Steven Lawson: How I Preach

September 19th, 2016| Topic: aBeLOG, How I Preach | 0

Steven Lawson: How I Preach

Steven Lawson: And this is How I Preach …

[Steven Lawson is President and founder of OnePassion Ministries, equipping preachers to usher in a new reformation in the church. He is passionate about preaching, having served as pastor for over three decades in Arkansas and Alabama, most recently at Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile. Speaker, author, teacher, itinerant minister, and, yes,  a Dallas Seminary grad. He is one who has thought a lot about preaching and I am grateful to have him on Homiletix. Here’s Steve …]

Steven J. Lawson
OnePassion Ministries

Current gig (preaching, teaching, etc.) and years at it:
I have stepped down from my last pastorate almost two years ago, after serving thirty-four years as a pastor.
I am now an itinerate preacher, speaking at conferences and in pulpits, both nationally and internationally.

Who or what made you want to preach:
I began preaching when I was in college and immediately fell in love with teaching and preaching the Bible. It was fire in my bones. After college, I sat under an unusually strong preacher, Adrian Rogers, the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. It was there that God called me into the ministry. I felt that I could no longer merely sit and listen to the truth preached. I had to go and preach on a regular basis.

Who are you most indebted to for making you the preacher you are (besides God)?
The first is Adrian Rogers (see above). His bold confidence and evangelistic zeal left a strong imprint upon me.
The second is John MacArthur, whose commitment to an exegetically-driven exposition shaped me.
The third is R.C. Sproul, who supplied what I needed for using the English language in the pulpit with polish and precision.
I bear the direct influence of these three men.

Most used English Bible version?
New American Standard Bible.

Use of Greek and Hebrew (light/moderate/heavy)?

Current computer(s)/device(s)/software that you use for preaching prep?

One word that best describes how you prepare to preach:

One word that best describes how you preach:

What tools/aids for sermon prep can’t you live without (books? software?)?
MacArthur New Testament Commentaries.
Hendriksen and Kistemaker Commentaries.
Oxford Thesaurus of English.
Dictionary of Theological Terms (Alan Cairns).
Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Walter Elwell, editor).
New Dictionary of Theology (David Wright, Sinclair Ferguson).

What does your workspace look like when you are prepping?
Hardback books stacked up, pad of paper in the center, fountain pens lined up, bottles of ink ready, three lamps shining, Spurgeon bust staring at me.

Illustrations: Where do you go for them and how do you store them?
Scripture. Church history. World history. Current events.
No filing system.

Tell us your sermon-prep routine.
Read a photocopy of the text.
Mark it up.
Capture the dominant idea.
Outline it.
Study the original language.
Read the commentaries.
Write the explanation.
Write the application.
Write the introduction.
Draft the conclusion.

Average numbers of prep hours per sermon?
Ten to twelve hours.

What’s your best time-saving trick?
There are no tricks. So, start early. Say no to other pressures..

What time of the day are you most effective?
The morning.
(One hour in the morning is worth three hours in the afternoon.)

Any props used regularly in sermons? PowerPoint? Handout?
No props. No powerpoint. No handouts.
The preacher is a naked man.
Just a Bible and notes.

No notes/some notes/extensive notes (manuscript)?
It contains about 70% of what I say. Another 30% will be added during the sermon.

Who critiques your sermons, beside yourself?
Every listener critiques my sermons. Many do not hesitate to give me feedback.
I learn much from what they say about my sermon. I can tell what struck home with them.

How has your preaching improved over time?
I now expound fewer verses than I did as a younger preacher.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

What do you listen to while you work?
Classical music (baroque).

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

What are you currently reading?
The Whole Christ, Sinclair Ferguson.
Theodore Beza, Shawn Wright.

What do you wish you had learned when you were in seminary?
How to work with elder boards.

Exercise routine? Sleep routine?
No exercise. No set sleep routine.
Too many airplane flights. Too many time zone changes.

Spiritual disciplines?
Bible reading.

Favorite food?
Grilled salmon.

What do you do when you aren’t involved in preaching-related activities?

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be on time.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thankful that Dallas Seminary gave me the tools for a lifetime of being an expositor.

[For the rest of this series, How I Preach (couple of years’ worth) see here.]

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