Sermon Preparation

How Do Preachers Arrive at the Theological Idea of a Text?

“Any time you say something, you are saying it to the exclusion of something else.” As a young MDiv student, I found those words from my preaching professor, Dr. Steven Smith, to be so simple, yet profoundly important. Think about it. You can’t say two t... Read More »

Narrative and Memorization: What Role Does Memorization Play in Storytelling

Everyone loves a good story, and Scripture is filled with them! Noah and the flood, Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22, Ruth, and Jonah come to mind. Much of the Bible is written in narrative genre. All narratives have certain things in common: setting, character... Read More »

The Narrative that Works: How to Make a Story Unforgettable

Preaching comes with a set of all too common difficulties that give the most experienced preacher trouble. One of these happens to be preaching through narrative passages. The reason for this has to do with much of the Bible being narrative. Narratives are any... Read More »

The Narrative and Its Construction: Steps to Crafting a Captivating Story

Preaching the Bible in a boring way—that’s just plain wrong. God’s Word is inerrant, inspiring, living, and breathing—and yet sometimes we preach it like it’s dead. We’re all guilty of this—be it from lack of preparation, distracted studying, or ... Read More »

The Preacher Who Prepares: Why Failing to Plan is a Plan to Fail

In several places in my academic journey through college and seminary I came across a sentiment variously expressed, “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.” To me, this was a constant reminder for the need to apply dili... Read More »

The Homiletical Challenge: How to Turn True Statements into Truth Nuggets

As text-driven preachers, we long to “rightly divide” the Word from the pulpit. We go deep into the structure of the text, analyzing the syntax and semantics, longing for the truth of God’s inspired Word to awake our souls as we aim to awake ... Read More »

The Predictability Challenge: Crafting Sermons with Variety

I’m not a very creative person. As a matter of fact, more often than I wish to admit, I’m confronted by the fact that I’m a pretty predictable guy. That’s not to say I don’t have creative moments but that those moments tend to come slowly over time. ... Read More »

The Busyness Challenge: The Need to Protect Time for Adequate Sermon Preparation

In 1967 Charles E. Hummel wrote a little book, which he titled Tyranny of the Urgent. In it Hummel argued that we often live in this tension between the things that are “urgent” and the things that are truly important, with the urgent usually winning out. ... Read More »

The Evangelism Challenge: How to Create a Culture of Evangelism in the Pulpit

The Apostle Paul depicts the clear description of the gospel in his statement, “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the... Read More »

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 »