As part of A Year of Books on Preaching, I’m posting a review a month of a preaching book, and then a list of quotes and takeaways.
Top Ten Quotes
The Bible does not call pastor-teachers to be entrepreneurs, movie directors, or psychologists. God calls His shepherds to be be preachers. He calls them to stand in the gap and skillfully proclaim His Word. (p.5)
The personal life of the preacher is the foundation upon which his every sermon stands. He certainly cannot expect to be used of God to change lives if his own life is stagnant. (p.25)
If the purpose of preaching is to change lives, and if outlining is underscoring the highpoints of our sermon, then we should make the passage’s applicational thrust the underscored points of our outline, accentuated throughout the entire sermon. (p.58)
Without prayer, our sermons may look good on paper — they may even sound good in the pulpit — but you can bet that they will never leave the church parking lot. (p.69)
There is no way around it — to preach well, you must necessarily sacrifice a “normal life.” … The supremacy of preparation must be evident to everyone — your family, your staff, even your congregation. (pp.84-85)
If God has called you to preach then He has implicitly, yet very clearly, called you to prepare yourself to preach. His interruptions will be few. (p.87)
Your job as a preacher is not to entertain, augment lives with God-talk, or establish a bunker mentality in your church. Your calling is to articulate the truth of God and its implications to this generation. It is not your voice, your opinions, or your ideas that are to be heard from the pulpit. Only God’s are. (p.129)
Those who truly master applicational preaching are convinced that effective applicational preaching is always supported by, built upon, and infused with an unsurpassed depth of theological insight — and they do not stop until they have injected that insight into the heart of their message. (p.142)
As uncomfortable as it may sound, to preach periodically about preaching is one of the best things you can do for your church. (p.152)
When the sermon is over, their opportunities for life-change begin. (p.175)
- Keep a watch over my own life. It’s essential that I preach with integrity, applying the lessons that I’m preaching to others.
- Structure the sermon, including the big idea and main points, around imperatives as much as possible.
- Develop a prayer strategy for preparation, for preaching, and for when the sermon is over.
- Schedule and prioritize time for preaching preparation.
- Preach with urgency.
- Be practical, but root your application in sound theology, and communicate that theology clearly.
- Teach your congregation how to listen to and apply preaching.
- Create a culture of high accountability within your church.
- Provide tools, like written outlines, note pages, and application questions, that will help the listener in applying the sermon.