What I Try To Do Every Week
I came across a blog post by a pastor who does a wonderful job of succinctly describing what I try to do each week when I preach. I believe in expositional preaching but sadly that term is seen as a pox by many in the church. This is due to pastors who don’t really understand what expositional preaching is, they are not really gifted as preachers, or they confuse exegesis, which is very dry, with exposition, which brings out the meaning and purpose of the Word to the people.
Here is part of his post:
We are called to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2). To do so, we must take the text seriously in our preaching.
What do I mean?
- Do not try to preach a text without doing your homework.
- Do not call a text and then ignore it.
- Do not spend all your time in the introduction and then rush through the text.
- Do not use the text as a springboard for your own ideas.
- Do not rip the text from its context to make it say what your want it to say.
- Do not play with Greek and Hebrew words to say something novel.
- Do not neglect the authorial intent of the text.
- Do not major on what the text makes minor, or visa versa.
- Do not impose meaning on the text that the author did not intend.
- Do not treat your creative ideas as if they are more important than the dominating theme of the text.
- Do not play on words or phrases in the text as a disconnected hook.
- Do not use the text to manipulate emotions.
- Do not rob the text of its punch to ensure you can whoop at the end.
Paul’s preaching instructions to Timothy are clear, simple, and applicable to those of us who have the sacred duty to preach and teach:
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. – 1 Timothy 4:13
I am convinced t that good, proper exposition of God’s Word is the best way over time to build up a body of believers into maturity. The reason is simple, expositional preaching is going word by word, verse by verse, and chapter by chapter through a book of the bible. What this does is force the pastor and the church to address difficult subjects. It gives opportunity for the church to see the many subtle aspects that any given doctrine possesses. It covers all of the doctrines of the faith over time. And it prevents the pastor from preaching only on what he likes.
I have three young men preparing for the ministry in one way or another. Currently two of them and one of my elders are in a preaching class in a nearby seminary. The pleasure I have as I watch them prepare their very first expositional preaching outline is hard to describe. My desire is great to see them open the Word, preach it with a clear conscience and then trust that the Spirit will accomplish His will upon the hearts of the people.