Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The great privilege of consecutive expository preaching
When I started out in local pastoral ministry just over four years ago I had no idea just how enriching consecutive preaching through a book of the Bible would be. Of course I had hoped that it would be, but those hopes were jostling for space in my mind with anxieties about sustaining such preaching week in week out . Thankfully the congregation were not daunted when, after five weeks, we were halfway through the word "in" in Genesis 1:1.
The sustained study of the text in context, explained, proved, illustrated and applied to the varying needs of our hearers is a remarkable spiritual discipline. It has forced me to understand, interpret and explain the harder parts of Scripture that you can avoid if your preaching is topical. It has also made me realise something of the great riches of Scripture as new avenues of thought and the interconnectedness of God's written revelation opened up.
It is also the greatest way for our thoughts and lives as preachers to be moulded by the truth over a sustained period of time. Your soul can absorb more and more of a particular book, and do that within the warp and woof of local church life. What can compare with the Word of God coming into contact with and meeting the needs of people in the ups and downs of life? Quite simply it is a great privilege and one that I am deeply thankful for.