Dr. Scott Camp: How I Preach

Dr. Camp now travels throughout the United States and West Africa preaching at churches, city-wide crusades, and conferences. He has been featured as a program guest with the Billy Graham Crusade. Dr. Camp currently serves as the Faculty Chair of Evangelism at SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary in Oakland, CA.

  1. Current gigs (preaching, teaching, etc.) and years at it:

I’ve been in full-time ministry for 33 years. I do stadium crusade evangelism, local church evangelism, outreach events, and bible school teaching.

  1. Most used English Bible version:

NKJV

  1. Use of Greek and Hebrew (light/moderate/heavy):

Moderate

  1. Current computer(s)/device(s):

None

  1. Who or what made you want to preach:

My conversion experience was so radical that I began to preach in the halls of my high school. Since I was an athlete, I got invited to speak and share my testimony at FCA meetings. This was beginning of my preaching career.

  1. One word that best describes how you prepare to preach:

Thoroughly

  1. One word that best describes how you preach:

Passionately

  1. Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Extrovert

  1. Who are you most indebted to for making you the preacher you are (besides God)?

A.W. Criswell and Billy Graham

  1. What does your workspace look like when you are prepping?

Tons of books everywhere. Greek New Testament. Critical and Exegetical commentaries. Coffee near me.

  1. What time of the day are you most effective?

10am-2pm

  1. What’s your sleep routine like?

Wake up at 6:30, go to sleep at Midnight

  1. What’s your best time-saving trick?

I’m a dinosaur. I really don’t have any. Unlike other preachers who could whip out a sermon quickly, I have never been able to do that. It takes me all week to complete a sermon.

  1. What do you listen to while you work?

Jazz, Miles Davis, or Classical music.

  1. Illustrations—where do you go for them and how do you store them?

There are three kinds of illustrations that I like to use. Personal illustrations from my life, classical illustration that other people have used, and biblical illustrations, particularly form the O.T. that are relevant to my point. I have a notebook that I jot everything in.

  1. Tell us your sermon-prep routine?

As an evangelist, I find the hottest cultural topic and preach on it. For instance, the theme on “God’s Not Dead” or “Heaven is For Real.” The movies about Noah and Moses, I prepared sermons from texts that relate to these cultural hot topics. As of recent, I have been preaching doctrine-themed sermons.

Whatever text I use, I present the Gospel from it.

As a pastor, I typically started my sermon prep Sunday afternoon. I prefer expository sermons, book by book. I structure my sermon around one big idea.

If I were preaching through Philippians I would read the whole book everyday until I was completely done preaching that book. As for the particular text I was dealing with that week, I read the text 25 times as a letter. There was no studying at this point. My first step would focus only on living in the text. The text would live in me.

Then I ask myself, “what does the passage say?” As I interpret the text, I would use critical and exegetical commentaries to make sure I understood syntactic issues and the arguments that the author was making. I interrogated the text by asking who, what, when why. Once, I discovered the “what” of the author, I ask myself the “so what?” what does this mean for me.

I used devotional commentaries for sermon illustrations.

Once I had my sermon finalized, I would preach the message internally to me. On Saturday I would go out for lunch with my wife and preview the message with her. At times I did that with my daughter. I would use my kids for cultural references for my sermons. I read people magazine and other cultural sources to be familiar with the pop culture.

I wasn’t much of a manuscript guy. I prefer extemporaneous preaching. This is where reading the text 25 times helped me.

  1. Average numbers of prep hours per sermon:

20 hrs. as a pastor, as an evangelist I have about 15 sermons that I fine-tune from time to time.

  1. Any props used regularly in sermons? Slides? Handouts?

None

  1. Use of notes (no/some/extensive)?

None

  1. Who critiques your sermon, beside yourself?

Once posted online – everyone does, but generally my kids.

  1. How has your preaching improved over time?

My well is deeper. My understanding of people has become better. I have become a better Christian therefore a better preacher.

  1. What are you currently reading?

Reclaiming Pietism by Roger Olson and Lesslie Newbigin’s, The Gospel in a Pluralistic Society.

  1. What do you wish you had learned when you were in seminary?

I wish I had taken more preaching classes.

  1. Exercise regimen?

Treadmill, 3x a week.

  1. Spiritual disciplines?

I have more of a relational approach. I read the bible every day and pray. I share the gospel with people every day.

  1. Favorite food?

Lobster, seafood.

  1. What you do when you aren’t involved in preaching-related activities?

Play basketball and hang out with my family.

  1. Fill in the blank. “I’d love to see ________ answer these same questions.”

Shane Warren

  1. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Dr. Criswell gave me this advice: Preach the Bible and people will love you for it. He told me not to try and be a psychologist behind the pulpit because there may be professional psychologists in the audience that could do a better job at it. Don’t try to be a politician, for there are better politicians sitting in the pews. Don’t try to be an economist, for there are professionals who do a better job at that. Be the guy who will know the particular text best in the whole building. Be the preacher and expositor that God called you to be.

  1. What advice would you give a young preacher?

Preach out of the overflow of your relationship with God. Have a message from God and not a dry sermon.

  1. What book do you recommend for a pastor or preacher to read (not necessarily preaching-related)?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s, The Brothers Karamazov. (A great book on understanding the human condition). A great book for any minister, Al Streett’s, The Effective Invitation.

  1. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Being a preacher is the greatest honor imaginable. To be a herald of the gospel, God’s spokesperson, is the greatest honor. Never take it for granted.

  1. Where can we find more information about you or listen to your sermons (provide url)?

Scottcamp.org. Watch sermons on my website or you can watch and subscribe to my youtube channel.

  1. How can we connect with you through social media (provide usernames)?

Facebook