David Jackman’s 10 Exhortations For Preachers

December 2, 2008

1. Get rid of the idea that we have to make the text relevant.

2. Go back and work hard on the text, to find out what it meant to its first hearers or readers.

3. Make sure the original context determines your contemporary application.

4. Set the passage also in its wider Biblical theological context.

5. Focus your understanding and purpose in key sentences.

6. Develop a clear programme.

7. Study your congregation.

8. Apply the truth to the whole person.

9. Make your language count.

10. Pray for the Holy Spirit to blow his life-giving breath through it all and to do the gracious and powerful work of which only he is capable.

The whole article here.



  1. Not really a criticism, but perhaps #10 should be #1…

  2. Jon,

    I think you’re right that #10 would be #1 in real-life ‘experience’. However, I’m guessing that David puts it last in his talk for rhetorical ’emphasis.’ (last being most important)

    A preacher is he!

  3. Also not a criticism, but perhaps helping to explain the “Is it 10? or is it 1?” conundrum, is Tim Keller’s view — that if you put prayer on the list at all, you haven’t understood it! Rather, like salt, it seasons everything. (From his session #7 in the 2006 Reform & Resurge conference.) FWIW!

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