What is Expository Preaching?
Expository preaching is the week by week exposition of passages of Scripture, seeking to present the meaning and purpose of the text as intended by the original author, paying careful attention to its historical, contextual and grammatical significance, and appropriately demonstrating that passage’s application to the present day.
Expository preaching springs from a commitment to the Bible as the Word of God, and the conviction that what God’s people need most of all is to be fed God’s Word. The pastor or teacher is, under God, the shepherd of the flock, and a shepherd both feeds and protects the sheep by preaching and teaching the Word of God.
So, the shepherd’s first task must be to clearly present and teach the Scriptures. The preacher doesn’t enter the pulpit to share his experiences, perspectives, or feelings. As an expository preacher, one begins his or her sermon preparation not by asking, “What do I want to talk about?” or “What will make my congregation or the elders think well of me?” or even, “What message do I think they need”. Rather, one begins by asking, “What does God’s Word say in the Scripture that comes next in God’s Word?
Why Expository Preaching?
Expository preaching is not the only way to preach the Bible. There is textual preaching, where the preacher focuses on just one verse to explore its riches. An example is the preaching of John 3:16, or a Christmas sermon that focuses on Matthew 1:23. Topical preaching is another method which is commonly found in many churches today. When done well, the preacher gathers a number of different but thematically related texts together in order to address a particular issue. When done poorly, the Bible is only referred to superficially. There is an important place for both textual preaching and topical preaching in the church.
However, there is no substitute for expository preaching, where in–depth exposition of books of the Bible (or, if a lengthy book, a significant portion of it) takes place week by week, taking seriously the context of each passage and ensuring that the voice of God, communicated through the inspired author, is properly heard. At the Centre for Biblical Preaching we are equipping more preachers to expound all of Scripture without neglecting the more difficult or obscure parts of the Bible. Our ultimate aim is to help the church better understand the word of God and how it applies to everyday life, in order to produce godly and mature disciples of Christ.
Who is Expository Preaching for?
Training in expository preaching is for anybody who has a great passion for the public preaching of the gospel, and the teaching of the word of God. It is for the preacher who is just starting out, and it is also for the more experienced and mature preacher as part of his or her ongoing learning process. The ministry of the Centre for Biblical Preaching is tailored specifically for these two groups of preachers.
For the preacher who has had little exposure to, or experience in, expository preaching, our courses provide training in the fundamentals of preparing and delivering a sermon, and help men and women to preach faithfully the different types of literature found in both the Old and New Testament.
For the experienced preacher, there is the option of one-on-one or small group mentoring, to help you to continue to grow and mature as a preacher.
In both the classes and the mentoring groups, most of the time is spent with members of the group presenting sermons they have recently prepared or delivered.