There’s an old joke about a man with a musical instrument in hand that asks another man on a New York street, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Whereupon, the man answers, “Practice, practice, practice.” It is in like manner that someone becomes a good expository preacher. Nothing short of a lifetime dedication to the art of expository preaching will make a good expositor.
Expository preaching is not the easiest way to prepare and deliver a sermon. In fact, any other way is probably easier and less time-consuming. So why preach expository sermons? The average pastor is constantly overwhelmed with responsibilities and pressed for time. A little imagination and a simple topical sermon go a long way toward conserving time. However, time constraints are never a valid excuse for failing to consistently and effectively feed the flock of God. Preaching and preaching well should be every pastor’s top priority. It is the foundation for every other aspect of pastoral ministry.
Although expository preaching is not the easiest path to follow, it is highly worthwhile. I’ve been preaching expository sermons for over 40 years, and there are three worthwhile aspects of it that stand out in my mind. First, if you dedicate yourself to using the expository method, you will become a better preacher. Albert Einstein once said, “If a person studies a subject for 15 minutes a day in a year he will be an expert. In 5 years he will be a national expert”. A second worthwhile aspect of expository preaching is that sermon prep will get easier over time. Word studies done years ago will find use over and over as the years' pass. The same theological explanations will be usable over and over. Biblical history and geography once learned will become ingrained. Illustrations used previously will one day be useful again. A third worthwhile aspect of expository preaching is that the sheep of God’s flock will be well fed. People know when they have been fed, and they will desire more of the same. Be it a pulpit committee or a congregation hearing you preach for the first time, they will know what you have to offer from the pulpit. You will likely never hear it said that you were boring or over your listener’s heads. True expositors can and do effectively preach the Word. When others hear you preach, it will be evident. And, if you effectively preach the Word, those who sit under your ministry will overlook a multitude of other weaknesses and deficiencies.
In conclusion, dedicate yourself to the discipline of expository preaching. Preach expository sermons, year in and year out, and do not stray from the course. You will never regret it.