If you’ve been at Uptown for any amount of time, you have probably noticed a pattern. Week to week there isn’t much guessing about what either Chris or I will be preaching the following Sunday. We don’t keep anyone in the dark in an attempt to be novel, creative, or shocking; in fact, we do our best to do just the opposite. So, if you’re wondering what next week’s sermon will cover, just read a little bit further on the page you read this week. But why do it that way?
For your souls
Preaching through the Bible verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter exposes you to a variety of Scripture. There are parts of God’s Word that, otherwise, it’s unlikely you would ever read. Later this year we’ll spend the two Sundays before Advent in 2-3 John. How many people are familiar with these tiny books? Yet, most of us return to the Gospel penned by the same author year after year. It’s easy to do this with a topical approach to sermon series, too. We prefer to (mis)use a small number of passages and verses with which we’re familiar, rather than allowing the entire testimony of Scripture speak into our lives. It’s good for our souls to be searched by all of God’s Word.
For our souls
Preaching through consecutive sections of the Bible also forces Chris and I to present the "whole counsel of God" to the folks whom God has given us to care for and lead. Tough passages can't be avoided, which means we aren't afforded the luxury of skipping topics we'd rather not touch. In this way, we allow the text itself to be topical rather than our preaching. This approach is good for our souls as pastors because it forces us to be faithful and honest to God and his Word, trusting that his Spirit will do the work of transforming lives through Sunday sermons rather than our creativity as communicators. We spend hours each week studying, writing, and preparing to deliver sermons that instill gospel truths unique to that book as we go - giving our souls a deeper understanding of each book and growing us in our love for God and his Word as we serve his Church.