When preachers flipped through their New Testament looking for a passage to preach upon, they didn’t flip far. Matthew was the most preached-upon and the most referenced book in the entire Bible. Genesis was the most preached-upon Old Testament book. Luke, John, Acts of the Apostles and Romans—all from the New Testament—were the other most likely biblical books for preachers to use as a main text.
Every book, every page of the Bible, is useful to make us more like Christ and prepare us for ministry, not just our favorite books or pages. In fact, an important part of authoritative, biblical preaching is helping listeners discover “the whole counsel of God.” (Acts 20:27) This means we have to flip further into our Bibles if we’re going to be completely obedient to our call.
How we handle the Word of God matters. As preachers, we have a limited time with our audience every week. The question is, how will we use that time? Will we handle the Word of God in a way that demonstrates its authority in our lives and over the lives of our listeners?
How important is this issue? God’s Word is bread to a spiritually lost and hungry culture. The issue is urgent. Here is my challenge: Over the next 90 days, take action steps to make your sermons more biblically relevant. The following steps will help you get started:
- Listen to one of your recent sermons and assess how you handled the Bible (start by listening for how your sermon addressed the four points in this article).
- Have someone you trust (maybe from outside your church) listen to a different one of your sermons and do the same assessment.
- Read some books on preaching, like Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chappel or The Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordiero, to help your personal approach to God’s Word.
- Create a list of clear and measurable goals to strengthen the biblical content of your preaching.
My prayer is that God would do something new and deeper in all of us who have the honor of communicating his life-changing truth. May every man, woman and child in every community truly see and hear his Word as a result. It’s really the most important concern we can address as we prepare to preach.