Today 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 I 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.
1.) “Power in the Puplit” 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 purchase 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.
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 portion 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 wide range of subjects. Bryson’s book is the best manual for how to do this that I have come across.
3.) “Christ Centered Preaching” by Brian Chapell (Baker Academic, 2005)
Jesus is the central figure in all of 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 this past year but I was fortunate to have been able to study with him during a doctoral seminar. Miller shows in his book how to utilize 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 manner that will both honor the text and capture the imagination. Before reading the book, I would advise 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.
5.) “Planning Your Preaching” by Stephen Rummage (Kregel, 2002)
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.
These are the five basic books that I would recommend that every Pastor read concerning their preaching ministry. I have 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 remainder 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 therefore 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.