John Ortberg, pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, is probably my wife Amy and my favorite preacher. He is funny, winsome, biblically sound, practical, and clear. I was at Willow Creek's midweek New Community service last week and people cheered when they announced John was coming back to guest teach again August 2nd. He is deeply loved there by the people he taught for years.
We have recently listened to two outstanding sermons by him. You can find his sermons here. He 3/05/06 sermon "An Ordinary Day with Jesus" is practical and thought provoking. It is based on the adult curriculum of the same title.
His next one on 3/12/06 "The Church on Monday Morning" is also incredible. It is about the people of the church getting out and making a difference for good in the community. It is inspiring!
In neither one does Ortberg focus on one specific text. And yet his theology is good and it is practical. Amy and I have been taught to focus on one text in preaching and we teach our students to do the same. And here our favorite preacher isn't! Cognitive dissonance - oh no!
I would explain it this way. In these two sermons, Ortberg briefly outlines the biblical principles that could be exegeted from many passages and focuses his sermon on fleshing out application. You could look at them as long application sections of an expository sermon where the exposition is assumed!
There is a place for these topical sermons but a congregation needs a steady diet of Scripture or they will depend on the preacher and his whims. But if you want to hear good topical sermons, listen to these two. They come highly recommended.