Many African-Americans will note that "the 'hoop" is the distinctive and exclusive characteristic of many an African-American pulpit. So distinctive and exclusive is "the 'hoop" that preaching and 'hooping are almost synonymous; one can't preach if they can't 'hoop. The expectation for Lloyd-Jones as he began his career, and for many African-Americans preachers, is that they would pay homage to this preaching style.
I pray that Lloyd-Jones' attitude would come to characterize more and more African-American handlers of the Word of God. Murray tells us that "Dr. Lloyd-Jones viewed it as an artificial contrivance to secure effect, just as he did the multitude of illustrations and anecdotes which the preachers had taught the people to expect. In contrast to this, his sermons were closely reasoned, with the main theme carefully analyzed. He was certain that true preaching makes its impact, in the first instance, upon the mind."
Yet Lloyd-Jones was not merely an intellectual preacher. He intended from the onset to engage the "average man" and to preach with unction. In his own words, Lloyd-Jones describes his basic approach:
I am not and have never been a typical Welsh preacher. I felt that in preaching the first thing that you had to do was to demonstrate to the people that what you were going to do was very relevant and urgently important. The Welsh style of preaching started with a verse and the preacher then told you the connection and analysed the words, but the man of the world did not know what he was talking about and was not interested. I started with the man whom I wanted to listen, the patient. It was a medical approach really--here is a patient, a person in trouble, an ignorant man who has been to quacks, and so I deal with all that in the introduction. I wanted to get the listener and then come to my exposition. They started with their exposition and ended with a bit of application.
(see Murray's, D. Martin Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years, pp. 146-147)
While we don't need imitators of Lloyd-Jones, we do need more men who think carefully about their approach in the pulpit. What are we doing there? Who are we speaking for, and who are we speaking to? And for what effect?