Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Joel Breidenbaugh


Topical Preaching, Expository Preaching


Christianity | Communication | Religion


This study compares and contrasts two styles of preaching (Topical and Expository) at the First Free Will Baptist Church from 2005 – 2015. The objective of this study was to find if one method of preaching is more effective, biblical, and preferred for a congregation. The strategy for this mixed research is to deploy multi-choice questions to capture quantitative data on the impact of the sermons on the listeners, and an open-ended question on the application aspect for qualitative data on the listeners’ responses. Based on the results of the listener response questionnaire, recommendations were given based on the sermon survey responses. While many heated debates pitting topical against expository sermons within homiletical theory and practice, few authors, studies, and discourse have focused on the opinions, perceptions, and feelings of the hearers of the sermons. This project sought to weigh the hearers’ views on the debate. The findings of this study demonstrate that survey results favored both preaching styles. Whereas topical sermons appeared to be selected by participants as having an overall advantage over expository sermons based on the evaluation items, the sampled expository sermon forms possessed overall significant strengths as well.