The Big Idea

By DrBillComments Off on The Big Idea

HI All,lightbulb

The Big Idea of the sermon is technically called “the Proposition”.  It is a summary of your entire sermon in one sentence.  Some call it “the sermon in a sentence.”

Getting accurate on the Proposition is the most important step you can do as you begin work on your sermon.  Accurately capturing all you have to say in a single sentence will propel you forward to a successful sermon.  Arriving at the Proposition can be some of the hardest work you do in your sermon preparation.  It may take a couple of days to really nail it; you may have to precede it first with exegetical study of the passage, and an understanding of the culture into which the passage speaks.

But once you have the Big Idea, the Proposition, the Sermon in a Sentence, you are almost half-way there!

A finely crafted Proposition can deliver a powerful punch.

Sermon Example:  Ezekiel 18:1 – 30

This is a very long passage and argument from the Lord God to the people of Israel.  It is difficult enough to explain to adults, but what about mid-schoolers?  How would you explain this passage to teens, ages 12-14??  Nathan Miller of Brooklyn Park EFC taught this passage to just such an age group by really nailing the sermon in a sentence.  Here’s his Proposition, Big Idea, or Sermon in a Sentence for Ezekiel 18:

“Your soul is your responsibility.”

That captures it really well.

Once you have the Proposition, you are on your way to putting together a good sermon. Work hard at it, and you – but especially your people – will be rewarded.

For great preaching,

Dr. Bill

Preaching, Proposition, Sermon Preparation, Sermon Tips

How To Prepare A Sermon: Part 10, Create the Title

By DrBillComments Off on How To Prepare A Sermon: Part 10, Create the Title

Hi Preachers!blank billboard

We are working on our ten-part series on How to Prepare a Sermon. We’ve already given you all ten steps of sermon preparation, and Part 1, Praying about your Sermon; Part 2,Textual vs. Topical; Part 3,Study the Passage; Part 4, Read the Commentaries; Part 5, Arrive at the Proposition; Part 6, Develop the Mains; Part 7, Provide Supporting Material, and Part 8, Write the Conclusion, Part 9, Write The Introduction.


Finally, you can choose the title. The only point of the title is to advertise and promote the sermon and let people know in a very brief way what it is about. If you choose your title too early, you may find yourself preaching to the title, rather than the text. Don’t confuse the two.

The Title that you choose can simply be descriptive, like the one I heard this weekend for Sanctity of Human Life Sunday:  “The Privilege and Responsibility of Being Human” by Dr. John Crocker at Crossroads Church in Albert Lea, MN.

It could be a portion of Scripture, like “Songs in the Night”, the famous sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon of the London Tabernacle.  The phrase “songs in the night” is from the Book of Psalms.

The Title could be a very directive title, How to be the Spiritual Leader of your Home, a message which I taught a while back, mainly to fathers, but also to single moms.


Once you have taken the time to write the sermon, you want people to come and listen to it!

So make sure you spread the title of your sermon far and wide so that everyone knows what you will be teaching on. This is your chance to use the title of the sermon to encourage people to come and hear the Word of God being taught.

What are some ways to do that?

sermon sign

  • Whenever I am teaching in a series, I always put in a little teaser near the end of my sermon, about what I will be teaching in the next one. That way people can see how the series is tied together, and will keep coming back, it is hoped.
  • Also, list next week’s sermon in this week’s bulletin.
  • If your church advertises in the newspaper, list your weekly sermon title in there. Many people out there do not want to come to a strange new church unless they have at least some idea of what it is all about. For example, if your sermon title is on parenting, “How to be a great Dad”, that is one thing. If the title, on the other hand, says something like, “How to pick up snakes during worship”, that would tell them something else.


Your job is to preach to the Biblical text, not the Title.  The only purpose of the Title is to let the people know what you will be speaking about. It is just there to advertise. Don’t get distracted by it; stay focused on the Biblical text.

Well, there you have it. That is the last of this ten-part series on How to Prepare a Sermon. I hope you enjoy it, and find it useful, as you teach God’s Holy Word!

For great preaching,

Dr. Bill Miller

General, Sermon Preparation

Five Principles of Biblical Stewardship for Your Small Business

By Gladys Perez-NejudneComments Off on Five Principles of Biblical Stewardship for Your Small Business

by Rita Cartwright

Stewardship is a biblical perspective that can be applied to your business. Stewardship simply means managing possessions and property that are not yours. You may say, “My business belongs to me.” According to Psalm 24:1, the earth and everything on it belong to the LORD. The world and its people belong to him (CEV). Based on this scripture, your business belongs to God; therefore, you are a steward managing his business. He has blessed you with the talents, time, and treasures that you need to properly manage that which you are responsible for.

There are five principles of biblical stewardship: persistence, planning, proportionate, pleasantness, and purpose. Let’s see how we can apply them to your (God’s) business.

Persistence: Scripture teaches us that faithfulness is a necessary quality to possess as a steward. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful (I Corinthians 4:2 KJV). Being persistent and dependable is viewed as being faithful. If you have any doubts, you can’t move forward in your business. You have to believe it to achieve it. You have faith that you can be a successful entrepreneur and small business owner; therefore, you are persistent in making it happen.

Another symbol of your faith is your dependability. Your business is not fly-by-night; you are in it for the long haul. Your clients can depend on you being there and not skipping town. Also, they can depend on you to be faithful in completing their projects and tasks.

Planning: God wants everything to be done peacefully and in order (I Corinthians 14:33 CEV). Planning goes without saying in any size or type of business. It is highly advisable to have a business plan as entrepreneurs and small business owners, as well as a marketing plan. A plan will keep you focused and on track; therefore, your business plans will be accomplished peacefully and in order.

Proportionate: If God has been generous with you, he will expect you to serve him well. But if he has been more than generous, he will expect you to serve him even better (I Corinthians 16:2 CEV). The proportion of talents, time, and treasures God blesses you with will determine what services and/or products you will offer to your target market. Remember, He gives you what you need to be good stewards. At the same time, you are serving God by providing your clients with excellent service and/or products, which come from your proportion of talents, time and treasures that He has given you.

Pleasantness: Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give (II Corinthians 9:7 CEV). Be pleasant in your business dealings, especially with your clients. It’s what’s known as providing excellent customer service. Don’t force it, give your pleasantness freely. Your clients would much rather conduct business with someone who is pleasant rather than with someone who is rude. Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31 NIV). When completing their projects and tasks, do it cheerfully. God sent you that client as a way of providing you with treasures.

Purposeful: When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God (I Corinthians 10:31 CEV). As a steward over God’s business, it’s important to honor Him by operating it with honesty and integrity. I remember reading in “The Prayer of Jabez,” written by Bruce Wilkinson where Bruce was having a conversation with some business executives. One of the executives asked Bruce, “Is it right to ask God for more business?” Bruce responded, “Absolutely! If you’re doing your business God’s way, it’s not only right to ask for more, but He is waiting for you to ask.”

Conclusion: Biblical stewardship deals with use of your money; however, it is a perspective that covers your entire life, including your business. As I have pointed out, the five principles of biblical stewardship can be applied to your business. This should be our business plan as entrepreneurs and small business owners. From time to time, we need to refer back to our plans to ensure we are on the right track. God has entrusted his business to you by appointing you as steward to manage it. The more God bless your (His) business, the more He wants you to bless individuals, the community and the world at large. This style of stewardship will bring honor and glory to His name. It is also a manner of serving God.

Original article here.

General, Preaching

How To Prepare A Sermon: Part 9, Write The Introduction

By DrBillComments Off on How To Prepare A Sermon: Part 9, Write The Introduction

Hey Up-and-Coming Preachers!     hand shake

We are working on our ten-part series on How to Prepare a Sermon.  We’ve already given you all ten steps of sermon preparation, and Part 1, Praying about your Sermon; Part 2,Textual vs. Topical; Part 3,Study the Passage; Part 4, Read the Commentaries; Part 5, Arrive at the Proposition; Part 6, Develop the Mains; Part 7, Provide Supporting Material, and Part 8, Write the Conclusion. Today: How To Prepare A Sermon: Part 9, Write The Introduction.

Yes, the introduction often comes right at the end, after you have written the Conclusion. The main goal here is to get their attention and to introduce the topic, thus “introduction”. Once you know the main thrust of the sermon and the main points, it is much easier to write the introduction.

Consider the Goal

The Introduction must fit strategically with the rest of your sermon. Too many pastors think that ‘attention-getting’ is the only goal, and thus try to do something lame like just share some cutesy humor or joke which they discovered on the internet. But once you have written the Conclusion, then the Introduction is the most natural next step. This is because, having written the Conclusion, you know where the sermon will end up, and so you begin with the end in mind. If your Introduction and Conclusion have a similar theme, then your sermon has parallelism; there is a natural matching between the two. People’s minds will come back to what you began with and begin drawing conclusions, which is what you want to happen. This is why in our SermonBase Message Planning Software, it is possible to view the Conclusion and the Introduction on the same screen so that you can view the connections and similarities between these two parts of your sermon.

Connect with the Listeners

During the Introduction, you must identify with the listeners. If you can make an emotional connection with the listeners in the Introduction, then they will be prepared to receive what you have to say in the rest of the sermon. If you are going to say something challenging in the sermon, then it is all the more important to relate to the audience so that they can connect and identify with you as a person.

Form a Natural Transition

The Introduction must lend itself naturally to the topic of the sermon. There must be an easy and logical flow from the topic of the Introduction to the topic of the sermon. It must make sense. Don’t give the listeners whiplash where you are talking about one thing over in this direction, and then suddenly we are facing the other way and talking about spiritual things with no warning. For example, a personal story about a recent sports injury may lend itself naturally to talking about physical and then spiritual health.

Introduce the Text

The purpose of the Introduction is to move people’s minds from the everyday mundane to the sacred Scriptures. So the topic must lead to the Scripture text upon which you intend to teach. Now it is important to note that in the Introduction you introduce text, you do not explain the text. That comes later during the Main Points of your sermon. Just introduce the text at hand, and explain why it relates to what you are going to discuss for the day. Then move quickly from the Text to the Proposition to the Main Points.

Don’t go too long

Some preachers spend way too much time on the Introduction. Use it as a tool to get you to where  you need to go, which is the Proposition. Then launch into your sermon. Preachers make the mistake of going to long when they lose sight of the purpose of the Introduction, which is “introduce”, not “explain”.

If you have already followed through on the other eight parts of the sermon preparation process, then the Introduction portion should come pretty easy. For by this time, you have a clear sense of purpose; you have the Proposition, the Main Points, the supporting material, and the Conclusion. The Introduction will then almost jump out at you as to how you might begin the sermon.

The final article in this series relates to the Title, which can trip you up if you don’t know its true purpose.

God’s best to you as you prepare to share God’s Word with His people!

Dr. Bill Miller

General, Sermon Preparation

Are Christians commanded to Tithe?

By Gladys Perez-NejudneComments Off on Are Christians commanded to Tithe?

by Robert Randle

One of the most widely participatory faith practices among Christians is “tithing,” and yet, it might be one of the least understood. There is certainly nearly unanimous agreement that this ordinance was commanded by God to the ancient Israelites and believers are taught that it is a requirement for us today; but what do the Scriptures say on this matter? A common reasoning is found in the Old Testament book of Malachi 3: 8, which states, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings. This pronouncement had to do with the decline and neglect of the temple services and offerings by the post exilic Jews who had returned to Palestine after a long period of foreign captivity.

There are at least two passages in the gospels of the New Testament book of Matthew, 5: 17-20, where verse 20 is used more convincingly to administer the ‘tithe’ among Christians because Jesus told His disciples, “”For I say unto you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Also in Matthew 23: 1-3, 23, Jesus wasn’t so much as teaching about tithing or even giving, but rather He was teaching against hypocrisy. If Jesus gave any favorable impression with the principle of tithing or giving, it is to be one borne of true faith and sacrifice as evidenced in Mark 12: 41-43, where He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury.” In practical matters because of the social, cultural, and market economy in which we live today, it would be almost an impossibility to exceed the scribes and Pharisees in their tithing practices anyway. So let’s see how the practice of taking up an offering really got started among the First Century believers.

Acts 11: 1, 27-30
“Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. Now at this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there certainly would be a great famine all over the world [land]. And this took place in the reign of Claudius. And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Jerusalem. And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders (Cp. 12: 25).”

The following New Testament Scriptures [Paul’s letters] deal with this event over a period of several years which forms the historical background and theological basis for this practice today (Cp. Gal 2: 10??; I Corinthians 16: 1-4; II Corinthians 1: 15-16; 8: 1 – 9: 15). Even in Acts 15: 13-14, 19-20, 28-29; 21: 18, 25, the Mother Church in Jerusalem decreed that the Gentile believers observe certain essentials of the faith and at no time was tithing mentioned.

The one thing that must be mentioned is the collection for the saints [in Judea] was never a command but voluntary (II Corinthians 8: 7-8; 10) and the only requirement then as well as today is found in II Corinthians 8: 12; 9: 7-8, which reads, “For if the readiness [of mind] is present, it is acceptable according to what a man has, not according to what he does not have. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart [so let him give]; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything; you may have abundance for every good deed.

So, what does the New Testament teach regarding supporting the Gospel or those who minister in the Word of God?

I Corinthians 9: 7-15a, 17a-18
Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink the milk of the flock? Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the Law say the same also? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while it treads out the grain (Cp. Deuteronomy 25: 4).” Is it oxen that God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so for me. For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.

II Corinthians 11: 7-9
Did I commit sin humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one; for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself.

NOTE: This is a far cry from those members of the clergy and Church leadership today who use the Scriptures to psychologically coerce the believers into ‘tithing’ or put a “guilt trip” and fear of condemnation on the flock if they do not participate in this offering. Are they like those in Micah 3: 11a, which reads, Her priests teach for pay and her prophets’ divine for money?

There is one other reference in the New Testament on this matter of financial support, and that pertains to the office of a “special” class of Elder, as in I Timothy 5: 17-18, which says: Let the Elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor [just what is this?], especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain Cp. Deuteronomy 25: 4,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

NOTE: Curiously, that last part which was added on is found in Luke 10: 7b, which reads: For the laborer is worthy of his wages. A similar account, though not as literally, word for word as Luke account is found in Matthew 10: 10b, which says, For a worker is worthy of his food. So, just as those who preach the gospel of God have the right to be supported, the Elder who among his other responsibilities (Cp. I Timothy 3: 1-7; Titus 1: 5-9), both proclaims the Gospel and teaches [instructs in doctrine] is to receive the material things they need just as the Apostles, other ministers, evangelists, and missionaries who spread the “Good News.”

Original article here.


Sermon Symmetry

By DrBillComments Off on Sermon Symmetry

Symmetry is a description of how you write your Main Points.  “Symmetry” means “balanced proportions”.  If your sermon displays symmetry, it’s main points will be balanced and proportionate.  That is, each main point will seem to have an equal and valuable relationship with all of the other main points.  No main point will dominate, either in terms of importance, impact, or the amount of time you spend on it.butterfly

The three main benefits of sermon symmetry are:

1.  Understandable

Main Points with symmetry, make your sermon easy to follow and understand.

2.  Memorable

It is easy to remember a sermon with has symmetry flow.  I’m writing this blog from memory, based on the sermon symmetry I heard last night.

3.  Beautiful

Main Points with symmetry, are a thing of beauty.  (Note how the three points of this blog also display symmetry.)

Sermon Example:  Take a look at this sermon which I just listened to last night from Dr. John Crocker at Crossroads Church in Albert Lea, MN:

He was speaking on 2 Peter 1:1-12.  His mains were:

  1. Establish Your Identity  (2 Peter 1:1-4)
  2. Exercise Your Responsibility  (2 Peter 1:5-8)
  3. Erase Your Uncertainty  (2 Peter 1:9-12)

This sermon contains symmetry.  Each main is a command verb (Establish, Exercise, Erase). Each main begins with the letter “E”.  Each main is focused on You.  Each key word at the end has a symmetry as well, with each one ending with a “-ty” ending.

This is not just word play.  This gives a sermon memorable power and greater impact in people’s lives.

Yours for better preaching,

Dr. Bill

Preaching, Sermon Tips, Sermons

Power of Positive Preacher Part 3

By Gladys Perez-NejudneComments Off on Power of Positive Preacher Part 3

Power of Positive Preacher Part 3
by Thomas Garrity
What it means to be a preacher or preach: Of uncertain affinity; to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the gospel): – preach (-er), proclaim, publish.
2Ti 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
Finally we get to the preacher. Just about the rest of this scripture is in concern with the preacher. He is to instruct for righteousness becoming perfect in God and furnished (equip) for duty or work.God has called certain men in becoming the messenger for him self.This doctrine is not mans and even Jesus said that is was not His doctrine it was the lords: John 7:16 “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me(GODS).” Even like Jesus!
God uses man kind to deliver His message.How many times have you sat through a church service and felt as if the preacher was speaking directly at you? The truth is that GOD was trying to reproof and correct you for instruction in righteousness. He was communicating directly to you.Yet people will say they felt as if the pastor was judging them. This is not Truth, preachers are simply messengers of GOD.
Preachers have GREAT responsibility in being a messenger for GOD. With no surprise, people look back at the preacher after their own conviction to judge the pastor rather then looking to God for an explanation of the conviction they just received. That is just like the mail man handing you your mail and because their is a bill he handed you, that you have been fighting a company on you then turn on the mail man and sick your dog on him. This is wrong. We must remember a preacher is called from GOD. There are times as expressed in the earlier lesson about false teachers that we must be aware of, yet the most important way is to seek the Lord in study thyself, prayer and fasting. If you combat in any other way you will make things worse for your self and others. Seek ye first the kingdom of GOD and His righteousness and all these other thing will come.
To conclude: The Power of a positive preacher 2Ti 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.”Isa 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (specific duties given by GOD not man). 2Ti 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2Ti 3:17 “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
If we would simple trust God by obeying His word, His inspiration and become doers not hears only, weather a preacher or teacher we will be part of The power of the positive preacher. Which is GOD.


Sermon Tip: Focus

By DrBillComments Off on Sermon Tip: Focus

laser beam

Laser or light bulb?

Some preachers only kind-of, sort-of, know what they want to say when they get in the pulpit.  And by that I am not saying that they don’t have a manuscript or notes.  What I mean by FOCUS is, has the message captured your heart?  Has God gripped your soul with what you want to say today to God’s people in God’s name?  Focus is when the Big Idea (the Proposition; the Sermon in a Sentence) has gripped your soul and it won’t let you go, until you let it out.

If the message has gripped your soul, you will have Focus.   When you have Focus, you have a powerful message.

What is the result of having Focus to your sermon?

1.  People will feel the power of your message upon THEIR hearts.

They will be gripped by it as well, and they will focus on you.  This is important.  I sit at the back of church when I am not preaching, and I see how the people at the back are really easily distracted.  It takes a powerful message with a strong focus to capture and keep their attention.  The further they sit from the pulpit, the more the Focus is important to maintain their attention.

2.  Your message will be delivered to their hearts like a laser, and not like a soft-white diffused fluorescent bulb.

People will feel like God is speaking to them about something specific.  God’s application is always very specific.  A focused message helps to deliver God’s truth into people’s hearts.

3.  Every point in your message will supplement your main point and sharpen the focus.

The Mains will sharpen, clarify, and strengthen what you have to say.  They will sharpen the Focus, not soften it.

How do you know if you don’t have Focus in your sermon?

1.  You will ramble!

If you don’t have anything specific to say, then, just about anything will do.  Rambling generalities never changed anyone’s life.

2.  You will try to make too many applications.

When a preacher is not sure of what s/he has to say, they often pull out the easy applications and start hitting people about the same old sins.  But Focus helps a sermon to point to one specific life change which God’s Word is calling them to do.

3.  You will lack passion.

The people will sense it, and you will feel it.  The right words may come out, but not with the same punch or power.  Focus adds passion.

How to get Focus in your sermon:

This is the tough part.  How can you make sure that week in and week out, you have clear Focus?  You need to have clearly written goals for your sermon.  I use SermonBase Message Planning Software® to help me frame up my goals for every single message.  I determine the main goal for the entire message.  (And please note, that this is NOT the same as the Big Idea or Proposition.)  Then I determine three sub-goals: Intellectual, Emotional, and Behavioral.  Asking these questions helps me to sharpen the Focus of my message.

Hope that helps!

Here’s to good preaching that grab’s people’s hearts in the name of Jesus!

Dr. Bill


General, Preaching, Sermon Tips

The Three Types of Expository Preaching You Could Use

By DrBillComments Off on The Three Types of Expository Preaching You Could Use

Hey Preachers and Teachers!

There are three types of Expository sermons:  Book Exposition, Biographical Exposition, Topical Exposition.

I know that there are various definitions of ‘expository preaching’, so just to clarify, when I say ‘exposition’ I am referring to a verse-by-verse study of a particular passage of Scripture. You work your way through a single passage of the Bible; you don’t jump around all over the place; you teach the Word of God where it stands, letting the text before you form your major points and even form the structure of your sermon. That is expository preaching.  Having said that, even with that definition, there are three different ways you can do this style of preaching.

Let’s look at each of these:

  • Book Exposition

This is the one which most people are familiar with. You take a book of the Bible and work through it from the first verse to the final. In some cases, you may take key passages which communicate the main message of the book. This is sometimes helpful for larger books when you don’t have time in your church calendar schedule to work through every single verse. For example, years ago I worked through the Book of Joshua. The book has 24 chapters, but I took a 9-week expositional walk-through of the book by hitting the 9 Key Faith Themes from Joshua. It was called “Living on the Edge of Faith” and was very good. You can get that series, by the way, at my site.

So that is Book Exposition; well-known and well-loved.

  • Biographical Exposition

This is a bit more tricky and requires some advance prep work before you get into the series, because you have to find all the relevant places in the Scripture where the person is referred.  It could be all over the Old and New Testament, so you will want to find your key themes first, then prep your major points, as your create the Series.  For example, think of how Daniel is referenced in various places in both the OT and the NT. Then, once that prep work is ready you can do an exposition of that person’s life by taking each of the key passages about him or her, and doing a complete exposition on each passage.

  • Topical Exposition

Does that sound like a contradiction to you? How can it be both topical and expository? Well it can, but you have to be careful on how you handle it. Sometimes this third version is called “textual topical” just to emphasize that in expository topical preaching the Text is still primary. You see, in much topical preaching, the teacher simply pulls out a concordance, and locates all key passages where that topic is used and then in the course of one sermon, takes you on a hunt throughout the Bible. While that is always a lot of fun, it is not expository topical preaching; that is just plain ‘topical’.  In ‘expository topical preaching’ you stay with one passage, which is focused on a key topic. For example, think of Paul’s argument about the power of Sin in Romans 7. That would make a good passage for an exposition of the topic of Sin.

Topical Exposition has its own dangers, so we will address those in a future blog. For now, give some thought to each of the three types of Expository Preaching, and give them a try if you’d like.

Yours for great preaching!

Dr. Bill Miller


General, Preaching, Sermon Preparation
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