Creative Styles of Preaching

by Mark Barger

As the title suggests, the writer shows the relative strengths of different styles of preaching. In each section he defines the "type" and then provides a short sermon to illustrate it. The sermons he includes as examples range from the socially -conscious political left to the biblical evangelistic conservative right.

Narrative preaching relates a story and usually states or implies a biblical or spiritual application. African American preaching has been variously defined, but the most prominent feature of an African American sermon is ecstasy. The hearer leaves with a bounce in his step and a song in his heart.

Evangelistic preaching assumes that the gospel message has the power to convert and transform lives. Topical preaching, as its name implies, must have a subject. It may emphasize honoring father and mother or it may examine the biblical attitude toward homosexuality. Another type of preaching can be that of a literary genre: biography, parable, proverbs, psalms or miracle stories.

The final type of sermon we shall consider is biblical preaching. A sermon can be called a biblical type when a text serves as the major theme. Biblical sermons can be expository (a sermon that moves from text to human concern) or verse-by-verse (a sermon that allows hearers to place the text within a context).