Why is saying, “Joseph had a dream, so follow your dreams!” NOT Expositional Preaching? What is “Expositional Preaching?” It seems to be kind of like heaven — lots of folks are talkin’ about it, but few are going (or doing it, in this case). Tony Carter, Thabiti Anyabwile and Louis Love chop it up on the porch to discuss what that kind of preaching is; that kind of preaching “that takes a text of Scripture and explains the meaning of that text in context as it points to Christ and the gospel. It applies that text to the ears. It’s not simply saying what the text says but meaning what the text means, in the broader context of the redemptive plan of God, so that the text will find its fulfillment in Christ.”

If this encouraged you, make sure to read Tony’s related article titled, “The Need for Theological Preaching.”

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  • Avatar Michael says:


    This post is a continuation of a conversation that I started with Thabiti about pastoral ministry on Twitter.

    I am looking for books on pastoral ministry for several reasons:

    1. the lack of expositional preaching in my local area
    2. the lack of a Reformed churches (particularly in the Baptist denomination) in my area
    3. I have a strong desire to be an overseer.
    4. Before I can become an overseer I need to be trained by an expositional preacher with pastoral experience.
    5. I’m hungry for this training and until I can get it personally I’d like to learn from men who have mentored me from afar.

    I know the basic requirements found in 1 Timothy and Titus but I’d like to learn from those who have more knowledge and experience. I spent the last year preparing to meet those requirements by shepherding my family, studying, praying, teaching, preaching, & striving for holiness through Christ. I have been blessed by the Front Porch’s short video clips and would like to hear some of your suggestions about books and helps for a “Timothy” looking for a Paul to guide him.

    Thanks brothers!

  • Avatar Michael says:

    I wanted this share this separate comment about your video(s) and article(s). You all may not be aware of how necessary this site is for young ministers like myself that have come to embrace the Reformed doctrines and the truth of the gospel. I thank God for you brothers and pray that you continue to share your experience and wisdom with us. Living a gospel-centered life ain’t easy and to see your passion edifies me.

    I’d like to support this ministry financially. Let me know when you start accepting donations.

  • Avatar Georgetta Carvin says:

    Speaking from a lay person (teacher), we must do expositional teaching in our small groups or bible studies. I’m so thankful for my old pastor for discipling us in knowing what expositional preaching and teaching looks like and sounds like. So, I have a difficult time sitting under leadership where they begin with a passage and never explains that passage or narrative. I love the talks on the porch.

  • Avatar george canady says:

    I thank you guys for giving a bit more understanding (if I am catching the drift of your intentional conversations here on the porch) of an alternative to assimilation. I am sure God has plans to benefit the broader Christian community as the Black Church is also ( in addition to it’s experiential contributions of Ideas and people like you all, ya’ll, all ya’ll…?….; its a Texafornia thing ) celebrated through a wider acceptance of expositional preaching. It is encouraging to hear the influences and testimony of Michael. Go man!

  • Avatar Pastor Bruce says:

    Again, great post. I have done expository preaching for a good while but there were some helpful pointers and reminders for me too. I am going to encourage some young men who I know aspire after pastoral teaching ministry to check out this site.

  • Avatar Thabiti Anyabwile says:

    Praise God, Georgetta. It’s a real blessing to sit under faithful teaching, isn’t it? Once the ears get a steady taste, they can’t go back!

    Thanks for encouraging us and joining us on the porch!

  • Avatar Thabiti Anyabwile says:

    Thanks for that, bro! Bring the guys on up on the porch anytime!

  • Avatar Thabiti Anyabwile says:

    hi Michael,

    You bless us, bro! We’re grateful for you and for the encouragement you keep sending this way. Thank you!

    Look out for an answer to your question about books soon. It was such a good question we decided to make it a brief joint post.

    Also, thank you for being willing to contribute to the maintenance of the porch. We have to paint and replace floorboards e’ry once in a while, so that’s a blessing. Here’s a link for donating: https://thefrontporch.org/about/donate/.

    Grace, love and peace in Christ our Savior,

  • Avatar Rochelle Rentie Causly says:

    Wow! Good stuff! I need to serve you guys some lemonade on the porch! Jus’ sayin! 😉 Thank you for this reference, McKinley Caughman. So glad to know this is here. I’m definitely spreading the word. May you all be blessed!

  • Avatar Alan OnePurpose Jean says:

    This blessed me. As a young preacher, it’s tempting to seek to give the listeners a similar experience to what’s considered the norm in black churches, hollering and jumping for joy. While that doesn’t mean expositional preaching can not bring out joy, that’s not my intent. Jeremiah was a successful prophet obviously not because of his following but his faithfulness to God’s Word. We, as preachers, are called to do the same (written over spoken, of course). My aim is for the word to do the work and for people to leave not necessarily feeling happy but knowing God and His word more which has the ability to bring joy.

    Thanks brothers for this video.

  • Avatar Derrick Johnson says:

    Brothers thank you again for this conversation, it’s these types of things that we need to be chewing on to help us mature as a body of believers. My question for you is this, if you were an elder in a church where your pastor preached the way you’re describing that is Christs name is mentioned yet there is no gospel message. As an elder you’ve counseled with your pastor for quite some time but there is little to no change how would you respond or what would you do in a situation like this?

  • Avatar Tony Carter says:

    Hey Derrick, thanks for the question. Your situation is not unique. Many brothers and sisters find themselves in similar situations. My counsel to you would be to seek counsel from someone who is more personally familiar with you and the situation. They would be better equipped to assess the situation, and offer advice. They could even help you to see if there are any blind spots in your thinking, and to help you think through the best approach. In situations like this, advice from the internet from those unfamiliar with the situation is probably not the best advice.

    I pray God would give you a godly and wise man or two with whom you can counsel as you wrestle with a delicate but important situation.
    Grace and peace, my friend.

  • Avatar Thabiti says:

    Hi Sis! You know we’d love to have some lemonade! Come on up on the porch anytime! And thanks for spreading the word!

  • Avatar Thabiti says:

    Thank you for joining the conversation, brother, and for seeking to be faithful with God’s word!

  • Avatar Lance Mann says:

    I have throughly enjoyed the dialogue about Biblical Exposition. One of the problems of black preachers and the black church as a whole, is a failure to have real conversations about the type of preaching that leads people to a loving and saving relationship with Christ instead of a desire to acquire more stuff and be more pop culturish!!!! I do believe in consecutive exposition and that grows the listeners into better disciples of Christ.

  • Avatar Louis Love says:

    Hey Lance:
    It’s good to have you on the porch. You’re right we need more “real conversations” about preaching. I’m also in hearty agreement with you regarding consecutive exposition. I think that if it’s done properly, it will indeed grow the listeners. We just have to get at what it means to do it properly. I’ve heard consecutive so-called exposition that never gets to Christ, even in the epistles.

    So let’s have so more conversation about it, my brother.

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