Is Expository Preaching THE Way

Hi all

Recently, I had an argument with my mother about how I didn’t want to go to the church (in Kansas City) that my uncle (whom I’m staying with at this point) was going to, because it didn’t have expository preaching in it (at least from what my Uncle told me). She wanted me however to go anyways to be open minded and to see the various preaching methods these people were using. Whilst this now seems like a good reason to me about trying to go and see what this guy was preaching and how, I want to ask what forms of preaching are there outside of expository preaching, and are they just as/perhaps better than expository (personally, I don’t think so, but feel free to show my why I could be wrong. )

Are there also different ways of doing expository preaching, and if so, what?


@AlphaOmega Great question :slight_smile: The great value of expository preaching is that it keeps us rooted in the unchanging Word of God rather than in the cultural climate of the day (which is ever changing). Expository preaching focuses on communicating the message of the Biblical text to a modern audience rather than on simply using the text as an illustration of the speaker’s point. But there are many ways of doing expository preaching (see article by Ed Stetzer below). Not all expository preaching is verse by verse straight through the Bible and topical preaching is not always or even mostly bad. I believe it really depends on who is doing the preaching, what gifts they have and the current state of their flock.


This article discusses the difference between verse-by-verse, thematic, narrative and topical expository preaching (different methods of expository preaching).


Good question!
SeanO gave a great reply and I wont disagree with anything he said. I will however, add to his point that there is a difference between someone using the bible to make a point and preaching through through the bible and unpacking it. Can God use any particular way a pastor preaches/teaches from the pulpit? You bet. After all, God used a donkey to convey truth to an erring soothsayer. But if the question is what is the best way to nourish a flock that is another story. I think if a pastors goal is to nourish, his best bet is to teach verse by verse through a book in its context. Also, i think that no matter who is in the pulpit, i think our goal should be to be like the Bereans in Acts 17 and be able to examine the Scriptures for ourselves.

As others have commented, there are values to expository preaching but so much depends on who is doing the preaching. I don’t think we can paint preaching or sharing the word with one brush so to speak. We had a pastor a while back who was said to be a great theology teacher at a bible college. However, I never really got anything from any of his messages. The people there at that church thought highly of his preaching. Today here in this community the preacher picks a verse and then talks about it. People here love him. But there is no deep teaching on scripture. My wife and I therefore look to be challenged elsewhere.

I have been told that I use an apologetic style in my preaching. I use textual, topical as well as expository methods depending of the season as well as the spirits leading. God can and often does use all sorts of us to preach his word to the people.

I’ll never forget one Sunday my wife and I were driving home and we began to discuss the message. She had heard and understood a totally different message than I had. Almost as if we were at two different services. God spoke to each on of us differently in order for us to see what he was getting at for us as a couple.

Let me encourage you look past the speaker and his methods and to ask God and to allow Holy Spirit to speak to you whatever method is being used to present Gods word.