Sermon Preparation

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 »

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 »