We believe that the preacher’s task is:
- To display Christ as beautiful and supreme as He really is.
- To display sin as ugly and deadly as it really is.
- To show how these truths apply to the congregation.
- To move affections toward God’s heart: to hate only what He hates and love only what He loves.
To this end, we practice “expositional preaching,” which aims to “expose” the meaning of the Bible text. In this way, the point of the sermon should be the point of the text. We believe this can best be done by preaching through whole books of the Bible, alternating between the Old and New Testaments.
This may be contrasted to “Idea Preaching” in the following table.
|Centers on what is in my mind at a given moment and places my idea over the text and sermon||“Exposes” God’s message in the text and gets me out of the way|
|More common (e.g. popular preachers)||Rare these days, but God’s classic method|
|Requires less study and reliance upon God in prayer||Requires much study, observation and prayer. Hard on the preacher (spiritually, emotionally, intellectually)|
|Preacher and congregation gain nothing new from God (recycles what I already know)||Uses critical thinking skills to discover new things about God with each new text|
|Opens the message to non-biblical influences (marketing, entertainment, etc.)||Safeguards the Gospel from non-biblical influences|
|Deductive Approach: Advocate/attorney starts with a conclusion and tries to prove it (e.g. not guilty)||Inductive Approach: Doctor first examines symptoms and makes tests to finally arrive at a diagnosis/conclusion|
|Attracts crowds with multi-media and entertaining scripts and visuals||Draws strength from the text. Life and death depends on sound preaching!|
|Features the Preacher as a ‘Chef’||
Humbles the Preacher as a table ‘waiter’