Here are 24 things I noted down from The Institute for Expository Preaching with Steve Lawson.
1. Over the years I’ve enjoyed and been helped by Steve Lawson’s ministry via his books and resources (magazine, podcast) he releases though One Passion Ministries. When I saw he was doing his Institute for Expository Preaching in London, I was keen to go, and it did not disappoint.
2. The workbook handed out containing all the talk outlines was worth the conference fee. He took us through the Mandate, Meaning, Marks, Models and Mechanics of Expository Preaching.
3. Jesus was a preacher. When Jesus wasn’t preaching, He was training preachers. At the end of His life He commissions His disciples to be preachers – not storytellers, dramatists, cool communicators – preachers.
4. If you want a first century church, our ministries need to be filled with preaching,
5. The lows ebbs of church history has been when preaching has been most pathetic.
6. Preaching the Word is designed to produce transcendent worship, establish the purity of the church, equip the saints to do the work of ministry, and light the fire for evangelistic outreach.
7. What is expository preaching? It is taking a passage of Scripture and opening up the meaning so message originates with the Word of God. It is interpreting and explaining the text of Scripture, practically applying the text and exhorting the hearers to put into practice the implications and applications.
8. There are truths we need to be bull-dogmatic about. The problem with preachers is that no-one wants to kill them anymore.
9. Where the Bible speaks, we roar like a lion,
10. If the message is all exposition and no preaching, all content but no challenge, it will produce a church that has much information but little transformation.
11. Check out Spurgeon’s sermon on 2 Corinthians 6:2, Now!
12. Expository preaching is marked by being text-driven, God-exalting, Christ-centred, Spirit-empowered, exegetically-ground, theologically-precise, logically-ordered, passionately-delivered, boldly-declared, pastorally-edifying, and evangelistically-aimed.
13. Faithful preaching says what the text says and goes where the text goes.
14. We need more Bible not less Bible in our sermons.
15. Spirit empowered doesn’t mean you don’t need to study. The Spirit brings to mind what you have deposited into your mind as you’ve studied.
16. James Montgomery Boice took a systematic theology to read every vacation.
17. A sermon has a distinctive structure. It is not a random collection of exegetical gems or a rambling commentary on a passage.
18. “A good preacher should have these properties and virtues; first, to teach systematically; secondly, he should have a ready wit; thirdly, he should be eloquent; fourthly, he should have a good voice; fifthly, a good memory; sixthly, he should know where to make an end; seventhly, he should be sure of his doctrine; eighthly, he should venture and engage body and blood, wealth and honour, in the word; ninthly, he should suffer himself to be mocked and jeered of every one.
He should not be silent or mumble but should testify without being frightened or bashful. He should speak out candidly without regarding or sparing anyone, let it strike whomever or whatever it will. It is a great hindrance to a preacher if he looks around and worries about what people like or do not like to hear, or what might make him unpopular or bring harm or danger upon him. As he stands high on a mountain in a public place and looks around freely, so he should also speak freely and fear no one, though he sees many kinds of people and faces. He should not hold a leaf in front of his mouth.” (Martin Luther)
19. If you are not fishing, you are not following the Lord. Intentionally be a soul winner.
20. What does Peter do on the Day of Pentecost? He introduced the text, read the text, explained the text, supported the text, synthesised the text, and applied the text.
21. Using cross-references shine light on the text and shows that the whole Bible speaks with one voice.
22. Great preaching gets to the “Therefore…” It starts with WE but gets to YOU.
23. Preaching should enflame hearts, raise affections, inspire hope, and challenge wills.
24. One gripe, was that some of the attendees went up to Steve Lawson at breaks to get their Bible or books signed by him. I have no time for any whiff of Christian celebrity!