The Road Less Traveled: The Importance of Preaching Overlooked Texts
by Jesse Randolph | Jul 28, 2020
“Good morning, church. Please open your Bibles to Zephaniah 3:8.”
With rare exceptions, these are words that most pastors have neither said nor congregants heard in their churches. A review of most church websites and sermon databases will find sparse sermons from the book of Zephaniah (and other similarly-untrodden passages of Scripture). As most pastors plan out their preaching calendar, Galatians is far more likely to be chosen for a verse-by-verse series than Joel.
The same tendency can be found in those who preach as “pinch hitters” for the church’s pastor-teacher. An associate pastor or visiting preacher is less likely to preach Paul’s visit to Malta (Acts 28:1–10) than one of the early chapters of Acts. A Pauline epistle, with its built-in transition from proclamations of transcendent truth to implications and applications for the believer, is more likely to be selected than an incendiary little tome like Jude. A series through Isaiah 40–48—which has a landscape dotted with descriptions of the dazzling attributes of God—is a more likely choice than a series through Esther, which does not so much as mention the name of God…