Two Disciplines Of Preaching

There are two things that I work very hard to get right as I prepare a message:

#1 — Understand and interpret the Bible.

There is such power in God’s Word. My style of preaching is not so much Expository (meaning…verse by verse through an entire book). My approach is what I would call Textual/Topical. I cluster several related passages together and make it a series.

But each message is an attempt to let the text speak. This past weekend, I tried to bring to life the meaning of Psalm 32 in our Unwrapped series.

#2 — Understand and interpret people’s lives.

Messages truly become transformational when the Word is directly applied into the context of a real life. So I think a lot about the audience I am speaking to that day. What are their needs? What natural objections will they have to this passage? How is this difficult to apply? What are the felt needs that people have come to church carrying?

The messages that I manage to do a good job of both seem to make an impact. When I miss on one or the other, the talk will feel a bit flat. The first of these disciplines is obvious and essential. No speaker can afford to mis-understand or misinterpret Scripture.

But the second is no less important to genuine ministry. Application in the context of life is critical to maximum ministry impact.

What about you? How do you make these two discplines work in your ministry?

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