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Saturday, May 26, 2007

7 (+ 6) Reasons for Expositional Preaching

Willingdon Church held a conference called reFocus. Willingdon pastor, John Neufeld explained why they were holding the conference. In his message, he announced his desire to plan conferences around teaching expository preaching. He then gave the following seven benefits to expository preaching:
    1. It's not my house.
Either informally or formally, in polite society, the owner of the house gets to set the topic for conversation. Those people you're preaching to have been bought with a price. (When we determine, "I think I'll speak on 'so and so'" and then search the Word for some accompanying text, we are really saying, "I will determine the topic fo conversation!")
    2. I do not presume on the wisdom of God.
I rely on the wisdom of God (Romans 11) rather than my own personal wisdom. (When did it become fashionable for us to think, that if I use my own wisdom , and my own methodology and plan, if I become "seeker sensitive" in my approach...when did we begin to think we would be more successful at reaching out to a lost and broken world than if we relied on God's words?)
    3. For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:21)
Expositional preaching saves the lost. (God can use doctrines we consider obscure, for an apparent lack of application, to reach a person for Christ.)
    4. I preach the full counsel of God.
I will follow through line by line, page by page. For only in so doing will I get to stand before Christ on the final day, and I can say, "I am not guilty of any man's blood. I did not hesitate" (Acts 20:26-27).
    5. I can stand behind the Word.
When they leave, don't make them argue with you. Make them argue with the Word.
    6. I will always have something to say.
I don't spend half my week trying to figure out what to preach. I walk into the week already knowing what the Holy Spirit has determined the people need to hear from the pages of Scripture.
    7. Expostional preaching will bring health to our church and unity to the people of God.
I tried to type these words as I listened on my shuffle, so they many not be verbatim. A pretty good list, and Pastor Neufeld didn't even address (some of my additional thoughts):
    1. People learn how to read the Word.
Read it. Understand it. Apply it. The preacher's pattern is very similar. Read it. Explain it. Apply it. Every week we preach, it can be a Bible study methods class.
    2. The Bible becomes less intimidating.
Similarly, people are less intimidated about "the pastor's knowledge." (Could this perhaps be a reason some pastors shy from this method?) You don't have to own a special topical index to be able to read and apply your Bible.
    3. No one can claim you are gunning.
If an issue is addressed from the pulpit, it is not because the pastor has decided to bully people with it. A pastor cannot be accused (nor is he tempted) to use his pulpit to control committee meetings or leadership decisions.
    4. Easier for people to follow up.
Perhaps, eight months after preaching a topic found in the passage, a person goes through the very issue. They may not have that message etched in their heart, but now that they need to review the topic, it is much easier for them to find where the passage was located. (The simply need to remember what book you were in eight months ago.) Once the find the book, expositional method ensures they will not only remember the verse, but by reading the context they can be reminded of the point, and the application!
    5. Silence does not offend.
Perhaps you choose a topic due to a difficult time or specific situation a member of the flock has endured. Many people may be moved by this and find it touching. However, some in the room may wonder why a similar hardship (either current, or in the past) was not addressed from the front. Similarly, if other people continue to endure a similar hardship, will you continue to preach about it every time?
    6. Christ is exalted.
Without doing weird things to the text, we get to see Christ on every page, not just favorite passages.
reFocus messages can be found here.

4 Comments:

  • At 7:10 AM, Blogger RevPharoah said…

    I followed the link to the Wellingdon church. GREAT website. Looks like they are doing lots of things well AND they have a fine arts academy. Gotta love it.

     
  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger danny2 said…

    while you're there, download the messages too.

    i'm almost done listening to all of them, and they are quite good.

     
  • At 12:40 PM, Blogger Dale Harris said…

    you'll be happy to know that, for my next series, I'm preaching through the book of Philippians :)

     
  • At 2:52 PM, Blogger danny2 said…

    much more importantly, the Lord is glorified when we preach His Word.

    we're just mailmen, not the letter writters.

     

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