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Well-Focused Preaching

Taking a clear picture of your preaching requires both wide-angle and zoom lenses

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When I first began teaching publicly, as a youth minister in the early seventies, I taught in a conversational, dialogue style. After all, there were just 25 kids. When my material wasn't all that useful, one of the students would raise a hand and say, "Can we move on?" Then I'd realize I was missing the mark, or I had overstayed my welcome in the Book of Leviticus, and we would move on.

I stayed with that style for more than a year, but then we started outreach programs, and all of a sudden the group jumped from 25 to 150. My teaching style soon became inappropriate for the larger group; I actually had to start putting together formal messages. In a panic, I went to a senior pastor friend and said, "I have to start giving full-blown messages to 150 high school students. What do you suggest?"

He said, "Well, if I were you, I would get a copy of Berkhof's Manual of Christian Doctrine and just start at chapter 1 and teach these kids." Sounded fine to me. So I read the first chapter of Berkhof, ...

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June 04, 2012  2:51pm

Thank you for revealing the back story to your messages. It is easy to assume that people of your stature just have the gift for preaching without putting the work into it. The amount of preparation, feedback, and people you involve in your messages is amazing. I appreciate your vulnerability and humility in preparing and giving your messages. I am a pastor of a small church, and it helps to hear how the Lord has used feedback in your life. I hope to implement such a helpful feedback loop for my preaching. I know I will be better for it. Thanks for the good example.

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