What should a pastor do whose people don’t like expositional preaching?
Spend more time preparing excellent sermons. Spend more time studying the text, meditating on it, praying over it, making sure you understand it. Spend more time praying for the members of your congregation by name, asking God how the text might apply to them. Sacrifice other items in your weekly calendar so that you can prayerfully prepare excellent sermons.
Preach excellent expositional sermons. Clearly unfold the meaning of each passage each week and carefully apply it to your people’s lives. If they’re not used to long sermons, don’t preach long sermons. If they’re not used to complicated sermons, don’t preach complicated sermons. If they’re not very biblically literate, be careful to explain the basics. Your preaching has to set the standard for their spiritual lives, not the other way around. So preach expositionally in order that your people would begin to understand the Bible and develop a growing desire to hear it preached.
Teach your people why you preach expositionally. Explicitly teach your church what expositional preaching is, why it’s faithful to Scripture, and how they can get the most out of it. Teach this in sermons, Sunday Schools, church newsletters, and wherever else you have the chance.
Be patient. It will take time for your people to develop an appetite for substantial biblical preaching. So patiently instruct and encourage your people. Bear with them. Fruit doesn’t grow overnight.
Pray for them. Pray that God would work in them by the power of his Spirit, through his Word, so that their lives would be transformed by the preaching of his Word. As God works in them by his Word, the church will, by God’s grace, develop a deep hunger for his Word because they’ve tasted its power. So pray that your people would hunger for, delight in, and obey God’s Word.
Find more great resources for church health from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries at www.9marks.org