Answers for Pastors

How can I help my congregation grow in their understanding of sound doctrine?
 
  1. Preach expositionally. As you explain and apply the meaning of biblical texts, your people will grow in their understanding of Scripture and their ability to apply it to their lives.
  2. Incorporate systematic theology into your preaching. As different theological topics arise within your exposition of biblical texts, explain how those texts relate to the Bible’s entire teaching on that topic.
  3. Incorporate biblical theology into your preaching. As you expound biblical texts week after week, explain how they fit into the entire story of redemptive history. Teach your people how all of Scripture points to Christ. Teach them how to put the Bible together into one coherent narrative of God’s saving work in Christ.
  4. Do careful application in sermons. Show your people how theology impacts every area of their lives. Teach them that theology is for life.
  5. Teach your congregation how to study the Bible. Consider leading a mid-week inductive Bible study in which the church studies a short passage of Scripture together. Consider teaching a Sunday school class in which you teach how to study the Bible.
  6. Teach a class on theology. Teach (or have someone else teach) a Sunday school class on systematic theology. This will allow you to teach specific doctrines in greater depth and detail than your regular preaching may allow.
  7. Give away lots of good books. Have a stash of good books around your office to hand out personally. Give away books during less formal public services, such as a Sunday night or midweek service. Ask your church for a pastoral expense account for book giveaways.
  8. Model the importance of sound doctrine. As you lead your church through various decisions, lead by teaching the Word and teaching your people to think theologically. Even in casual conversation, refer to Scripture and apply its meaning to the issues at hand. Teach your people by your own personal example that theology is practical.

Find more great resources for church health from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries at www.9marks.org