What do you ask yourself when preparing to preach?

27 Feb

I am not a preacher, nor do I play one on TV. But I think I do know something about the subject, having listened to, and spoken with so many talented and God-gifted men in my life. I believe I can recognize good, God-centered, Christ uplifting, scripture breathing preaching when I hear it.  I am also a believer in Jesus Christ, He is my Savior and Lord. With that said, I would like to mention the responses by Mark Driscoll to the question above. This comes to us from TheResurgence web site.

1. What does the scripture say?
2. What does this mean?
3. How or why do we resist it?
  a. What will be the objections to this truth?
4. How does this apply to our missions?

I would like to focus this writing on point number three. What Driscoll says in his elaboration of this point is that preachers should prepare for the resistance of the heart. He mentions that Romans 1 teaches that:

our heart has a propensity to suppress the truth so that we might continue in the unrighteousness of our deeds

So part of the preparation would include looking at your own heart and how it may wish to resist this biblical truth. This point of preparation or even the consideration of it is very rare in the pulpit of the church today. I have heard many preach as if they are trying to cater to the propensity of the heart, or tickle the proverbial ear. Driscoll shares how the Puritan preachers of old used to prepare with objections to the resistance of the heart and apologetically defend the truth being proclaimed in scripture. This is good stuff. Mark Driscoll elaborates more on these points so I have included the video of his response below.

What do you ask yourself when preparing to preach?

photo credit


3 responses to “What do you ask yourself when preparing to preach?

  1. pastorsteve

    February 28, 2008 at 11:32 am

    A couple of things come to mind:
    First, Romans 1 does talk about the result of sin on the heart and mind (depraved & impure). Yet, it is dealing with those that are lost. There is a reason why Romans 6-8 is written, it is addressing how believers deal with sin. Therefore, the issue of sermon prep and the truth has a lot to do with “walking according to the Spirit not the flesh”.

    Second, you need to study in such a way that you are asking yourself what can I get from this passage.


  2. barrydean

    February 28, 2008 at 11:41 am


    Very true. I thought the Romans 1 reference was a bit of a stretch but I am not an educated pastor. I think he covers the “what can I get out of this passage?” with points 1 and 2. But point three really hit home for me. First of all you should be preaching through scripture. When you are then you are going to have objections. That would be natural because of the heart condition. If you are preaching that way, are you preparing to address those objections?

  3. Jon

    July 18, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Well I’m not a preacher. But I have a few years of study with that goal in mind. But I’m not there yet and I still have a ways to go. But I wanted to say something about this question. I think that the best thing to ask is: What is the message of the passage of scripture? That is the first question I think needs to be asked. Find out what the text meant for when it was written, and apply it today. A quote that I like to use from Dr. Bryan Chapell of Covenant Theological Seminary. He says “the meaning of the passage is the message of the sermon.” in his course on preaching. (You can find it here for free And I think it sums up much of what you should ask yourself while preparing to preach. What is the meaning of the passage, and how does that apply today? What was God telling the people when the passage was written, and how does that apply today? When we preach, or do any kind of teaching on the Bible ‘we want what God says to be what we say.’ We should ask “What is the big idea of the
    passage? What is it dealing with?” ‘When we identify that, it will also be the big idea of the message, if it
    reflects the main idea of the text. The Bible says what God says, and I want to say what God says. Thus
    I need to make sure that its theme is my theme.’ In other words “The meaning of the passage is the message of the

    I think these are the best questions to ask. There are a lot more. A lot of study must go into a sermon. I don’t believe you have the right to preach no matter who you are if you don’t spend much of your time reading and studying the Bible. This challenges me to read and study more. I believe that expository preaching is the only way to preach, because it brings out the meaning of the scripture and says what God says, not what man says. Another good idea is to listen to many good preachers, read their sermons, and ask them (if they’re alive) how they study.
    Please reply to this post with your comments.

    God bless and have a great day



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