Preaching & Church Planting

August 2, 2008

How would you integrate a preaching style into a new church plant? This question includes:

Would you preach expositionally?

Would you preach through a book of the Bible?

If so, what book (or books, considering we don’t know the context of the church plant) do you feel would be best to start with?

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5 Responses to “Preaching & Church Planting”

  1. Jonathan Parnell said

    Bryan,
    I have thought just a little on this before. I have a couple of options in mind:

    1) Possibly egin by teaching on preaching from Scripture, i.e. describe your aim in preaching so that your people know what to expect when you stand behind the pulpit. I think this would do well if just for letting people get a glimpse of what is going on. It would break the routine of just doing the “go sit for an hour and listen to a sermon preceded by music and then leave” mentality. Then I would move right on into what that means for the local church (which I think is the natural progression). The first book of the Bible that I would preach through would be the book of Ephesians. Ephesians is about the church and it would be that foundation from which I would want to plant one. How sweet would it be to work through a letter about the church and from there set forth the purpose and mission of the local church! I would be very good to develop the church purpose and mission straight from the Scripture. The church would then think about the Scriptures each time they think about the purpose and mission. They know where it is coming from.

    2) Possibly just begin in the book of Ephesians. By working through this book alone I think would permit discussion and dwelling on points like preaching and why we do it. The difference here would be just not having a particular sermon on “what is a sermon.” That could be something you do by a letter to the church, or just at a different teaching time.

    I think the pro about systematic preaching to begin with (first few sermons) is because it is exactly what takes you to expositional preaching. You are making your case from Scripture as to why.

  2. Jonathan Parnell said

    p.s. very cool picture

  3. I believe I’m with you – I probably would spend a good amount of time doing something like what Driscoll just finished at Mars Hill when he taught systematic theology for several weeks. I just have a mindset that it helps to explain why you’re doing something before you actually do it. Therefore, I think if you are building a new church around expository preaching, especially if you’re talking about doing preaching series through entire books of the Bible, then it has to be explained why.

    I would not only make a point of explaining why I preached in a particular way (including the authority of Scripture) but would even write a small essay that visitors could access on a website. Something that explains why I preached expositionally and briefly explain why I believe the Bible.

    As for books, I agree Ephesians would be great to start off with. I would start with a shorter book like this one and hopefully be able to at least start a series in Acts once I felt like the church was at a stable point.

  4. brianrmahon said

    I would begin by teaching the congregation the exclusivity of the Bible as the means to both conversion and daily transformation (discipleship); and for that reason its essential centrality in the life and ministry of the body of Christ, – that if you are converted you were converted through the word of Christ and if you are a Christian then you are to feast on this word, and if we are the Church of the living God, then Christ must be our creed; and everything that we do as a church, every stance we take, every matter of doctrine we publish must be irritatingly biblical and drenched in Jesus Christ and Him crucified. In short, I would tackle the centrality of God’s Word and its exclusivity in accomplishing the things that the church ought to desire to accomplish preeminently, – if it is what it says it is and if it does what it says it does and if God authoritatively claims exclusivity in these things, then the blood of the church (to borrow an expression from Spurgeon) must be Bibline.

    I like the idea of teaching through systematic theology, but I would prefer to see this as a ministry of the local church, – a teaching ministry designed to engage congregation in theology, church history, ethics, etc.

    What book? I’d probably start in Romans 9-11, – just kidding! Ephesians and Acts would be strong and would provide solid foundations for edifying discussion and future ministry. I like the little book of Philippians. I just finished preaching through it. It draws in several dynamic realities and experiences of the authentic disciple of Christ ranging from triumphant joy in the midst of suffering, to the supremacy of Christ, including that awesome Christological passage in 2:5-11; but in and through these brilliant themes runs this awesome “partnership in the Gospel.” To begin by addressing what this partnership consists of according to Philippians I have found extremely transformational and mobilizing.

  5. Jonathan Parnell said

    The authority of Scripture is a subject that is not only worthy of a specific sermon, or series of sermons, but is also expressed everytime a text is preached. I like the idea of telling the people it is authoratative, and let us also show them everytime we open the Word!

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