Have you ever had one of those moments when an idea pops into your head and it really excites you? You think to yourself, “Whoa, man! What an idea! This must be divine inspiration!” Without any hesitation, you dash out to announce it – prophetically declare, in Christian speak – to the whole world (well, almost), everyone says “AMEN!”, you feel totally affirmed, and then … you realise the exclamation of the word brings with it the execution of the work. The first part is easy; the next requires a lot more effort.
Not that I didn’t see it coming but I am realising the magnitude of the task that awaits me as I prepare towards the commencement of KINGDOM101 on 18 March. Make no mistake: I am fully convinced and convicted that there is a lack of expository preaching that has contributed to the level of biblical literacy in the Body of Christ. Given that Archippus Awakening is to be a Kingdom initiative, I am challenged to re-visit and re-discover the fundamentals of the Kingdom through the gospel of Matthew. I sincerely believe that as we declare the Word of the Kingdom, we will be re-introduced to Jesus the King all over again, have a fresh revelation of His Kingdom, from which we will receive our bearings and our God-given Kingdom assignments.
After the Introductory Session of KINGDOM101 on 4 Feb, I have been gathering my thoughts and preparing the material. And it’s tough! Honestly, what was I thinking? This expository journey through the book of Matthew is not going to be a walk through the park! Without doubt, it will challenge me to the core.
Here are some challenges I expect to encounter along the way…
- I don’t get to pick the topic or the text. This is really tough for preachers! It’s much easier to decide on a topic and then pick a passage to support it. In expository preaching, the text directs and determines the topic. I simply submit and obey.
- I will be forced to tackle difficult and obscure passages. I don’t get to determine what I want or don’t want to preach. When I get to a certain passage, that is it! I have to preach it, however difficult it might be, or however irrelevant it might appear to be. Eunuchs? Ewwww….
- I have to consider everything in its proper context. Often, we tend to lift off verses and passages out of its context to make or support a point. But not so with expository preaching. Although each message must be taken as a stand-alone, its immediate context cannot be ignored and must be carefully considered. What I preach each week will affect the messages before and after.
- I must study the text diligently and consistently. Is this becoming rather obvious? Whilst I have commentaries to help me, it must be Scripture that must be studied first and foremost. There are no shortcuts to this process.
- I cannot repeat my favourite or pet phrases. All preachers are guilty of this. And it is made even more obvious if we only preach around topics we are familiar with. Expository preaching, however, forces us to preach things we might not have ever preached nor considered before. That really takes us out of our comfort zone! Can I hear a loud amen?
- I cannot make the text say something it doesn’t say. I am all for being led by the Spirit. However, that cannot be a convenient excuse for not studying the Word or delivering a mis-interpretation of Scriptures. The Spirit is there to confirm and bring illumination of the Word; not to endorse a lazy preacher regardless his or her own personal charisma.
- I must be prepared to work hard, very hard. I’m starting to realise why there is so little expository preaching across the Body of Christ – haha! It’s hard work! And given the 1,001 other things pastors and ministers have to look into, is it any wonder that most opt for topical preaching or a more manageable 3 or 4 part series? Discipline is key as I am reminded of Acts 6:4 to give myself “continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
Having shared my heart and concerns, I invite you to pray with and for me. Every once in a while, I still ask myself, “What were you thinking, Henson?!” That said, I do believe KINGDOM101 to be divine inspiration, the leading of the Lord. To this end, what He has directed, I believe He will also enable.
KINGDOM101 may be a study through a book in the bible, but it must not be just another bible study. If so, we would have missed the point entirely. As an initiative of Archippus Awakening, it aims to lay the right biblical foundation of the Word of the Kingdom in the hearts of believers. I am praying for the Holy Spirit to awaken us through this journey that many will be aligned with Jesus the King and be duly assigned with the purposes of His Kingdom!
Yes, it’s going to be quite a journey over the next two years (at least). But it’s going to be a sowing into hearts made ready for Jesus and I am willing to make the sacrifice in expectation of a bountiful harvest, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matt 13:8 & 23).
Thank for your prayers and support! See you at KINGDOM101, starting 18 March.