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.