Thursday, December 2, 2010

Biblical Preaching Summary

By adopting preaching methods to suit the time, most pulpits have sadly abandoned the authority of the Word in this said ministry. Pragmatic approaches have devalued this divine task, substituting the message with the techniques that fit the fad. This process through which God works and through which many have been redeemed, has got to be put back the way God intended.

In his book, Haddon Robinson elaborated why we need expository preaching and clearly expounded what it is and what it is not. Many preachers need to reconsider whether they really do this kind of discipline, even if they attach this term to what they do.

In an expository task, the passage governs the sermon. The concept coming from the text is communicated by the expositor, and then applied both the preacher and the hearers. He stated the importance of forming the big idea, lest the congregation will leave the church having received a vague sermon. This said idea is composed of a subject and a complement. The subject is the complete, definite answer to the question, ‘What am I talking about?’, while the complement answers the question, ‘What exactly am I saying about what am I talking about?’. Answering these questions, the preacher will be able to give a sermon with the impact as that of a bullet.

Every sermon should have a theme carefully extracted from the scripture that the congregation may be able to shape their lives with what was preached. In choosing the passage to be preached, one has to be sensitive as well with the needs of the congregation so as to effectively minister to them. He must carefully identify the main idea in the passage he has chosen and examine it in its context, allowing the scriptures to speak for itself.

In studying the passage, one has to see how a certain passage he is examining fits within the larger section of the scriptures. Here, he mentioned the use of immediate context in the light of the broader context. One has to see how the chosen passage has been developed out of what precedes it. In pointing out the subject of the text, it is essential to use study aids such as lexicons, concordances, commentaries and the like so as to effectively know and teach its details.

In the next stage, one has to relate the parts of the passage to each other to determine the exegetical idea and its development. The synthesis-analysis-synthesis method need not be ignored for us to understand the author’s meaning. It is essential for the expositor to ask what the author of the chosen passage talks about. For him to identify the subject, he has to identify what the details in the paragraph pertain to. A precise subject illuminates the details and is illuminated by the details as well. The complement, which completes the subject thus transforming it into an idea, needs to be identified as well.

The next stage has to do with analyzing the exegetical idea of the passage. With this, we come up with three developmental questions which have to do with its definition, truthfulness and relevance.
The first question (what does it mean?), pertains to the explanations needed, the second (is it true?) centers on its validity and the third one (what difference does it make?) on the application. Upon answering such questions one is fit to formulate the homiletical idea. For a certain truth to be applied to the congregation’s personal lives, the preacher must state it as simple and memorable as possible. Stating the purpose of the sermon prompts them towards moral action.

The preacher must adopt ways for him to accomplish the stated purpose of his sermon. He can either use the deductive, semi-inductive and inductive statements as he develops his sermon. On the deductive approach, the idea becomes part of the introduction as the body explains, proves and applies it. In the inductive approach, it is the introduction which presents the first point in the sermon. It is then followed with the next point, which is exactly interwoven with its previous and following points by transition ideas. In the semi-inductive arrangement, the subject in the introduction is presented and the major points complete the subject.

Upon deciding how the idea must develop, one has to outline the sermon and fill it with supporting materials that explain, prove, apply and amplify the points. One can choose repetitions, restatements, explanations, definitions, factual information, quotations, narrations, illustrations in filing the said structure.

The introduction and conclusion of the sermon must then be prepared upon completing the above steps. For the introduction to be effective, it must command attention, uncover needs and introduce the body of the sermon. A sermon may end with a summary, illustration, quotation, question, prayer, specific directions or visualizations.

Lastly, for the whole sermon to be effective, clarity, vividness and relevance must be present. Still, the way we deliver the sermon matters a lot for it to be successful. Nonverbal factors such as grooming, dress, movement, gestures and eye contact must be taken into consideration.

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