Enjoying the Journey
Pastor Kenny Kuykendall is being mightily used of the Lord in Lawrenceville, Georgia. It was my privilege to review his newest book on preaching. I know it will be a great help to all of us whose passion is to effectively preach God’s Word. We are happy to share these brief thoughts and recommend his new resource…
Rare is the man who can preach with the eloquence of Spurgeon, the power of Moody, the conviction of Tozer, or the personality of Sunday. Most of us, in time, can come to terms with that reality. However, no man can preach, as far as the message itself, a better message than any other. For we all have access to the same grand and glorious body of truth known as the Holy Word of God.
If this is true, then we must ask ourselves a serious question: How do we handle His Word? More importantly, does it matter to God what we say when we say we are saying what He said? Sound confusing? I think much of what we hear from behind the pulpit these days is confusing. We live in a time of cultural relevance, modern trends, and conversational-motivational-style speaking. I wonder, what does the congregation really hear when they hear our message? This question brought me to the careful examination of my own preaching, my style, my delivery, my preparation, and my philosophy.
Over the course of many months I began to dissect “all things preaching.” I listened to my own sermons (a humbling experience in itself). I carefully observed the way I approach Scripture. I reviewed hermeneutical principles, evaluated homiletical precepts, and examined interpretative viewpoints. I looked over sermon outlines from months, years, and decades ago.
Furthermore, I studied the preaching style of men from yesteryear. I compared it with the preaching style of today’s modern preacher. I read books, magazines, and articles about preaching. I subscribed to preaching blogs, listened to preaching podcasts, and downloaded preaching apps. I became enamored with the subject and I found a wonderful truth: Much preaching brings about great spiritual benefit. However, I also concluded that much of what is being paraded as preaching is nothing more than half-truths, tradition, or worse still, opinions. I sensed great conviction in my own handling of God’s Word. As I began cataloguing these convictions, I came face to face with certain questions:
- What kind of preacher am I?
- How do I arrive to my sermonic conclusions?
- Am I really saying what God has said?
- What is the motivation behind my proclamation?
- Am I being honest about the text I am preaching from?
- Is the preaching process more academic than spiritual?
- Do I overuse stories and illustrations?
- Does the Scripture have the preeminence?
- Do I rely too heavily on my personality?
- Have I bathed this passage in prayer?
- In my understanding of the text, what does the Spirit want me to say?
- Is the glory of Christ found in my exposition?
The pursuit of those questions resulted in the book Preaching 101: The Call, Components, and Communication of Expository Preaching. There are five truths I hope to convey in this manuscript; I share them with you briefly:
- That expositors of God’s Word will place the highest primacy on the Scriptures.
- That, as expositors, we will understand the connection between the degradation in this culture and the lack of biblical preaching.
- That we will examine, assess, and make necessary changes, as needed, in our preaching ministries.
- That we will train and equip others by teaching them hermeneutical and exegetical principles.
- That, as men who proclaim the Word, we will be utterly dependent upon the power of the Spirit.
These qualities are evident in the preaching ministry of my friend Scott Pauley. I am grateful for his godly example, his gracious spirit, and his unique ability to rightly divide the Word. God’s hand is evident upon his life and preaching. Thank you, Brother Pauley, for allowing me the opportunity to share my burden of expositional preaching on your blog.
You may learn more about the ministry of Dr. Kenny Kuykendall and order his book on preaching at crossroadspublications.org/product/preaching-101.