Sermon Preparation

Four Types of Meanings in Texts

The text-driven preacher must recognize that there are four basic types of meaning conveyed in every text and context: referential, situational, structural and semantic. Referential meaning is that which is being talked about; the subject matter of a text. Sit... Read More »

A Letter to Young Preachers

NOTE: J. M. Pendleton was a leading 19th century Baptist preacher, pastor, educator, and theologian. See Thomas White. Selected Writings of James Madison Pendleton, 3 vols. (Paris, AR: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 2006). Here is one of his letters, rich with i... Read More »

How Can Preachers Be More Creative in an Expository Sermon: The Quest for Imagination

You have doubtlessly heard the oft-repeated quote, “It’s a sin to be boring.” For the preacher, that simple statement should be more than a quote—it should be a mantra. No one who listens to a pastor preach on a regular basis has ever been quoted as sa... Read More »

The One Secret That Will Improve Your Preaching: Part 1

Creating a Purpose Statement for Your Message A seminarian was invited to preach at a small church one Sunday. All week long, he labored over his sermon, studying the text, constructing an outline, and developing his material. Finally, Sunday morning rolled ar... Read More »

Critical Steps in Sermon Preparation – A Pastor’s Perspective

You wake up in a cold sweat, overjoyed that your latest version of “preacher’s nightmare” was not reality. You know the terrible dream: it is time to preach, and you are either not prepared, or you cannot physically arrive at the pulpit. The ... Read More »

Sunday’s Coming

S.M. Lockridge was a prominent African American preacher who served as the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego, California during the 1900’s. He was well-known for his passionate preaching style and spoke an often-repeated phrase from one of his Ea... Read More »

Preaching Insights from Locker Room Speeches

Every good sports movie mandates an inspirational locker room speech. A team of underdogs faces their biggest obstacle yet. Victory appears to be slipping from their grasp, but then the coach waltzes in and delivers an animated monologue that draws every playe... Read More »

Important Steps in Sermon Preparation: A Pastor’s Perspective – Part 2

The alarm on your smartphone cries its obnoxious wakeup alarm way too early on Monday morning. You stumble to the kitchen to grab one of the last clean coffee mugs and begin to pour yourself a cup of coffee. You sit down in your favorite chair, which may be ju... Read More »

Important Steps in Sermon Preparation: A Pastor’s Perspective – Part 1

It Starts with a Conviction – If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire  shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. Jeremiah 20:9 (ESV) Somewhere duri... Read More »

The Expositor in the Pulpit – Part 6

NOTE: This article is an excerpt from an excellent little book on preaching, The Expositor in the Pulpit, by the Greek scholar Marvin R. Vincent. The book is the content of his lectures given to students at Union Theological Seminary in 1884. The book is a mu... Read More »