What do YOU want in a preaching book?

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This week I want to hear from you.

I am writing a book on preaching, and before I go any further with it I want to make sure it is the best it can be. The way I know it’s the best it can be is if YOU would read it. I want to share my vision for the book with you. Then, I want to hear from you to find out what you would like to see in it.

What the book is not. Before I get into what the book will be I want to share what it isn’t.  This book is not:

  • a seminary textbook on preaching. I love my preaching text books from seminary but I have no desire to write one.
  • a preaching theory book. This book will be drop dead practical. It will only present theories to the extent they can be put into use.
  • a book of sermons or sample illustrations. It will be more “how to” than a resource of examples.

What the book is. I want to share the basic plan of my book with you and get your feedback. This plan may change, and I am flexible, but  I’ve broken it down into three sections.

Section One: Prepare Like a Champ. This section focuses on preparing the sermon. The sermon is its own animal and must have dedicated focus on it. Where do you begin? How do you establish sermon preparation practices that work?

You’ll discover  best practices on results-driven sermon prep. Such as understanding the importance of team preparation and how to do it. How to set a preparation schedule and stick to it. How to decide on an objective and desired response for every sermon and more.

Section Two: Get Yourself Ready for Action. In this section the focus is you. You can prepare a great sermon, but if you are not bringing your best every time you will suffer. As a communicator, you need to be on your game every time.

Learn how to assess your listeners and prepare you messages specifically for them. Begin to build balance into your life and avoid burn out.

Section Three: Deliver the Goods. This section focuses on sermon delivery. What are the essential elements of killer sermon delivery? How do you communicate in such a way that people pay attention and want to hear more? This section answers those questions.

Discover how to preach conversationally like you’re talking with each person in the room, how to get to the point and make it come across powerfully, how to make every word count, how to nail the ending of your sermon.

What do YOU want in a preaching book?

The three sections I laid out are a broad overview and somewhat vague for a reason. I want to hear your ideas  about what you would want in a preaching book. In the comments, please share what you would like to see. If it helps, consider the following questions:

  • What frustrates you the most in your sermon prep?
  • What kind of feedback do you get on your sermons?
  • What would be some helpful things to learn about preaching?
  • How long do you like your books to be?
  • What is your favorite preaching book?
  • What would be the best things to cover in a practical preaching book?
  • What do you spend the most time trying to figure out when preparing a sermon?
  • What do you feel like needs to improve in your preaching?

Any feedback you have is appreciated. I want to help and encourage pastors as much as I can. The more input I get from you the better!

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  • Paul Gillam

    1. How much of the background to include? What does “product not process” mean, practically, when preparing and delivering sermons?
    2. What are some practical things like how to protect/develop your voice? Lemon water-type details. How can I project my voice? Any tips from stage acting, etc?
    3. What is a reasonable time frame for sermon series?
    4. What are some practical/effective ways that I can get profitable feedback?

    • Paul, these are really great questions! Thanks for taking the time to write these out. I love question #1 because if you include too much it can work against your ability to get your message across clearly. If you include too little you miss an opportunity to teach.

      I love question 3 too! Been wanting to blog on that soon. Will be a great thing to cover in the book.

      On question 4 I have a blog post that might interest you: http://preachingdonkey.com/how-to-get-more-helpful-feedback-on-your-sermons/

      And number 6 is a great question! I’ll cover this in my book, but I have a countdown clock in front of me when I preach. No one can see it but me, and it helps me stay on time.

      Thanks again for your questions!

  • Peter Walters

    Thanks for asking for our input. Here are a couple of thoughts:

    1) Application – Depending on the genre of Scripture this can be challenging and if we are not careful all we give is moral thoughts that could have come out of a Dr. Seuss book:)

    2) Our to impact at the same time the 3 generations that are listening to you speak.

    3) How to speak in a post-modern world.

    Looking forward to when your book is done.

    • Peter,
      Thanks for sharing! This is all great stuff! Question 1 is great and your comments are spot on. Number 2 is HUGE! Number 3 is a great question as well. Thanks again for the input!

  • Starchild

    Great ideas!
    How do you re-capture your audience, if you find you are losing them

  • how to select a scripture….how to exegete a text…how to bring the world of the past to the world of teh present….how to create a solid introduction, how to create a solid ending..

    man…so many questions o little time…

  • felix

    With pastoral care your struggles, your successes, your weaknesses, your strenghths, what worked for you. Transparency. So we are not just feeled with knowledge but with dependency on Christ

  • felix

    Opps replying to the question about preaching book your writing. Dependency on Christ