This morning, I want to share with you a handful of books that I have found very helpful in learning how to prepare and deliver sermons. These are books that have blessed me personally and that have proven to be very helpful for those who are just learning how to preach. Here is the list with a few comments about each one of them. (Click on the titles to go to Amazon)
1.) “Power in the Pulpit” by Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix (Moody, 1999) Dr. Vines is one of the best expository preachers that you will ever hear and he has worked with Jim Shaddix, who serves as a preaching professor New Orleans Baptist Seminary, to produce one of the most helpful books that you will ever read on sermon preparation and delivery. This is the first book that I would recommend that you buy and read. They will take you through every step of the preparation process and then offer tremendous advice on delivery. This is a must read for every preacher in my mind.
Thinking about preaching through the Beatitudes? Please click here to check out my new book “Cultivating A Gospel-Shaped Attitude: Understanding and Living the Beatitudes.”
2.) “Expository Preaching” by Harold Bryson (Broadman and Holman, 1995) This book will help you to develop the skills to preach through a book of the Bible. I highly recommend that you consider preaching through entire books of the BIble as the major part of your preaching ministry. You will find that over time this is the very best way to help your people develop a Biblical mindset and it will force you to deal with a range of subjects. Bryson’s book is the best manual for how to do this that I have come across. If you are interested in preaching through books of the Bible you might want to read my article entitled “Preparing to Preach Through a Book of the Bible.”
3.) “Christ Centered Preaching“ by Brian Chapell (Baker Academic, 2005) Jesus is the central figure in
all the BIble and all Christian preaching must, therefore, be centered upon His person and work. Chapell’s book will help you to see how to apply a Christ-centered theology to every sermon that you preach and how to find Christ in any passage.
4.) “Preaching” by Calvin Miller. Dr. Miller just passed away a few weeks ago and I was fortunate to be able to study with him during a doctoral seminar. Miller shows in his book how to use a narrative strategy in preaching. It is one of the best books that I know of to help you learn how to preach in a way that will both honor the text and capture the imagination. Before reading the book, I would recommend you to listen to some of Dr. Miller’s messages online. Once you have heard how he preaches, you will understand the book a little better. To read see my review of Dr. Miller’s book click here.
5.) “Planning Your Preaching” by Stephen Rummage) Once again, I had the privilege of being in a doctoral seminar with Dr. Rummage and to learn first hand about how he goes about preparing the message. This book will walk you through the steps of putting together a preaching plan for the entire year. For some, this may seem to deny the Holy Spirit but I will assure you that this method will actually lead you to a much deeper experience of the Holy Spirit working in you as you plan and prepare. I have summarized and adapted some of Dr. Rummage’s thoughts in my post “How to Plan Your Preaching for All of 2013.”
These are the five basic books that I would recommend that every Pastor read about their preaching ministry. read each of them several times and have started to go back each year and read one of them during the month of January and another in the Summer (usually August). During the rest of the year I will usually try to read at least 2-3 other books on sermon preparation. I do this because I want to constantly be growing in this area of my life. God has called me to preach and I want to be the very best preacher that I can possible be. I hope that you will pick up these five basic books and read them.
- How to Stay Biblical While Preaching Topically (joebuchanan.wordpress.com)
- ETC: Expository Preaching by Haddon W. Robinson – Chapters 1-3 (johnreads.wordpress.com)
- “Vines left speechless by book in his honor” says a Southwestern seminary news release (peterlumpkins.typepad.com)