preach

A Theology of Preaching

(This is Part 4 of a 4-Part Series on A Theology of Preaching)

Application

A theology of preaching is only as helpful as its implementation. Therefore, the practical application of how this theology impacts the practice of preaching and pastoral ministry is important. As a professor of preaching, this theology must impact the classroom as well.

First, I determine to begin, remain, and end with a reliance on the Holy Spirit. The juncture of the Holy Spirit’s work with preaching is vital. However, it has often been an area of oversight. Thus, I commit to faithful prayer before I begin studying a text

Second, I determine to seek to discover the authorial-intended meaning, recognizing both the human and divine authorship of the Bible. While it is impossible to get into the mind of the no longer living human author, I can study the historical, cultural, lexical, syntactical, and theological contexts of the given passage. This requires significant time. And thus I commit to the time it takes to rightly study a text in completion.

Third, I determine to instruct my congregation in how to conduct faithful exposition both in my preaching and in practical Bible study classes. Congregations often replicate the methods they see in their pastors. Therefore, my goal is to practice good hermeneutics and proper homiletics weekly from the pulpit. But then I want to go one step further and teach the congregation how to replicate the same through small group Bible study.

Fourth, I determine to educate my leadership in an effort to pass on what I have learned to those who will also pass it on. As much as a pastor would like to be the main show in town, he will never be the end-all-be-all. The measure of good leadership is found in the ripple effect. Thus, I will purposefully teach and train and model before my leadership, both staff and laity, this theology of preaching in hopes that long after I am gone, they can and will continue its legacy.

Fifth, I determine to encourage the next generation of preachers and teachers through faithful hermeneutics and homiletics instruction in the academy. As a professor, one of my chief desires is to teach other pastors to understand the foundations of preaching. At first this revolved around the twelve essential skills of designing a sermon. But teaching homiletics demands more than skills, it demands a proper theology. This is my goal, and this is my resolution.

Conclusion

In summary, this theology of preaching drives the following definition of expository preaching: “Preaching must be a text-driven, Christ-centered, Spirit-led redemptive work for the purpose of exalting the greatness and the glory of God.”[1] The motive that urges our preaching is that God speaks, inspires, and commissions. The message of our preaching is the redemption, restoration, and reign of Jesus Christ. The means of such preaching is Spirit-empowered exposition of God’s Word. The ultimate purpose of our preaching is to exalt the greatness and glory of our God.

[1] Daniel L. Akin, Bill Curtis, and Stephen N. Rummage. Engaging Exposition. (Nashville: B&H, 2011), 2.