Advice for Expository Preachers

September 27, 2009

Andrew Sherwood’s notes – from Mark Dever’s talk at the God Exposed Conference:

Advice for Expositional Preaching:

1) Normally, preach consecutively through parts of the Bible.

2) Good expositional preaching is canonical (through the whole Bible). See Acts 20. He also took us to I Samuel (listen to this talk for this section alone) where Samuel and Eli speak about God’s Word coming to Samuel. Perhaps the most powerful few minutes of the whole conference.

3) Good expositional is connected. Show how it fits with the whole message of the Bible.

4) It should be centered on the Gospel.

5) It is theological.

6) It is critical. It instructs about and criticizes idols. Don’t always preach nice and happy. Think of Jesus’ ministry.

7) It is evangelistic. Distinct from #4. As you preach, don’t shy away from talking about sin and the need for Christ. Teach people to take their hopes off of themselves and put it on Christ. Speak to non-Christians in your sermons.

8 ) It is applied. Do not think that application is only the Holy Spirit’s work. Our whole lives are to be transformed.

9) It is integrated (work it into your life). Read what is being preached on in your quiet time, prepare your heart for it. Teach your congregation to prepare for the sermon. It is the highlight of their week!



  1. Good stuff…though I fail to see where #4 and #7 are distinct. If the “evangel” is the Gospel,” then how do “evangelistic” and “Gospel-centered” differ? Thanks.

  2. Thanks for the good advice about preaching.

  3. Thanks for giving us these pointers. After reading all nine, I feel even less adequate to preach than before, but thank God for His word through Paul: “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:5-6).

  4. The most explicit passages on preaching, 1 Tim. 4:13 and 2 Tim. 4:2, mandate #8. Since the nature of the Word itself by its inspiration is application orientated, note the use of 4 pros, the preacher, then, himself in humility and dependence upon the Spirit, applies (rebukes, convicts, exhorts, comforts)the Word to his flock.

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