Advice to Christ-Centered Preaching and Preachers
Here are some things that you can do as you seek to see Christ in and preach Christ from all of the Bible:
1. Read the Scriptures.
In order to see how inter-canonical themes and the narrative of redemptive history run through the entire Bible, and how Christ is the fulfillment of it all, you must regularly read it, both devotionally and in devoted study. Familiarity with the ins and outs of the Bible’s stories, letters, songs, etc., is absolutely necessary to begin making meaningful gospel connections. The preacher who is not immersed in the scriptures, and meeting Christ there regularly, will not preach him well from them.
2. Recognize that it takes time.
Going hand in hand with regular immersion in the Bible is the need for extended time therein. The Bible is a book that repays years of careful reading. While one need not necessarily have those years of study under his belt to preach well, the benefits of a life long commitment to the scriptures are countless, and a sustainable preaching ministry demands that we be in it for the long haul.
3. Rehearse it in conversation.
Part of making gospel connections and seeing Christ properly throughout the scriptures is learning to articulate what you learn to others. Find like-minded individuals who are interested in Christ-centered preaching and learn to talk through, challenge, and mutually enjoy the connections that you are making in your devotional life.
4. Really listen to other preachers.
We listen to many sermons, but often we don’t hear the sermons that we listen to. In other words, we are often captivated by rhetorical and stylistic matters, important in their own right, yet fail to hear the actual content, logical flow, and biblical fabric that is at the heart of the best sermons. To really hear is to break down (not cynically but searchingly) what we hear in a sermon, to plug it into the one story plot line of the bible, and to press it into our own hearts.