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Change in approach…

February 6, 2010

I once read a book that revolutionized the way I approached preaching. If you were to ask my wife, I was blown away by the way the book taught you to preach. The author is widely followed and is an amazing communicator.

But in the past year a number of things happened to lead me to a change in the way I approach preaching. The long and the short of it is this: I used to think that students could not listen to or understand the Bible. Which in turn leads to preaching shallow messages and attempting to create emotional environments in hopes to bring about some sort of life change. Having a dynamic speaker, lights, cameras, videos, cool graphics, and smoke machines will not bring spiritual life change. Those things just add to a students already emotionally filled life.

I have since changed the way that I am approaching preaching. Preach the Gospel always, contextualize the scriptures but not to the point where you leave out the Gospel. I have stopped worrying about having a “cool” stories and started worrying about if I am preaching the scriptures correctly, accurately and practically. Basically I have taken a weird unconventional approach to preaching to students… preaching the Word.

Novel idea huh? Don’t know if I explained it really well but I hope you get what I mean. If you don’t ask a question, I will answer.

How are preaching to students, I would love to hear your approach.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. dlrayman permalink
    February 6, 2010 5:36 pm


    For a great book on pastoral ministry and preaching check out “Preaching and Preachers” by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It is a classic and radically influenced me. His writing is well worth any money spent for his books.

  2. Lauren permalink
    February 6, 2010 6:23 pm


  3. February 6, 2010 8:17 pm

    good stuff ben. I really appreciate your thoughts on preaching. My take on preaching esp to youth starts first with having a topic/Scripture that I feel God is putting on my heart to share. I like to use pop culture ref to build a bridge to ancient biblical culture. But honestly the biggest thing is being true to what the Biblical Text is saying, be honest and be myself. And follow the Holy Spirit, there has been times when i’ve turned off the Keynote mid message. Mix up the order of service….I hope this helps.
    Right now Im going thru the bible in one year. I gave my students one year bibles and Im trying to preach what they would read that week.

  4. jeffreycmiller permalink
    February 6, 2010 9:33 pm

    What was the book you read?

  5. Benjamin Davis permalink*
    February 6, 2010 10:07 pm

    Thank for all the comments guys and Lauren.

    The book I read was

    I found the book a easy read and actually great for communication in general, but as far as content… over time it has proven to me to be weak.

    Al I appreciate your thoughts and what you are doing with the one year deal is very cool.

    Does anyone have thoughts on preaching books of the Bible the whole way through to teens? Would it work?

  6. dlrayman permalink
    February 7, 2010 7:29 pm

    I think teaching through books of the Bible with teens is a great idea. Firstly, it will show the coherency and contingency of the Bible as a whole. Second, it will force the teacher to teach on tough texts and answer tough questions about the text. Let’s face it, most teens are not just asking elementary questions but questions with depth and meat such as, “Why would a good and loving God allow certain things to happen to me?” Third, when preaching through books of the Bible it allows the communicator to say that he taught the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). Which is what we as pastors are called to do; not just to adults, but to teens as well.

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