When Pastor Chai preached, house churches studied the passages preached from beforehand. Some people are wondering why we stopped doing this since I started preaching. The reason is, there’s no need for it.
When Pastor Chai preached, he covered many passages – three to five chapters in the Old Testament or an entire chapter of the New Testament – because he wants to preach through the entire Bible before he retires. We needed to study the passages in advance to understand the sermon because he couldn’t discuss the background and other important information during the given time. My sermons involve just a few verses, so there is not much to study. Pastor Chai also preached book by book, which required prior study on the historical background of the book, the author’s intentions, etc. In contrast, I preach on various topics that do not require such study.
Let me also clarify a misunderstanding. Some people have asked me when I will be doing expository preaching. I wondered about this because I actually am doing expository preaching. Then I realized that they misunderstood Pastor Chai when he recently said, “I don’t have a choice in selecting the topics of my sermons because I am doing expository preaching. The passages for the sermons are predetermined because I preach book by book. And it is the passage, not me, that determines the topic of my sermon.” The people who asked me about expository preaching must have thought that expository preaching means preaching book by book as Pastor Chai does.
In fact, expository preaching is a style of preaching that emphasizes finding the meaning of Bible verses. The selected passages can be long or short. They can be a block of text from a single book of the Bible or a number of verses selected from various books.
I will be preaching in Pastor Chai’s stead for the next 6 months. At first I planned to give a series of sermons on several topics. Then I realized that this requires a lot of time to prepare, time I don’t have. So instead, I decided to preach from a different book of the Bible each week. The selected passage will represent a major theme of the book. I will skip similar books; for example, I will preach on only one of the four Gospels and a couple of the prophets. To make things more interesting, I will alternate between Old and New Testament books each week. Last week I preached on a passage from Genesis. Next week I will preach from Matthew. This way I will be able to cover everything in the next six months.
I hope that my preaching is beneficial for our church members and that it helps them understand God’s words better.
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