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A Healthy Church Member is an Expositional Listener – Part One

Deacons, Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some insights from our study of the book “What is a Healthy Church Member” by Thabiti Anyabwile. Our study this past Sunday focused on the idea that a healthy church member is an expositional listener. One of the first things we must do is define some terms.

Two important definitions:

"Expositional preaching is that preaching that takes for the main point of the sermon the point of a particular passage of scripture." pg 19

An important note to make is that expositional preaching is not providing a running verse by verse commentary of a passage. Doing so produces a commentary not a sermon. It is an important work, but it is not preaching.

"Expositional listing is listening for the meaning of a passage of scripture and accepting that meaning as the main idea to be grasped for our personal and corporate lives as Christians." pg 20

Here we need to note that as we practice expositional listening we are doing just that, we are listening. However, we are doing more than just listening, we are accepting. We are accepting the meaning of the passage.

As we think about listening for and accepting the meaning of the passage we also need to think about why we need this message. It is vital to a healthy church that we ‘grasp’ the message individually and as a body. There are many benefits in expositional listening for us as individuals and as a church. Next time I will highlight some of those benefits.

Blessings, Mark

Anyabwile, Thabiti M. What is a Healthy Church Member?. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2008.