Thursday, June 15, 2006

Preaching is either God-Driven or Preacher-Driven

In light of all that is happening in Southern Baptist Convention; I want to give some encouragement to my fellow conservative Brothers and Sisters in the SBC. Remember who you are serving and His sweet name is Jesus Christ. You are not serving a denomination or a convention, but a great God.

My main purpose when writing is to speak to my Brothers in the ministry. I have a pastor’s heart, because I am one. I love my brothers in Christ all around this great world. If there are any women reading, I do praise the Lord for you too. After all, I live with five of them. God is pleased with a godly woman.

What do we need in a church where God is in control? We need men and women all over this land who will diligently pray for their pastors throughout the week as he studies the Word of God and not to just stop there but pray for him as he delivers the Word of God on Sunday. Well how should the Word of God be delivered some debate? How should the sermon be structured? My belief is that the text should be in control of the stucture and words of the pastor. This is commonly know as Expository preaching. Expository Preaching is not a Calvinistic thing; it is a Bible thing, and the only true way to preach the Word of God, I do feel. I believe we see Jesus and Paul preaching this way in scripture. It is best if the preacher preaches verse by verse from Scripture. Not only does it put God in control of the preaching event, but more topics will be addressed through expository preaching, than any other method of preaching. The pulpit becomes the place where people are counseled, so it takes a great load off the pastor during the week and his time can be spend studying more. What a comfort to know that when someone disagrees with you, they really are disagreeing with God. I am reminded of what Sydney Gredanius said in one of his great books on expository preaching. Speaking to preachers of the Word he said, “It is okay to preach a topical message once every five year’s, but quickly repent when you are done.” So, I argue for expository preaching to be done as often as possible in the local church. The message is either God-driven or preacher-driven. When the text shapes what the minister says it is God-driven or expository. Preacher-driven is man-centered and he chooses biblical texts to support the words of the sermon. This is often done in topical preaching.

My beloved brothers in Christ, remember who you in Christ; you are a chosen vessel of God, His mouth-piece and spokesman for the gospel. Remember why you do what you do each day as a pastor or minister. Be encouraged today in your walk with Christ. Remember your worth! What you are doing for the kingdom of God has great value. Maybe you are discouraged with where God has you in the ministry. Take heart and always remember that you do what you do for God and know one else. It is such a privilege and honor to live for Christ each day and prepare to preach the inerrant Word of God to hungry, famished men and women in the church pews who need it more than they may realize. Keep preaching the Word of God and taking a stand against sin!


Justice said...

Amen, Ryan. Excellent exhortation.

Anonymous said...

“It is okay to preach a topical message once every five year’s, but quickly repent when you are done.”

And would you say the same of W. A. Criswell's famous "crimson thread" sermon in which he preached for a day and a night tracing Christ and His sacrifice through Scripture? That would be a famous example of topical preaching.

In fact, I would suggest that most of the Apostles preached topically, taking from the Old Testament here and there to illustrate the prophetic certainty of Christ's Messianic office. Christ Himself often did so, including the moment when he explained all the references to Himself in the Old Testament on the road to Emaus...