Topical Preaching in a Complex World
Be Equipped to Prepare and Deliver Engaging, Biblical, and Effective Topical Sermons
Sooner or later, every preacher will come upon a situation where they need to preach a topical sermon. Yet few are taught to preach topically. Even preachers who are gifted in expositing the Scriptures may struggle to deliver a topical sermon that is engaging, culturally relevant, and true to the biblical text. Worse, many pastors worry these messages undermine confidence in the Bible or its authority, leading to a human-centered rather than a God-focused sermon. But that doesn't have to be the case.
In Topical Preaching in a Complex World, Sam Chan and Malcolm Gill answer these objections and chart a path for how preachers can deliver faithful and effective topical messages. First, they address the biblical, theological, and cultural reasons pastors should add topical sermons to their preaching repertoire. Then, they introduce a straightforward, four-fold approach for preaching a topical message and answer important questions like these:
- How do you approach a topic with the proper interpretative lens?
- How can you speak to two or more audiences with the same sermon?
- What should you consider theologically, culturally, and pastorally in your preparation?
- How do you trace the topic back to Christ?
- How can you better connect with your audience?
Best of all, they help readers craft a message that says something people truly need (and want) to hear! Filled with wit, humor, and wisdom from decades of preaching, this book will equip preachers, pastors, ministry leaders, and students to preach relevant, biblical, and engaging topical sermons.
Author Sam Chan says, "Just over a decade ago, I was asked by an organization to speak at their end-of-year dinner. They wanted me to address the topic of being a Christian single, but I had no idea how to prepare and deliver a topical talk. When the night arrived, I preached an old three-point expository sermon and merely changed the ending to include some application on singleness. At best, I got some polite comments afterwards. At worst, people's looks indicated that my biblical talk had little relevance for them. They could not have been less fooled by my disingenuous workaround.
I went home vowing never to repeat that poor performance. I felt like the unfaithful servant who had not adequately used what talents had been given to him. As a result, I have dedicated the last decade of my preaching ministry to overcoming and mastering the art of topical preaching. This book is a product of that journey."
About the Authors
Sam Chan (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; MBBS, University of Sydney) is a public evangelist with City Bible Forum in Sydney, Australia, where he regularly shares the gospel with high school students, city workers, doctors, and lawyers. He is the author of the award-winning book Evangelism in a Skeptical World and regularly speaks at conferences around the world on the practice of evangelism in a post-Christian culture. Sam blogs at espressotheology.com.
Malcolm Gill (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) currently serves on the ministry team at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia. Prior to pastoral ministry Malcolm taught preaching at Dallas Theological Seminary as well as Sydney Missionary and Bible College, where he was also the director of Postgraduate studies. He has traveled extensively and has preached throughout North, South, and Central America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Malcolm is married to Tamara and the father of Annabel, Adam, and Zara.