The second seminar at the Building Healthy Churches seminar in Chattanooga, Tn was given by Michael Lawrence, who is the associate pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington DC. His topic was: Preaching & Biblical Theology.
“Our preaching would do well to be expositional preaching. To preach expositionally means to expose the text. Preaching topically is not preferred because there is the danger of making the scriptures fit your topic you are dealing with.What happens in most cases is that Scripture is pulled out of context in order to “work” with the sermon.”
He went on to explain what Expositional preaching is not:
Expositional preaching is not
1. A running commentary – such as you would hear in a seminary class
2. A “style” of preaching
3. verse by verse only
God grows people through His word. When we preach God’s word, we become what we listen to and by preaching the Word we can be like Him.
He went on to include what an Expositional sermon should include:
1.. Preaching through books of the Bible
2. Preaching through the whole Bible, even the minor prophets.
3. Preach the Bible storyline – showing how it is Christ-centered
4. Preach the Gospel
5. Systematic theology
6. Preparing your people
He then gave us a pop quiz to show us how to look at scripture from the Old Testament as gospel centered.
Michael Lawrence is indeed a gifted man of God. While his view on topical preaching may seem biased or critical, you can tell from his teaching/preaching that his passion is the Word of God and relaying it to God’s people. There were some there who disagreed with his view on topical preaching, and I agree with the statement that God uses topical messages. But I have seen the topical message warp scripture in order to fit the message of the preacher instead of the message of God.