Monday, April 25, 2016

Preaching Verse By Verse

I just finished preaching through the book of James here at New Calvary.  For three and a half months, I walked our church family through it verse by verse.  We studied the whole book from its beginning to its end.

This has not been my normal practice of preaching in the past.  Working through an entire book is not something I've done much of during my ministry.  But after this experience with James, I've come to a greater appreiation for this type of preaching.

Here is what I like about preaching verse by verse...

(1). It helps me and others learn more about specific parts of the Bible.  When we focus on just one book at a time, we tend to dig deeper and discover more of what is happening in its original context, as well as what it means for us today.

(2). It disciplines me and others to deal with biblical matters that we most likely would not have dealt with before.  Going verse by verse through scripture forces me to study and teach things that I may would not have chosen to deal with on my own.  And that's a good thing.  I need to deal with all scripture instead of certain portions of it that are familiar or comfortable,

(3).  It helps me with planning and scheduling.  Studying a book of the Bible makes it much easier for me to know what I'm doing for the next several weeks or months.  And it allows the congregation to know what scripture we will be studying next Sunday morning.

Listen, I'm not going to be one of those guys who is dogmatic about this being the only type of preaching that pastors should do.  Every pastor is different and so is every congregation.  What works in one church may not be the best thing for the congregation down the road.

Also, I'm not going to say this will be the only type of preaching I do from now on.  I'm sure that I will do some topical types of sermons along the way.  And there's nothing wrong with that.

But I will say this:  I have come to see the value of walking through a book of the Bible (or even part of a book) as a church family.  It can be, with God's help, interesting, exciting, and relevant to life today.  And, after this recent preaching experience I've had, I'll definitely be doing much more of it in the future than I have in the past.

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