The Bible Story – Preached with Power

The Bible story you are looking at was inspired by God.  Not only did He inspire the content, but He also inspired the form.  God felt that having that truth clothed in the genre of story was the best option.  Now you have the opportunity to preach it.  How can you preach that story with maximum power?

1. Be sure to grasp and preach the main point.  A story does not consist of details collected together to offer you numerous launch points for vaguely connected ideas and insights.  The story consists of details deliberately chosen to help make the story work, to make the main point effective.  Be sure to grapple with the main point more than you hunt for “preaching points.”

2. Be careful to honour the form as well as the content.  Why chop it up and preach it as discourse when God made it a story?  This means that the bulk of your message should involve the best retelling of the story that you can manage.  Speaking of which, two critical elements of powerful story preaching:

3. Put your energy into effective description.  Study hard so you can describe well.  Build your sensory descriptive vocabulary so you can describe effectively.  Read C.S.Lewis or another great fiction writer to get a taste of compelling description.  Turn on your imagination again, because if you can see it, they will see it.  Take enough time for your descriptions to form on the screens in the listeners’ minds.  And pour similar energy into describing the application of your message too.  Speaking of energy…

4. Present with energy through engaging dynamism.  To be blunt, people don’t listen to dull stories.  To be honest, we rarely tell dull stories in normal life.  Ask me about my littlest girl’s birth last week and I’ll be engagingly dynamic.  I need to let that version of me show when I preach a Bible story.  When you preach a Bible story, remember that if you really care so it shows, they will care too.

I think these four suggestions are the very essence of powerfully preaching a Bible story.  What would you add?

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3 thoughts on “The Bible Story – Preached with Power

  1. Peter, I think that you have nailed it!! Just a further comment on #2 being careful to honor the from as well as the content. I know that you have been addressing how to preach a narrative portion, but I have discovered that even the didactic portions of epistles have a narrative that give the preacher the ability to preach in more narrative style. So what I am saying is that your summary four suggestions are really the key to powerful and engaging preaching no matter what the Genre. Thanks

    • I completely agree. I’m almost tempted to view narrative as the super-genre in that poetic and discourse texts are always set in a narratival context. Maybe I should blog about that sometime…thanks for the nudge.

      • I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I haven’t often preached from the poetic portions of scripture but when I have done so, it seemed to be a more engaging sermon if I preached it as a narrative. I think I am feeling the need to preach a Psalm soon:)

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