How do you preach?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Trotter, Dec 12, 2004.

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How do you preach?

  1. Topical - I pick my subject and material, then I find scriptures to go along with it.

    37.9%
  2. Expository - I choose the passage, and let the message develop from what the passage says.

    62.1%
  3. Both - Sometimes I am topical, sometimes I am expository.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Just a simple poll of three choices.

    How do you preach? Topical? Expository? A mix of both?

    Care to explain why you preach in this fashion?

    Please explain how you do both, if you do.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  2. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    I feel that exposition of the Scripture in a methodical, complete manner is best. I opt for a book and work through it, verse by verse. Usually no more than 2-3 verses in a sermon.

    Or textually, where I will take a text from a book (like Jeremiah presently) and expositorilly preach it.

    The only exception of a "topic" will be like now (preach a Christmas message) or if I am a guest in a church.

    But even as a guest, I will take 2-3 verses of a text and preach it expositorily.
     
  3. All about Grace

    All about Grace
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    Expository preaching is a method.
    Topical preaching is a method.

    Neither is prescribed in Scripture.

    Know your audience. Know your occasion. Know your purpose.

    Bottom line question for every sermon: so what? In other words how can this audience apply this biblical truth to their everyday life.
     
  4. pastorjeff

    pastorjeff
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    I try to be careful to present the text accuratelly. The best way to avoid error is Expository preaching. I do however preach a short 4- 6 week topical series after ending a long book study. It adds variety for our culture. Don't like Topical too much, was taught to preach expositorilly and am not very good at topical preparation.
     
  5. Broadus

    Broadus
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    I almost always preach expositionally, working through books of the Bible. I will usually take more verses than Dr. Bob, though the number of verses is inconsequential as to whether one does expositional preaching.

    BTW, much that goes by the name of expository preaching is little more than a running commentary. The preacher will read a verse or two, make a few comments, then read a few more with comments, etc.

    While the Bible does not proclaim, "Thou shalt preach expositionally," expository preaching seems best to communicate the teaching and application of Scripture in a systematic fashion. I want our people to understand what God has revealed in His Word--His Word is our authority. I grew up on a diet of topical messages, and preachers typically had their own hobby horses. Only when I was under expositional preaching did I see how the whole counsel of God came together. Besides, one is more tempted to fall into eisegesis when doing topical preaching.

    A few articles on preaching which I find helpful can be found at http://www.gty.org/bible_faqs/bible_content.php?qa=committeach.htm , http://www.9marks.org/CC/article/0,,PTID314526|CHID598016|CIID1552740,00.html , http://www.9marks.org/partner/Article_Display_Page/0,,PTID314526|CHID626242|CIID1639938,00.html , http://www.9marks.org/CC/article/0,,PTID314526|CHID598016|CIID1552718,00.html , http://www.9marks.org/CC/article/0,,PTID314526|CHID598016|CIID1552824,00.html , http://www.9marks.org/CC/article/0,,PTID314526|CHID598016|CIID1553024,00.html .

    The bottom line is, preach the Word, not your preconceptions.

    Bill
     
  6. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit
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    I agree - even when addressing a "topic," I believe a preacher's best method is to preach the Word expositionally and in context - not according to a preconcieved agenda, but as a product of his own diligent study of the passage.
     
  7. Ellis Murphree

    Ellis Murphree
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    Expository preaching is, IMHO, the best method. Even on the rare occassions that I preach what might be categorized as a "topical" sermon, I do so expositionally.

    Careful study, coupled with proper and respectful treatment of the Word, is vital. I usually expound on just a few verses when preaching.
     
  8. Trotter

    Trotter
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    Thanks for the responses, everyone.

    It seems that I agree with the majority in that I believe expository preaching is the right way to go, and that "topical" sermons should still be expository in and of themselves.

    I just wish that the pastors in my area thought that way. We (my family and I) are looking for a new church home. We have visited about half of the SBC churches in our local association thus far...and we have only found a very few who could be considered expository. But we sure have found a whole lot of ignorance, not to mention a fair share of "just rare back and let it fly!"

    I just hope I still feel this way when I become a pastor and have to stand before a congregation. I do nto want to take the easy way out.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  9. Johnv

    Johnv
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    Good advice, for both the preacher, and the public speaker in general.

    Here's a question. MUST every sermon contain the salvation message?

    A few months ago, a pastor at a church I frequently visit did a message on the life of Moses. It was an excellent sermon series. Some time later, a friend of mine was complaining that she was disappointed in the sermons because "the Gospel message" wasn't preached.
     
  10. Trotter

    Trotter
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    If all my pastor preached were salvation sermons, I'd have to find a different church (not the reason I left my former, by the way).

    I know of a couple of churches like that. Same members for several years, and all the pastor does is preach salvation to the saints. And he wonders why his people have no depth...

    Salvation is the greatest thing in the world. But, for those who have already been saved, the entire word of God must be preached.

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  11. swaimj

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    I conduct the Sunday PM services at my church most of the time. I do expository sermons each week, though the form may vary from week to week. If I am doing epistolary material, I do a typical propositional sermon. If I am doing a story, I use a narrative form. I have even done some first-person narrative on occasion. Currently I am preaching through the seven "signs" in John. I have used a narrative form for most of these. The exceptions were a first-person narrative that I did on the healing of the nobleman's son, and a propositional sermon on Jesus' defense of his deity in chapter 5. Next month I will be doing a topical series on the doctrine of anthropology. I am studying for this right now and I am not sure what the final form will be.
     
  12. Soulman

    Soulman
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    Posted by Trotter:If all my pastor preached were salvation sermons, I'd have to find a different church

    What about your Sunday main service. Shouldn't that always be geared to a salvation message?

    I preach both ways. I find topically allows me to teach in a wide variety of subjects. I love finding the scriptures to see if they back up what the Holy Spirit has laid on my heart. I uess topical is my preferred method.
     
  13. Jensen

    Jensen
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    When you preach Christ crucified you will be giving the salvation message....right? Every thing should point to Christ.

    I preach in a small church, but I still try to steer toward the cross. Besides....I am not the Holy Spirit, so I don't know who is saved and who is not! Most of my life was spend fooling people into thinking I was saved (I even fooled myself!)... Not everyone who says to Me Lord, Lord ... (Matt 7:21).
     
  14. All about Grace

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    Here's a question. MUST every sermon contain the salvation message?

    Know your audience. Know your occasion. Know your purpose.

    My view of pastoral preaching is not geared toward individual sermons. It is aimed at generating a desire in the hearer to know and understand more.

    Who is the audience of the worship service? PEOPLE

    Who is each sermon designed for? PEOPLE

    What is the purpose of the worship service? To make them want to come back the next week (and bring someone perhaps?)

    In the debate over who Sunday services are designed for, we have asked the wrong question (IMO).

    My goal in preaching for unbelievers is for them to reach a point where they become followers of Christ. This usually happens within a process and not a single one-time event with an altar call at the end. My goal in preaching as a whole is for everyone to take away a primary truth that they can apply to their everyday life & want to come back the next week for more.

    Sometimes that goal demands expositional style preaching -- most of the time it requires biblically-based application-oriented preaching.

    The Bible will stand on its own. We do not have to preach expositionally to authenticate it. So that should not be our primary goal. What we should be concerned about is our audience -- the people. Can a pastor preach expositionally and accomplish this goal? Perhaps. But I find few that do it effectively.
     
  15. pastorjeff

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    I must disagree with two things.

    1. Our goal is not to see people come back next week, but to see them transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. This will take more than just a Sunday morning sermon each week.

    2. Expository preaching is the best way to see people grow and apply the whole counsel of the Word of God. If all our people know is portions of Scripture used to make my point, Then they will miss out on the fulness of the Christian life. It is too easy to come up with an idea and then go to Scripture to support it. It is a different thing all together to come to a portion of the Word and grapple with its truth, making changes in my life if necissary.
     
  16. All about Grace

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    Maybe I should have clarified -- my goal in Sunday morning preaching (which is the only preaching we have) is for people to come back the next week. I agree with the second half of this -- of course the goal is to see people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ and yes that takes more than just a Sunday morning sermon each week. As I said, it is a process.

    This is your opinion. I have been a part of both types of churches and practiced both types of preaching. I might have a different opinion. Expository preaching is a METHOD. Is it the best method? That is your opinion. Others feel differently.

    No matter what method of preaching you employ - the people are only going to know a portion of Scripture. The "fullness" of the Christian life has very little to do with how many Bible facts I have in my head or how many books of the Bible I have heard my pastor preach. Believers experience the fullness of the Christian life primarily in their own practice of spiritual disciplines and not in the one hour I spend with them on Sundays.

    Actually as one who has practiced both for extended periods of time, I found it much easier to preach expositionally. I knew what I was preaching week-after-week-after-week. It is much more difficult to preach series that are biblical, applicable, and helpful.

    I am not talking about picking a random topic each week to preach. I am talking about planned, series-based preaching. For those who have done both expositional and series-based, most will concur that expositional is easier.
     
  17. Jensen

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    2 Tim 3:16 ... "All Scripture...is useful..."

    I agree, it must be VERY difficult to preach "all scripture (the whole council)" in a series-based format. That is why I preach expositionally through books in the Bible. It is easier. They are getting God's word...and "All Scripture is useful!" And this way I am not pulling out my pet topics, or things which I "feel" they need (because I am often mistaken about what "they" need as opposed to what I think they need...also there are a variety of "needs" each and every day, so I cannot design a series that would meet EVERY need) so... I just let God's word speak for itself. If it was good enough for God to say it in that order (verse-by-verse) then it will have to be good enough for me.

    All about Grace,
    Your church has only ONE preaching service per week? What does your congregation focus on if it is not the exposition of God's Word?

    Also, are there other churches that only have one preaching service per week?
     
  18. pastorjeff

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    I only preach once a week. Supplements would be Sunday School, Youth group, Womens Bible Study, Home groups, and visitation. We also have various Childrens Ministries that meet the needs of those age groups. That is what I had meant by needing more. The sermon is not the most important thing in the week. Don't get me wrong, it is important, but all of the things done work together to bring people to maturity in Christ.
     
  19. All about Grace

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    All Scripture is "useful" but not all Scripture can be preached or taught and therefore even those who preach verse-by-verse do not preach "the whole council" of God.

    We do not preach on pet peeves or what we "feel" the congregation needs. We preach engaging series designed around the things people need to hear and understand to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

    Here's a thought for you to ponder:

    All Scripture is equally inspired.
    All Scripture is NOT equally important for everyday life.
    All Scripture is NOT equally applicable for everyday life.

    Therefore we want to teach and preach that which will help a person become what we believe the Bible teaches they should become -- fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.

    What does your congregation focus on if it is not the exposition of God's Word?

    I am not sure exactly what you are asking here. We want people to become more like Christ through different means. One of those means are the spiritual disciplines. Again primary growth should not come from absorbing a certain amount of facts or by listening to an hour or two worth of preaching a week. Spiritual growth comes primarily through individual time with God. We focus on teaching people to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
     
  20. dh1948

    dh1948
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    Only one preaching serviced per week here, and that is Sunday morning. Various groups have activities on Sunday evening. Discipleship classes on Wednesday PM.

    How do I preach? I just rare back and let 'er rip! [​IMG]
     

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