SCRIPTURE: Psalm 19:14
Written by: Dr Conrade Yap
Date: October 28th, 2015
May these words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14)
Week after week, pastors prepare sermons. They spend time working through the biblical text. Those with knowledge of Greek and Hebrew go deep into the original wording and contexts. Others use the resources like the Bible study helps; commentaries; Bible concordances; and dictionaries; available to help them understand the ancient contexts. Good preachers will take more time to read the text meditatively, letting the Word speak to their hearts prior to doing anything else. If the Word has not touched the preacher, whatever that comes out of the preacher is usually more about the preacher rather than the Word.
Doing it week after week is tough. At times, preachers are tempted to just depend on the insights of others, put a few interesting stories or illustrations together, and then preach a sermon based on knowledge and other people’s advice. Like processed food, such sermons are like high-sugar calories that rather than solid food that strengthens the soul. The former puffs one up for a while before one begins to ask: “What’s the sermon point(s)?” It makes one wonder about the things said. When a sermon starts to look like spiritual advice, it is the beginning of the end for expository preaching.
I hear the question quite regularly when members ask: “What’s the point today?” Whether it was a regular preacher or a guest speaker, sometimes this question would pop up among believers having an after-sermon discussion, a lunch get-together, or an online interaction. Most times, people would just go about with their other activities, having heard the sermon, and feeling somewhat contented about checking off one item on the Sunday to-do list. In the meantime, the pastor had to reflect on his delivery and his content. Sometimes he would get brickbats from those who are offended by certain parts of the sermon. Other times, he would receive lots of verbal pleasantries like “Great sermon!” or “Thanks for the important message.”
|The tragedy is not when a sermon is "boring."
The tragedy is when Christ is not preached.
What is expository preaching?