September 3, 2021•366 words
1 Point Preacher
There is such a thing as too much information.
You don't need as much context as you think you do.
And it doesn't have to all be in the front of the sermon.
How much context do you need, and when are you going to get into it?
3 Examples of too much, and at the wrong time.
- The Context Lecture A "sermon" introducing a biblical book.
When a new book is started, commonly 1 sermon is delivered to introduce the book. But it may not qualify as preaching, because it's just background information.
Teaching about the text, instead of the text.
Do your people need a geography lesson in order to understand the text?
Best type of the introductory sermon: biblical content, but not from the book being introduced.
That period of biblical history is presented—surrounding biblical context. Setting, circumstances, etc.
Or, the biographical introductory sermon.
Example: before starting the Gospel of Mark, preaching 4 sermons on the Gospel genre, plus 2 sermons on the person of Mark.
Often, these background "sermons" don't qualify as preaching. They are not explanations of the text of Scripture. They can lack application. The Gospel is easily left out.
The question is: was all that information necessary for people to understand the book?
Or could the preacher just not wait to take up context as he goes?
- The Context-only Sermon Introduction/Point The introduction of the sermon, or the first point of the sermon, will be entirely context.
Look at your text, and look at your time. Sometimes a preacher will preach only one verse, to make time for all the context.
An introduction is supposed to introduce the whole sermon. To fill it with context contradicts that purpose.
Likewise, the first point/move of the sermon being entirely context. Structurally, it's unhelpful. People are listening, and cannot turn back to review the information.
Do you expect your listeners to hold all that context throughout the whole sermon?
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Written by Bryan Teoh