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The Most Important Word in Preaching: Story or Exposition?

Presentation, dialogue, and discussion on the biblical text by Graves, Hoezee, and Wilson.

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For centuries preachers were told that exposition of the biblical text is the most important and sacred task of preaching. In recent decades the emphasis has shifted more toward storytelling. "Show, Don't Tell" is a well-known adage to anyone who aspires to be a creative writer. "Showing" a concrete story or image always packs more vivid emotional punch—and is for that reason much more memorable—than the "telling" of information could ever achieve. Human beings are, after all, "narrative animals" who frame most everything that happens to them in terms of story. But what about a sermon’s impact beyond the emotional? What about the biblical illiteracy rampant among church-goers, as well as those who stay home on Sundays? Can storytelling help with those issues? Scott Hoezee and Mike Graves think there is much preachers can learn from stories, but maybe there are some limitations too. What is the most important word in preaching these days: Story or Exposition?

In this seminar, Graves and Hoezee present some compatible and contrasting ideas from their recent books, including some hands-on exercises to demonstrate what this approach looks like in action. The time also provides ample opportunity for dialogue and conversation.