Pronouncements about how one should preach are dangerous.
A common dichotomy for preaching deals with topical vs. exegetical.
Sermon on marriage or finances = topical.
Sermon on John 10:10 or Exodus 19:6 = exegetical.
Those who favor the topical end of things are accused of being shallow, seeker-sensitive (not as a compliment), and pandering. If you want to hear a lengthy passage explained with original language references you are an elitist, removed from reality, and not evangelistic.
For as much criticizing that occurs you would think that they were world’s apart in their approach. If you need faces to associate with the extremes Rick Warren and John Piper are as good as any, and even these two seem to get along and agree on many things.
Only in the most extreme cases are you not going to use Scripture to teach a community how to raise children. On the other end of course you are going to make some application out of even the most rigid exegetical sermon.
The answer is not to float back and forth between both extremes but to remain in the uncomfortable tension.
When you only focus on depth through exegesis you are going to alienate those who have no idea what you are talking about. If you are still operating under the notion that all westerners have a basic understanding of Christianity you are either in denial or need to prepare because a post-Christian wave is on the way. In everything I do I try to remember that there may be someone experiencing the things I take for granted for the first time.
However only focusing on that new person is going to create a collective shallowness. Megachurches are often accused of churning out shallow believers, but they do not alone hold responsibility for this problem.
Tension is the answer, not absolutes.
Living this is out is where things start to break down. Especially in unique contexts like childrens and student ministries.
Including but not limited to sermons how do you live in this tension?