How does a pastor feed his flock a balanced diet in preaching?

My friend, Brian Hedges has written a very helpful article for us answering this question.  Brian is a pastor, faithful preacher, and sound thinker.  You will be helped to read the article and heed his counsel:

Shepherds feed sheep. And the main way we feed sheep is by teaching and preaching the word of God. This means that the planning and delivery of sermons is one of our highest priorities. But it’s easy for preachers to fall into unbalanced patterns that fail to feed the flock with the full scope of God’s revealed word.

We do this when we’re always preaching on our favorite theological themes (justification by faith, the sovereignty of God, or the incarnation of Christ) while avoiding more difficult or less familiar theological topics (the Trinity, the wrath of God, the ascension of Christ).  Or take practical issues in preaching. Maybe you’ve preached three or four sermons on pride and humility in the last few years. But have you ever preached a sermon on gluttony?

If you’re an expository preacher (and I hope you are!), do you spend all of your time in Paul’s Epistles? Confession: early in my present pastorate, I preached a seventy sermon series from Ephesians. (No, that wasn’t a typo!). It was very Lloyd-Jonesian of me, and I enjoyed it immensely, but by the end some of my people were probably thinking, “Are we still in Ephesians?”

When was the last time you preached from one of the Gospels? Or an Old Testament historical narrative? Or a Minor Prophet?

The problem is that just as water flows downhill, so we tend to take the path of least resistance.  Sermons take time to prepare and without intentional planning, we’ll end up choosing texts, topics, and themes that we’re already familiar and comfortable with.

Here, then, are a few ideas for helping you prepare a balanced diet for feeding the flock:

Read Brian’s full article here.

Also, check out Brian’s church, his blog, and the books he has written below:

Brian G. Hedges is the lead pastor for Fulkerson Park Baptist Church and the author of Christ Formed in You: The Power of the Gospel for Personal Change and Licensed to Kill: A Field Manual for Mortifying Sin. Brian and his wife Holly have four children and live in South Bend, Indiana. Brian also blogs at and you can follow him on Twitter @brianghedges.

Posted in Oversight of Souls, Preaching
2 comments on “How does a pastor feed his flock a balanced diet in preaching?
  1. Random Lutheran says:

    Pericopal preaching is one good method. While there are certainly weaknesses to any such system, following the church year and using the assigned readings (which often do a good job of linking OT+Epistles+Gospels) keeps a preacher from riding his favorite hobby-horses Sunday after Sunday, and forces one to deal with texts and themes which otherwise would not occur to the preacher to preach on.

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