Sunday, 3 May 2009

Preach or Perish

One of my ministers gave me this book late last year. It is a book all about preaching. I'm not sure if I got the book because I once gave a sermon last year and in a chapter by John Chapman he gives an example of a message he would preach on and uses the exact same passage I spoke on...

The book is mainly written by the editor Donald Howard, but it also contains some chapters written by David Cook, John Chapman, Kel Richards, Peter Jensen, J.I Packer, D.B Knox and many others (you can check out the table of contents). 

The book starts of going over sermon preparation steps and then moves into really fine details about almost every element of preaching. There is a chapter on not reading word for word off notes; how to project your voice; dealing with the media; what version of the bible to use; what the reader of the bible should do before and during the service (a good one for any lay person to read); the length of sermons; the introduction of a sermon; the conclusion of a sermon; the message for a funeral service; on being a pastors wife etc...

Since there are many topics and authors you get a whole host of ideas and you learn a few different methods in doing the same thing. There are many examples of preachers in the past and what they did as well as examples from people in polities and how they delivered and prepared their speeches.

This would not have been a book I would have bought for myself, but I am grateful to the minister who gave it to me. I think it will be a good resource for anyone who is asked to deliver a public message from the bible. I think I will be going to back to some chapters, if given another chance at giving a sermon.

The book has its own website and you can read the preface online here.

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