#136 | A Process for Text-Driven Preaching [PODCAST]

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  • #136 | A Process for Text-Driven Preaching [PODCAST]
  • Welcome to The On Preaching Podcast, the podcast dedicated to helping you preach faithfully, clearly, and better.

    In this episode, H.B. talks about a process for text-driven preaching. Something drives every sermon. Because the Bible is the word of God, the text of scripture should drive and direct every sermon.

    How can I prepare and preach text driven sermons?

    Choose the text strategically. You only have fifty-two Sundays to shepherd your congregation in the truth of God’s word, at best. Therefore, you cannot afford to be casual or careless about sermon text selection. Be strategic about planning your preaching. Think texts, not topics. Think series, not sermons.

    Study the text diligently. Diligently study the key words, grammatical connections, historical background, and literary context of accurately interpret the God-intended meaning of the text. Stay in the seat until you have completed the hard work of studying the text.

    Approach the text prayerfully. Knowing and practicing the science and art of Bible interpretation is necessary for preaching sound doctrine. But it is not a mechanical process. You need divine help understand God’s word. Pray for illumination, submission, and obedience to the text.

    Read the text devotionally. Don’t approach the text preoccupied with how to outline it for the pulpit. Let the text speak to your own heart and mind first. Read the text repeatedly. Record what you are learning intentionally. Then reflect prayerfully on what you are learning from God’s word.

    Interpret the text accurately. The key to interpretation is accuracy. We must be “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Get a sense of the world in which the world the text occurs. Make sure you understand the content and intent of the text. Consider the history of interpretation of the text.

    Apply the text pastorally. Expositional preaching involves explanation and exhortation. Yes, you must answer what the text says and means. But you must also answer what the text does or requires. What should the hearer think, feel, or do in light of the meaning and message of the text?

    Craft the text homiletically. Homiletics – the art and science of sermon preparation and delivery – is not about style points. It is about speaking “like nails firmly fixes” (Ecclesiastes 12:11). State the sermon sentence. Form a sermon skeleton. Write a sermon manuscript.

    Present the text clearly. Nehemiah 8:8 reminds us that the sound teaching is clear teaching. You must preach that your hearer may understand the truth. It does not matter if you are right if you are not clear. Make sure your sermon has clear purpose, unity, and movement.

    Declare the text passionately. I believe effective preaching is faithful, clear, and passionate. When I speak about passion in preaching, I am not talking about volume, emotion, or sensationalism. I am talking about preaching as a satisfied customer, not a paid advertiser.

    Preach the text faithfully. You have done your word work. You have craft a message. You have asked God to speak through you. Now go to the pulpit and preach the word confidently, simply, and boldly. Do not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Preach the word in season and out of season.

    A passion to preach without a commitment to study is a desire to perform. – H.B. Charles Jr.

    BOOK RECOMMENDATION: Come and See: The Journey of Knowing God through Scripture by Jonathan Pennington.


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.