The Heart of Training Expository Preachers for Gospel Ministry (David Jackman)

We recently had a conversation with David Jackman of Proclamation Trust and the Cornhill Training Course on expository preaching, gospel ministry, Scripture’s authorial intent, and preaching the genres of the Bible (watch the full interview).

The video and transcript below share a highlight from the interview about the “heart” of training pastors for expository ministry.

Todd Kelly of Leadership Resources: What is at the heart of training preachers for gospel ministry?

David Jackman: The content of the preaching must always be the Word of God. It seems that good preaching always begins with good listening. At the heart of training a preacher is the ability to listen with our eyes as we are reading with the Scriptures. We read the text with our physical eyes, but we listen with our spiritual ears. We need to be helped and trained towards how rightly to handle God’s word of truth, so that we can be workmen who don’t need to be ashamed and so that we can understand, so far as God enables us, the meaning of His Word, and then be able to pass it on to others.

I sometimes talk about getting it right and getting it across. The preacher’s task is to understand it, get right what God is saying in a particular section of Scripture, and then get it across to the contemporary congregation.

I think it’s good listening, digestion of that word into our own lives so it works in our hearts, and then preaching from the heart to the hearts of the people.

Sermons that Take the Bible Seriously: David Jackman on True Biblical Preaching

Taking the Bible Seriously
Expository preaching is built upon the foundation of the inerrant and infallible Word of God: God has spoken to humanity in written form; we are commanded to preach His Word, and the effect of the preached Word is that God brings life to hearers who respond in faith.

In a recent interview with David Jackman, the former President of the Proclamation Trust and founder of the Cornhill Training Course, we talked about how our convictions about the Word of God can show themselves in preaching so that listeners know we take the Bible seriously.

Watch the clip below or the entire twenty-minute interview on expository preaching, gospel ministry, and Scripture’s authorial intent.


Todd Kelly of Leadership Resources: I’ve been in some churches where I can tell the Bible is taken very seriously as the preacher preaches the message. There have been other times, where sadly, it seems to be neglected. For you, what are some of the marks of a sermon that is taking the Bible seriously?

David Jackman: I think it says to the congregation, “We must put our noses into the text.” Whether they have the text open in a Bible form, whether it’s up on an overhead projector, whether it’s printed on a service sheet—the words need to be seen by the people, the Words of God. It’s not an intellectual exercise, but it is an exercise in God communicating His truth to us. The mind needs to be engaged—but also the heart and the will. I think good, biblical preaching will always seek to establish that the preacher isn’t in the front, but the Bible is.

Sometimes I use a visual illustration, I’ll hold a Bible in my hands like this (in front of myself) with one finger on the text. “This is my job to stand behind the Bible and under the Bible—that’s the authority—with my finger on the text saying to you, ‘This is what God is saying.'”

Then to contrast that, I sometimes pick up a Bible and put it behind my head and say, “A lot of preaching can be like this: Little bits of the Bible can appear occasionally, but actually, it’s more about the preacher than the Bible. That I think is dangerous because the word of the preacher will last for a few minutes (if he’s done a good job), but the Word of the Lord endures forever.

If you’re preaching and teaching the Word of God, you’re laying down eternal foundations. Which if the Bible is not in the driving seat, that doesn’t happen in the preaching, and the church is far weaker than it need be.

Related Links:

image credit

“True Spirituality is Cross-Shaped”: David Jackman on 1 Corinthians and Gospel Ministry

Leadership Resources recently had the pleasure of hosting David Jackman, the former President of the Proclamation Trust and founder of the Cornhill Training Course, for a week long session talking expository preaching and training preachers.

This video is an interview Kevin Halloran conducted with him about true spirituality and gospel ministry coming from our study in 1 Corinthians 1-3:

Here is a quick guide to the video contents:

  • 00:30 – What is going on in the Corinthian church and how does that relate to us today?
  • 01:11 – How should we think about spirituality and gospel ministry through the lens of the Corinthian experience?
  • 2:24 – How does our culture fall into the worldliness trap?
  • 4:10 – True spirituality is shaped by the cross of Christ. What are some of the implications of this for preaching and preachers?
  • 5:22 – What is the relationship between the Word and Spirit in preaching?
  • 7:05 – Can you explain the connection between the mind, the heart, and the will in preaching?
  • 8:50 – What are some of the greatest encouragements you’ve gleaned from 1 Corinthians for authentic gospel ministry?

Here are a few quotes from the interview:

“It is the power of God at work through the cross which brings people to faith and grows them in the church. Today, we are in danger of losing confidence in that.”

“The Spirit of God takes the Word of God to do the work of God.”

“The progress of the Word of God is through the mind, to the heart, to activate the will.” (borrowing from Martyn Lloyd-Jones

“Preaching is always with the view to a change of life.”

Here’s a two-minute highlight from the video:

Menu Title