What Kind of Preacher are We Looking for at Grace Bible?
Sermons from one main passage of Scripture and sermons from multiple main passages of Scripture can both be exegetical (deriving their authority from the Bible through exegesis). There are times when a sermon can be preached best by using multiple main passages. However, at Grace Bible you can generally expect to hear a sermon preached verse by verse through one main passage.
Book Series and Topical Series
Regularly preaching through books of the Bible (verse by verse) can add extra emphasis to the context of a passage and helps preachers to engage the whole counsel of God. Likewise, a topical sermon series can be beneficial in addressing specific needs in a church community, specific seasons like advent, and specific matters of theology. Thus, at Grace we preach through books of the Bible regularly while also preaching through topics intentionally.
Knowledge and Life Application
Paul says that he wrote Romans, arguably the most theological book of the Bible, in order to bring about “the obedience of faith” (Rom 1:5) – theological knowledge and obedient life application should always go together. Knowledge of the ancient Words and contemporary application of them must be combined.
The Results of Exegesis and The Work of Exegesis
In math class there are some assignments where you simply give the right answer and there are other assignments where you have to get the right answer and show your work. In preaching, we have established that the “right answer” (the sermon) always results from the work of exegesis (the work the pastor does in the study, parsing Greek verbs, working the passage out in its historical, grammatical context, etc.). Thus, the results of exegesis are shared in every sermon. Often it is also helpful for the pastor to intentionally share parts of the work behind that right answer to further support a point or teach the congregation further about the exegetical process.
Believer and Unbeliever
Sunday morning services should be for believers, and that is our emphasis at Grace Bible. However, we ought to be prayerfully and intentionally mindful of unbelievers in the room as we aim to make both more and better disciples (Eph 4:11-12, 1 Cor 14:24-25).
Encouragement and Rebuke
These categories have to do with the tone of the preacher. These are not the only two needed tones, but it is helpful to note that preachers are to encourage and to rebuke, to instruct and to correct, to “comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable” (Rom 15:4, 2 Tim 4:2).
Humble and Authoritative
Dealing with tone again, the pastor should preach from both the authority of the Word and the humility of being human (2 Tim 3:16, 2 Cor 12:7). As G.K. Chesterton put it, “A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth.”
I close this article by encouraging you to review the charts below one more time, praying that God would start working in our hearts even now to prepare us to eagerly receive his Word from whoever our next pastor will be. A wise man once told me: “maturity is the ability to love God, love others, and love his Word more after every sermon you hear, no matter who is preaching it.”
- We should draw hard lines on matters of sermon substance.
- Only the “Expositional Preaching” category is acceptable in this chart.
- We should recognize a both/and continuum on matters of sermon style.
- Both left and right categories are acceptable, and the column between these two categories is where we aim our stylistic focus at Grace Bible.
1For examples of various definitions of expository preaching: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/erik-raymond/what-is-expository-preaching/
2I borrowed this category (and the idea for this article’s approach) from my childhood pastor, Mark Vroegop, in his article on worship. Read it here: https://cpcresources.net/the-both-of-worship/.
Thank you Joe for this excellent article. The preaching I've received from Pastor Dave, the elders, yourself and now the media tab on the Grace Bible app have been excellent, timely, bringing conviction, encouragement and confirmation. Father God has such good plans for His church and I'm praying with joy for the pastor He's sending us. Blessings!
I have been a member at The Chapel in Akron since 1978. I am writing this note to say that your church has called the best of the best to be your new Senior Pastor. I met Josh early on when I arrived at The Chapel, and I liked him from that moment on. I attended many of his lectures here, most of his sermons here, and we have shared several lunches. I need to add that we have not spent nearly as much time together as I would have liked. I love Josh. I believe we have a kindred spirit in our love for God's Word. I will miss him terribly. I must say, to sit under his teaching every Sunday would be a reason to move. God bless you all and your church as you help Josh and his family settle in. With all the spiritual grace I can muster I will close by saying, "I envy you" in the most spiritual way possible. God bless you and your church!