Thoughts about Preaching Styles (Part 1)

Do you tend to appreciate one style of preaching over another? How do you respond to a methodical teaching approach? What about a more dramatic, high-energy approach with some pulpit pounding? Or how about a sermon filled with illustrations, stories, and testimonies to make a biblical point?

Variety in the pulpit is a good thing, and we must be careful to avoid glamorizing any particular preaching style over another. A good sermon must be biblical, grounded in the biblical truth of the Word. A good sermon must also be enabled by the Holy Spirit. But good preaching that meets these qualifications will still occur in a variety of styles. Consider the following list of examples from the Bible.

  1. Jonah preached a very brief message (Jonah 3:4).
  2. Paul preached a very long message (Acts 20:7-11).
  3. Nathan preached, using a detailed story leading to a piercing invitation (2 Sam.12:1-12).
  4. Ezekiel preached, using some rather unusual, awkward, and dramatic demonstrations (Ezek. 4:1-17; 5:1-4; 12:1-7; 24:25-27).
  5. Ezra preached in a meticulous, didactic manner (Neh. 8:1-8).
  6. Peter preached from an overview of OT prophecy (Acts 2:14-39).
  7. Stephen preached from an overview of OT history (Acts 7:2-53).
  8. Paul preached using his conversion testimony (Acts 22:1-22; 26:1-24).

Church history further demonstrates the kind of variety in style that God uses to broadcast His message to His people and the world at large. How could God mightily bless the monotone sermon reading of Jonathan Edwards, the eloquent, engaging pulpiteering of Charles Spurgeon, and the dramatic, theatrical presentations of Billy Sunday? The answer lies not in the style of preaching, but in the philosophy of preaching.

More on this in Part 2.


2 replies
  1. big al
    big al says:

    Good thoughts, great examples. What would be interesting would be some modern day examples of this. Paul Washer is a specific style vs. Thomas Long, vs. Chuck Poole, etc…

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