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5 Questions on Preaching with Johnny Hunt

Dr. Johnny Hunt has been the senior pastor of First Baptist Church Woodstock in Woodstock, GA for 29 years, has been preaching for 39 years, and is former President of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

Q1: How long does it typically take you to prepare a sermon?

A: Mark, if I am undisturbed and I have chosen the passage I plan to preach in 7-8 hours I have totally finished the message.  There is still preparation time in preparing my heart and allowing God to speak to me deeply with the text and the sermon I have written in order to be prepared for Sunday.

Q2: What do you ultimately want a sermon to accomplish?

A: It is my desire to preach the Word; to be instant in season and out of season.  Believing that God honors His word and as the Psalmist said, “He has exalted His word above His name.”  I believe there is power in the Word as Hebrews 4 magnifies in that it goes deep into the very conscience and the personalities of the ones who hear.

Q3: What are one or two big mistakes people often make in preaching?

A: One of the big mistakes often in preaching is, I have prepared myself and I have prepared the sermon but I must acknowledge the principle of John 15, “Without Him I can do nothing” or as the Bible teaches all is in vain save the Spirit of the Holy One come down.  “Not by power, not by might but by my Spirit,” saith the Lord.  The preacher can be a mighty instrument in the hands of a Holy God but I must humble myself before God and be clothed in humility.  Pray for the fullness of the Spirit and that God would touch me and touch through me.

Q4: How do you handle the gospel invitation and preach toward it?

A: As I preach my message from the title to the introduction to its major points I am hoping that it is coming across clear that the Gospel is being presented and that the Gospel invites you to come and dine; and realize that the ministry of the Holy Spirit in honoring the Word deals with the sinners heart and makes him ready to respond to Jesus.

Q5: What advice would you give to preachers doing pulpit supply?

A: The advice that I would give a preacher that is doing pulpit supply is to be sure that if you are only there for one Sunday to do what I call a stand- alone sermon.  Often times it comes from a series of messages but it takes the context of what came before and what follows for the audience to grasp the gravity of the sermon.  There are messages that God gives me that I could stand up and by itself preach to minister to people.  As a supply preacher never underestimate God’s eternal work with His Word in the hearts of the hearers.

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