Speaking into echo chambers is not the purview of one group as opposed to another. Recognition of this malady is a good first step. But, until we enter another’s echo chamber ready to listen, we simply continue to draw unhelpful conclusions.
I have long believed this to be true. Then I read a few who were expressing the same sentiment from enclaves with which I am more familiar. For instance, J.D. Greear announced an event at Summit Church where he pastors with a post on his website titled, “Choosing between Christian podcast popularity and effectively reaching your community?” He opens the post with the following,
I recently heard an insightful statement about preaching, “Your sermons will end up sounding like whoever you talked to that week.” Who you hang out with, who you read, the questions you have–they end up subconsciously crafting the questions you deal with in a sermon. If you spend all your week with other pastors and other Christians then your sermons end up being geared toward both of those groups. Many of the speakers I enjoy listening to sound like they have spent all week talking with people like me, which is probably why I like them, because they address my questions.
Preaching that way makes you popular in the Christian subculture, but does little to engage a lost world, who ask different questions. Being popular on the Christian podcast circuit and effective at reaching your city are not always the same goal.