Text Driven Preaching vs. Text Centered Preaching

 |  December 16, 2016

What is the difference between a sermon that is “text-centered” and one that is “text-driven”?

Here is a chart I used at the Jacksonville Pastor’s Conference:

Text-Centered Text-Driven
Sermon from the text Sermon about the text and derived from it
Sermon based on a text Sermon explains meaning of the text
Focus on textual theme Focus on textual theme as textually developed
Sermon has a point or points
usually drawn from the text
Sermon only has as many “points” as the text
has and are always drawn from the text
Textual secondary information
may or may not be developed
Textual secondary information developed
in relation to main point(s)
Sermon structure may be
imposed on the text
Sermon structure is borrowed from the
structure of the text
Application relates to or has some
connection to the text
Application flows directly & exclusively
from the text
Primary application may or may not
be derived from the main point of text
Primary application derived from the
main points of the text
Creativity is generally unguided
by the text
Creativity is guided by the genre and
textual clues of the text
Tendency to pick short preaching
texts for preaching
Demands a natural paragraph/pericope/
thought unit for a text
May ignore or sideline the author’s
intended meaning
Surrenders to the author’s intended meaning
Context may be easily overlooked Context is key to sermon development
May not adequately express the
substance, structure, & spirit of the text
Expresses the substance, structure & spirit
of the text

This article first appeared on www.drdavidlallen.com 

Category: Blog Post

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