Dean of the School of Preaching David Allen recently spoke at a theology conference hosted by the Baptist Theological Seminary in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The conference, held March 26-28, celebrated the 110th anniversary of the Brazilian Baptist Convention and emphasized the importance of expository preaching.

“The Brazilian Baptist Convention is doing very well with its vision to reach Brazil for Christ,” Allen says, noting the seminary’s recent growth. This vision to reach the lost, he adds, is reflected in the seminary’s desire to emphasize expository preaching and to equip preachers with the tools to employ this method in their own churches.

Nearly 500 students and pastors attended the conference, all from varying educational backgrounds. Many of these pastors currently serve bivocationally in challenging areas, but all are eager to learn and grow in their preaching.

The conference took place over the course of four evenings and included a text-driven preaching workshop led by Allen. Throughout the conference, Allen and other Brazilian Baptist leaders preached through the book of Hebrews. In doing so, Allen says he modeled text-driven preaching and what it looks like to preach through this entire New Testament book.

Speaking during one of the conference’s plenary sessions, Allen asked attendees how many of them had ever preached through the entire book of Hebrews. In response, many admitted that they had never done so, but they later expressed that after Allen’s example of how to deal with the text with clarity, they are now eager to implement that style in their own preaching. One conference attendee said, “I want to learn more. I want to develop my preaching in the [text-driven preaching] model.” Others shared a similar sentiment. 

Prior to the conference, Allen was invited to preach at the First Baptist Church of Iraja, one of the Brazilian Baptist Convention’s largest churches in Rio. During two of the church’s Sunday evening services, Allen delivered a message on Jesus and Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10.

Allen says he focused on the message that Jesus “has come to seek and to save that which was lost” as described in verse 10. The message resonated with many congregants, compelling 14 adults to make professions of faith, and challenging many others to share that message with others. “That is the key statement,” Allen says of the passage from Luke. “That is the mission and the goal of Brazilian Baptists.”