What is the difference between a sermon that is “text-centered” and one that is “text-driven”?
Here is a chart I used at the Jacksonville Pastor’s Conference:
Sermon from the text Sermon about the text and derived from it
Sermon based on a text Sermon explains meaning of the text
Focus on textual theme Focus on textual theme as textually developed
Sermon has a point or points Sermon only has as many “points” as the text
usually drawn from the text has and are always drawn from the text.
Textual secondary information Textual secondary information developed
may or may not be developed in relation to main point(s)
Sermon structure may be Sermon structure is borrowed from the
imposed on the text structure of the text
Application relates to or has some Application flows directly & exclusively from
connection to the text the text
Primary application may or may not Primary application derived from the main
be derived from the main point of text points of the text
Creativity is generally unguided by Creativity is guided by the genre and textual
the text. clues of the text.
Tendency to pick short preaching Demands a natural paragraph/pericope/
texts for preaching thought unit for a text
May ignore or sideline the author’s Surrenders to the author’s intended meaning.
Context may be easily overlooked Context is key to sermon development.
May not adequately express the Expresses the substance, structure & spirit
substance, structure, & spirit of the text
of the text.