Friday, October 19, 2007

The Ten How To’s of Expository Preaching
By Dr. Steven Lawson

While at the Expositor’s Conference in Mobile, I had the wonderful opportunity to hear Dr. Lawson preach numerous times and put into action what he trained us to do. He gave us a seventeen page handout on the “how-to’s” of expository preaching and I want to share it with you to store in your toolbox:

I. Preparation
The preacher must sanctify his life and prepare his heart and life to full and utter devotion and commitment to God. In this step we need to select the book of the Bible that we will study and what our goals are in studying this book.

II. Observation
In this step we need to survey the whole book and it’s place in the canon at large. It is here we observe who the author is, the original recipients, the historical background, the key theme, the book outline, theological themes and interpretive challenges. Then we need to scope out the context of our specific passage in the book as a whole and observe everything, literally.

III. Interpretation
It is here that we must take all the information we gathered in the observation stage and secure the meaning of the text. We must stick with the historical-grammatical interpretation of the Scriptures to ensure that we obtain the intended meaning of the original author for his intended audience. The we must scan the resources, the commentaries, the word study books, the theologies, the dictionaries, etc.

IV. Assimilation
Here we compile the information and set the headings. This is the outline for the text. We must also be able to state the meaning of the text in one clean, crisp, clear sentence. This is a necessity in the sermon preparation stage. Furthermore, we must support our assimilation (outline) with other scriptures – cross-referencing.

V. Application
We must see the principles in the text that are timeless truths and have practical relevance for our hearers today. We know that God’s Word is timeless and thus the truths that were relevant thousands of years ago are still applicable to today’s culture.

VI. Illustrations
It is here that we can use biblical illustrations, illustrations from church history, current events, personal experience, etc. Almost anything can be used as an illustration. However, perhaps the best illustrations are those that are from the Bible – even the Old Testament stories!

VII. Introduction
This is so important in the process. We need to create the interest in the hearer. We MUST show them why the need to hear our message. We must capture their attention in the first minute so they can be drawn into our message. They need to feel the “need” to sit and listen to me preach for 45 minutes. We can do this by talking about current events, historical story, a striking quote, ask questions, tell a story, etc. We must then reveal the big picture of the sermon. We must give them the “roadmap” and tell them where we are going.

VIII. Conclusion
We must appeal to believers here and tell them to 1) know something; to 2) feel something; and 3) to do something. We are to appeal to the mind, emotions and the will as we apply God’s Word.

IX. Internalization
This is where the preacher pores over his notes. He scrutinizes them and reviews the length, the balance, the quality and makes sure he understands the main point and keeps that main point the main point in all of his sermon. This is also for the preacher to saturate his own heart with the truths that he will be sharing with his hearers.

X. Proclamation
It is here that the preacher delivers his message. He must preach with dependency upon the Holy Spirit, with utter boldness, with balance and with passionate earnestness. He is calling them to respond. He is calling them to change. He is speaking with gravitos.

May we as preachers of God’s Word take these truths to heart and always preach for the glory of God.

Ezra 7:10 10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Your pastor and friend,

Geoffrey R. Kirkland

Friday, October 19, 2007


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