthy to receive them.
And now, O Lord of heaven and earth, I consecrate my remaining days to Thee; let them be many or few, as Thou wilt. Let me stand before the great or minister to the poor and lowly; that choice is not mine and I would not influence it if I could. I am Thy servant to do Thy will, and that will is sweeter to me than position or riches or fame and I choose it above all things on earth or in heaven.
Though I am chosen of Thee and honored by a high and holy calling, let me never forget that I am but a man of dust and ashes, a man with all the natural faults and passions that plague the race of men. I pray Thee, therefore, my Lord and Redeemer, save me from myself while trying to be a blessing to others. Fill me with Thy power by the Holy Spirit, and I will go in Thy strength and tell of Thy righteousness, even Thine only. I will spread abroad the message of redeeming love while my normal powers endure.
Then, dear Lord, when I am old and weary and too tired to go on, have a place ready for me above, and make me to be numbered with Thy saints in glory everlasting. Amen."