Preaching is at the heart of pastoral ministry. It is central to who we are and what we do. But how are we to go about it? While there is certainly a need for thematic preaching and even topical preaching at times, I am convinced the regular diet for the church should be expositional preaching — specifically, preaching through books of the Bible. There are 4 main reasons.
1- It forces you to preach difficult passages.
Christians believe all Scripture is profitable, but many times it is easy to skip difficult passages in preaching. By preaching through a book of the Bible, you are forced to preach passages that you may otherwise avoid.
2- It helps your people prepare for each worship service.
If you are preaching through a book of the Bible, your people will know what passage will be covered in the next sermon. This enables them to read the passage prior to coming to the service. I believe your preaching will more impactful if people prepare for the service by reading the passage ahead of time.
3- It helps keep the context in clear view.
Preaching through a book of the Bible allows the context to be central. It will be less likely for verses to be taken out of context when that context is in clear view. Your members will have a better idea of what is taking place as a result of understanding what has already taken place.
4- It guards against hobby-horse preaching.
When you preach through a book of the Bible, the Bible is setting the agenda, not you. You are not picking and choosing what you want to say. Instead of the Bible being support material for what you want to say, the Bible directs your message.
Are there times for topical or thematic preaching? Absolutely. Can those other approaches be done well? Yes! However, I do think there is value in taking time to simply preach through a book of the Bible.