Substance-Driven Preaching

In the last 19 years of ministry I have seen and read books dealing with the subject of preaching. I constantly hear expository preaching and preachers who will tell us that this is the best method. I love expository preaching so I get why they say it. I consider myself as low level expositor quiet as kept. But I personally believe the best method whether it is expository, textual, or topical actually depends on the pastor/preacher and his audience. Instead of trying to pull out a spiritual trump card (which I hope nobody’s doing, but yeah, I’ve seen and heard folk pulling out trump cards), why not just be comfortable in one’s own “Preaching Skin?”

Truth is a Real Issue

I believe a preacher should just preach the truth of the Word of God. The preacher should deal with being true to the text. If you are textual, unpack the passage or passages from the book you are preaching on, if you are an expository, hey, go ahead and exegete the text. And if you are topical, stay on topic! 

The thing is we should all be about saying something instead of having something to say. And our preaching should be filled with substance (hence substance-driven), staying away from heresies and factions.

Preach from the book (the Bible in case you’re wondering!) and from your heart. And be courageous, and daring, drop that truth on the audience you are ministering to at the time. Preachers need to be bold enough to call a sin a sin, call people sinners and not seekers, be willing to say that people are lost, ungodly, and heathens, and not merely unchurched.

And you the preacher must see yourself as both a messenger and as one of the people, in one sense. Not in the sense of being so down-to-earth that they call you by your first name, but rather as a called-out pilgrim on the journey to the heavenly city. We must respect our calling by living a holy life for power, accurate preaching to be a blessing to the hearer, and to be true to our calling as ministers of the Gospel.

Always remember that, ultimately, God is our audience and we need the applause of heaven, not the praise of men. Go up into the pulpit humble, walk out humble, and let God exalt you and me in due time. Let our preaching be of substance and not like cotton candy.


Photo by Charles Clegg via Flickr

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