Our 2018 gift guide for preachers is here! This list is sure to delight preachers and their congregations alike, as listeners are the ones who truly benefit from inspired and productive preachers. What would you add to the list?
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A few weeks ago I turned in the manuscript for my next book: The Gospel People Don’t Want to Hear: Preaching Challenging Messages (Working Preacher Books, anticipated Spring 2020). While I’m pleased with this first draft, it was much harder to write than I anticipated. What I learned from writing it are at least three hacks that apply to preaching.
As a writing instructor, I’ve discovered that preachers struggle with the things all writers struggle with. Purpose and audience, clarity and specificity, development of ideas, organization and structure. Planning their writing process. Generating ideas. Re-visioning their drafts. Polishing their sentences. And out of my experience teaching writers, I’ve created a free guide for preachers to help you generate more ideas and write more effectively.
Information will help us preach knowledgeably. But to preach authentically—to preach transformationally—we need more than information.
How can we, as preachers, approach our craft with the wisdom of Yo-Yo Ma and the genius of Bach in order to better engage our listeners?
There are times when muscling a sermon from the blank page through gritted teeth is actually counter-productive. When more is actually less. And when effort is not proportional to results. When we find ourselves dreading the blinking cursor at the top of our empty document, we may want to try a different tool than pure effort.
I'm building a more robust toolkit, or artist’s palette, so that I can deliberately choose the right tool or style to communicate a given message. While I'm still writing on Saturdays (for now!), I'm never starting from a blank page, which has helped me to fall in love with preaching again.
Don't want to do sermon prep on your vacation? You don't have to! Here are eight strategies to protect your time off.
We often preach a message people already agree with, a message that reinforces what people already believe. When we preach to the choir, we probably don’t feel vulnerable about the anticipated reaction: we expect more kudos than pushback. But what happens when we preach against the choir?
When the cultures and circumstances of Scripture seem irrelevant or unfamiliar, how do we help our listeners connect. How do we find the truth that transcends time and context? This 4-step process helps you look at the human condition beneath the circumstances to find the the ways God showed up then and continues to show up now.