Preaching

What are the different “stations of life” a preacher should keep in mind when applying the text?

9Marks
Age.  Speak to children, adults, and seniors. Marital status/family situation. What does your text say to singles, young couples, couples with grown children, barren couples, divorcees, single moms, widows, and so on? Employment. Does your text have any application for homemakers, for employers, for workaholics, for people who aren’t happy with their jobs, for the unemployed?

What are different spiritual categories of hearers a preacher should have in mind when applying the text?

9Marks

You should strive to apply your sermons to both

How can a preacher apply a text to the church as a whole?

9Marks
Look for ways to teach and affirm biblical commands about what the church does when it gathers. Look for opportunities to teach the congregation about their individual responsibilities to one another in daily Christian living. Look for ways to promote trust in the church’s leadership.

Can a preacher apply the meaning of a text to hundreds of different hearers? Isn’t that the Holy Spirit’s job?

9Marks

The important thing to consider here is the preacher’s work compared to the Holy Spirit’s work.

Can a preacher really preach a whole book in one expositional sermon? If so, how?

9Marks

Suppose your friend asks you to summarize a two-hour movie you just saw. You could do that in five minutes or less. You would summarize the movie’s contents, emphasize what the movie is about, and by pointing to key moments in the movie.

Must a preacher’s homiletical outline match his exegetical outline?

9Marks

Not necessarily. An expositional sermon should explain and apply the main point of a passage of Scripture. If a preacher is able to derive his homiletical outline directly from his exegetical outline, so much the better. This often allows the congregation to better see the structure of a passage.

Are manuscripts preferable to outlines or notes?

9Marks

Not necessarily. Do whatever works for you.

The advantage of writing out a full manuscript before preaching a sermon (whether or not you take that manuscript into the pulpit) is that writing is the evidence of thought. Writing down everything you intend to say will sharpen your thoughts and force you to be clearer and more precise than you would have been otherwise.

How do you prepare to preach an expositional sermon? What steps are involved?

9Marks

Different preachers will develop slightly different ways of preparing sermons, which is fine. Do what works for you. That said, here are some steps that should be involved in the preparation of any expositional sermon.

How do you do expositional preaching poorly?

9Marks
Do no application. Expositional preaching is preaching that takes the main point of a scriptural text, makes it the main point of the sermon, and applies it to life today. Good expositional preaching will apply the text specifically: to different kinds of people in different spiritual states and different situations in life.

Why is expositional preaching particularly relevant for people in postmodern times?

9Marks

Some people today claim that expositional preaching is irrelevant for postmodern people. “People today need narrative and conversation and dialogue and drama! They don’t need expositional preaching.”

In fact, expositional preaching is particularly relevant for postmodern people:

Isn’t expositional preaching too monological and one-sided? Don’t people better learn through dialogue?

9Marks
Some people resent expositional preaching’s monological mode. One man stands up for many minutes and preaches while everyone else listens. Isn’t this unfair or even oppressive? What about conversation? Certainly, there should be plenty of venues in the life of the church for conversation, whether through inductive Bible studies, follow-up sermon studies in small groups, or other contexts. 

Is expositional preaching the only kind of preaching a pastor should do?

9Marks

No, expostional preaching is not the only kind of preaching a pastor should do. But…

Do we see examples of expositional preaching in the Bible?

9Marks

Yes. Some of these are more distant historical precedents and some of these are clear examples of expositional preaching—preaching that explains and applies the main point of a biblical text.

Why should a pastor preach expositionally?

9Marks

A pastor should preach expositionally because God works through God’s word. God speaking is God acting.*

Why should expositional preaching include biblical theology?

9Marks
Bibilical theology is necessary in order to understand the text. We can truly understand a text of Scripture only by situating it within the overall narrative of redemptive history.