Ron Allen in his book Patterns of Preaching next discusses the pattern of Preaching Verse by Verse. Here the preacher goes step by step through a text or series of text and explains each part. In some traditions this is one of the most prominent ways of preaching a text of scripture.

Often the sermon begins by the preacher talking about the historical, literary, and theological setting of the text. Then the text is connected to the world of the congregation. Then the preacher systematically applies each “part” of the text to the contemporary setting of the congregation. Then at the end, the preacher summarizes all the pieces into a whole.

This mode of preaching can be very successful. It applies the individual pieces of the text to the life of the congregation in meaningful ways. If the preacher is creative it need not be stilted. But if the preacher is not creative it might get monotonous. In addition, if the preacher is not well read and studied, it could degenerate into the preacher simply preaching the same sermon, but USING (or abusing) different texts. Another possible problem is that sermons of this type must skim the surface of the text in that there are often many texts to discuss. But that need not be the case. As Allen notes, some times preachers will preach through the text word by word, applying each word.

In any case, it might be something to try especially if the preacher already has the text to be preached and is suffering from “Preacher’s block” why not just preach through the text phrase by phrase?

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