Recently, I was asked how I would describe my preaching style. To be honest, a few years ago, I’m not real sure what words I would have used – simply because I don’t think I really know what kind of preacher I was! Becoming a pastor, and preaching almost every Sunday, I’ve begun to “find my voice” when it comes to preaching. At one time, I’d fall into the trap of copying a favorite preacher just because they were successful in their preaching.
This wasn’t intentional, but it was inevitable. I was trying to find my voice.
So how would you describe your preaching style? Three words: Text-Driven, Convictional, and Applicable.
The aim in Text-Driven preaching is to discover the original intent, allowing the text to shape the message. This type of preaching looks at the text in the Bible to shape the structure, substance, and spirit of the sermon. This is accomplished by preaching through books of the Bible, but can also be accomplished preaching topically. In the end, the main idea is to hear more of what God has to say and has said, than what I as the preacher will say or wants to say.
This means that preaching through books of the Bible is preferred style of preaching, but when I preach topically, it will be text-driven in its approach.
The aim in Convictional preaching is birthed out of text-driven preaching. Because I aim to allow the text to shape the sermon, I do not rely on persuasive words or eloquence, rather aim to prophetically preach Christ and Him crucified with conviction (see 1 Corinthians 2:1-5). The writer of Hebrew says it like this, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, ESV). Convictional preaching is preaching a text with confidence, relevance, and with urgency.
This means that prior to preaching a text to others, I’ve first preached the text to myself. If a sermon hasn’t moved me in the Spirit, then it is less likely to move others.
The aim in Applicable preaching is that the church, or the lost person, is never at wonder what to do following a sermon. At the end of the sermon, the punctuation mark should be an exclamation, not a comma. Since the Bible is true, it is universal and timeless in its application to 21st century hearers. Therefore, the application of a text-driven, convictional sermon is that of submission to the authority of God and reverence for the Bible as His Word.
This means I aim to help others see the beauty of the truth, and be set free from their sin and shame (see John 8:32). The application then is applied to my life before I ask others to apply it to their life.
So, what’s your preaching style? It might look different from mine, but I encourage you to find your voice, and preach with conviction!