Pastor of The Summit Church draws on Martyn Lloyd-Jones

What Is Biblical Preaching? Stewarding the Message

One of the best books on preaching I’ve ever read is Between Two Worlds by John Stott. In it, he shared a metaphor for preaching that has always stuck with me. He said that one of the words used in the New Testament for “preacher” is the word “steward.” A steward, Stott said, was a manager. In a family with children, the steward wasn’t a parent, but was responsible for feeding the children. The parent made the decisions, and the steward was responsible to administer them. Stott said if you’re a steward and the parent chooses the food for the child to eat and you go to the pantry and you’re going to feed the kids, you don’t just necessarily go through you know green beans, green beans, green beans, you know chips, chips, chips, spam, spam, spam. That’s not the way you would feed them. You would pull different things together and you would make a meal.

This helps me as I think about preaching, both in general and in the church I serve. If I am a steward, then God is the one who decides what the people need to know, not me. If I am only thinking about what I feel like the people need, I’m going to end up talking about the same four or five things my heart naturally gravitates toward every year. So I need a balance. I need God to decide what they need, and that starts in the Bible. This is why my approach to preaching would be largely fall under the category of expository, working my way through the Bible a passage at a time. But I also don’t limit myself to that because it’s hard to point to the New Testament and say there is a specific model described or prescribed. What we do seem to have is a flexibility.

That’s what it means to be a steward. …

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