A New Preaching Style


A. The church is under attack by the change agents, and one of
their targets is unquestionably the worship services

1. One striking changes that has occurred over the last 30
years is a new style of preaching

2. Scripture used to be the sum and substance of our
sermon material

3. We used to literally drench our preaching with Bible

4. Our preaching was easily identifiable for its sober logic
and good sense

5. Like Paul’s ] Acts 26:25

B. But this is no longer the case in many places

1. Much of the preaching now is dominated by
psychology man’s fallible perceptions of his own needs

2. Now our preaching focuses more on the preacher than the

3. This need breed of preachers are masters at endearing
themselves to the congregation rather than endearing the
congregation to Jesus and the word of God

a. Biblical substance has been replaced by emotional

b. Many are selling out to the denominations and opting for
their approach

4. The old style of preaching was appealing for its good
sense, Scripture and logic. The new style of preaching
entails showmanship, entertainment, and filled with
anecdotes rather than a thus saith the Lord.


A. The “Felt-Needs” Fallacy

1. The new style of preaching and the change in sermon
content has occurred largely as a result of the
preoccupation with numerical growth

a. The desire to attract people is accompanied by the
insistence that preaching must be adjusted and adapted to

b. Many now are molding their preaching around the
“felt-needs” of the audience

c. By “felt-needs” it is meant that the listener possesses
specific perceptions of what he needs, desires, or

d. The new style of preacher finds what kind of food they
and provides them a good “cotton candy sermon”

2. Notice that this approach, by definition, permits man to set
the agenda for topic of discussion

a. But if Bible history shows us anything, it shows us that
this is not the way

1) Jeremiah 10:23

2) Proverbs 14:12

3) Proverbs 20:24

b. Man often clamors for what they want, and not what
they need – Only God knows what is, in reality, good for

c. We must permit God to set the agenda for preaching

3. Biblical preaching centers on and majors in what God says
are man’s needs – rather than any “heart felt-need”

a. The greatest need of mankind is the straightforward
proclamation of the Bible, rather than tickling of the ears
of the people

b. We need to get away from man’s wisdom and get back
to God’s wisdom

B. Balanced Preaching

1. Some are now saying that a preacher should never, under
and circumstances, offend or create division by his

a. It may be true that some preachers offend

b. On the other hand, the preacher who is patterning his life
and teaching after Jesus will inevitably offend some

2. Consider the preaching of Jesus

a. John 7:12

b. John 7:43

c. John 10:19

d. The prevailing mood among many of our brethren is
“peace at all cost,” “smooth it over,” and “whatever you
do, don’t create division”

e. No one wants division just for the sake of  division, but
Jesus said ] Luke 12:51

3. Another contrast between Bible preaching and human
ideas about preaching is seen among those who claim
that it is inappropriate for the preacher to “call names”
or speak too directly about a false doctrine, a false
teacher, or a false church

a. Their reasoning is that this alienates people and brings
unnecessary antagonism. Does this premise, in fact, have
biblical support?

b. Jesus labeled false teachers with such names as:
offspring of vipers, hypocrites, blind guides, fools,
serpents (Mat. 12:34; 23:15-17, 33)

c. Paul publicly called people down by name: Demas,
Hymenaeus, Alexander, Philetus, Peter, Alexander
the Coppersmith (Gal. 2:11-4; 1 Tim. 1:20; 2 Tim.
2:17-19; 4:10, 14)

d. Publicly pinpointing people, groups, and doctrines is
biblical if undertaken properly

4.  One also hears a lot these days about the need to have
“balanced preaching”

a. What is often meant by this admonition is that the
preacher should refrain from being “negative”

b. Granted, we should “speak the truth in love”
(Eph. 4:15)

c. Our approach to life and preaching should not be
dominated by a harsh, critical, and unkind

1) Galatians 6:1

2) 2 Timothy 2:24-25

d. But the Bible repeatedly teaches that the human mind is
in frequent need of correction and discipline – that which
is negative

1) Jeremiah 1:10

2) 2 Timothy 4:1-2

5. This is hard for many to accept, but biblical preaching –
balanced preaching – can sometimes be divisive, offensive,
and negative

a. God’s proclaimed truth is like a hammer that breaks
rocks into pieces (Jer. 23:29)

b. But to those who will receive with humility, it will
save their soul (Jam. 1:21)

C. Book, Chapter, and Verse

1. Another facet of the new style of preaching is the
insistence that the explicit citation of Bible book, chapter
and verse in pulpit proclamation is somehow
unsophisticated, ineffective, or inappropriate

a. There is a dramatic reduction in the use of Scripture in
many pulpits today

b. This is dangerous and sure to bring spiritual destruction,
as biblical history points our

1) Joshua 1:8

2) Hosea 4:6

2. Why do some seem so reluctant to give book, chapter, and
verse in their preaching?

a. Perhaps some are threatened by their lack of Bible

b. Or, perhaps some have embraced false doctrines which
cannot survive the straightforward scrutiny of the

c. Or, maybe to them constantly quoting Scripture does not
fit well with the modern, “sophisticated,” “educated,”
“smooth” approach.

3. 1 Peter 4:11

4. Isaiah 8:20

5. Romans 1:16

6. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 – thus, the need for Scripture


A. The Bible must be preached in our pulpits

B. Bible ignorance destroys soul


About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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