Expository Preachers: Kurt Gebhards
Kurt Gebhards is the pastor of preaching and leadership at Harvest Bible Chapel in Hickory, North Carolina. Kurt's energetic and godly leadership has helped shape Harvest Bible into a church that displays the glory of God. His passion for expositional preaching is why we asked him to share his wisdom on this blog series.
WHAT IS EXPOSITORY PREACHING?
Expository preaching is a text-driven proclamation of the truth of God. True preaching demands the articulation of the ancient argument in meaningful modern terms.
Likewise, expository preaching is urgent exhortation. It is a sonic blast emanating from the combination of care for God, a convinced heart, and compassion for needy people. Consequently, there is no place for suggestions when God has spoken imperatives.
Pastoral care, then, is the final essential aspect of expository preaching. The telos of exposition is to glorify God by helping God’s people grow in their fellowship with Christ. Expository pastoring builds a bridge between the truths of Scripture and hurts of daily lives. The loving care of a shepherd and a desire to benefit God’s people are essential to faithful preaching.
WHAT IS A COMMON DIFFICULTY YOU FACE AS A PREACHER?
One challenge is overcoming my personal and educational propensities. When one’s nature tends toward abstraction and one’s education aims at the mind, one’s ministry can be truthful but unhelpful. The answer is to cultivate Christ-like love for people. He loved his own to the end (John 13:1). As a consequence he only taught them what they could bear (John 16:12). Love for God and God’s people overwhelms education and personality to render a ministry that is genuinely helpful to people as they gain gospel progress.
HOW DO YOU STAY ENCOURAGED AS A PREACHER?
Charles Spurgeon's sermons continue to inspire me tremendously. Also, love your soul by reading any of "The Swans are Not Silent" silent by John Piper. Brian Edwards' biographies of William Tyndale and John Newton are also excellent reads.
WHO ARE THE PREACHING MODELS YOU'VE MOST LEARNED FROM? WHAT DID EACH ONE SPECIFICALLY TEACH YOU?
Spurgeon models for me erudition and eloquence. John MacArthur challenges me to remain faithful to the text. John Piper inspires me by showing that preaching is a theological adventure of expository exultation. Mark Dever teaches me how to lovingly apply the text to the people. David Platt shows me how to come out of my shoes as I swing for the fences week after week.
RECOMMENDED RESOURCES FROM KURT:
The Beginning of Solomon's Spiritual Odyssey - Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 (audio)
Grace Overwhelms Your Guilt - Matthew 1:5, Joshua 2, 6 (audio)
Follow Kurt on Twitter at @kurtgebhards.