Craft of Preaching

Dear Working Preacher

Insights, ideas and inspiration related to the coming week's lectionary texts.

Jesus' Prayer and Ours

Dear Working Preacher,

It’s time to talk about prayer. Not so much between you and me. I’m relatively confident you know what you’re

Communities of the Spirit

Dear Working Preacher,

We know about loss. Each of us and all of us, personally and deeply.

But we don’t talk about it very much.

These two clashing

Sheer Promise

Dear Working Preacher,

What’s the difference between a promise and a threat?

It’s a simple question, of course, but one with far-reaching

Abundant Life Now

Dear Working Preacher,

By now you know that we at WorkingPreacher.org count on your gifts to sustain our work. If you haven’t yet made a gift, I’d

Broken Before Burning

Dear Working Preacher,

The Emmaus story is one of my favorites. Part of that, as I mentioned the last time this passage came up, is because I think it

The Power of a Good Question

Dear Working Preacher,

I tend to think that our best sermons arise from our questions. Do you know what I mean? It’s often the really challenging

Easter Courage

Dear Working Preacher,

There are moments when it feels like Matthew is almost working at cross purposes. On the one hand, the message delivered by the

The Question of the Day

Dear Working Preacher,

A few years ago I was visiting a congregation in downtown Washington, D.C. on Palm Sunday. It gathers for worship in a historic

Present-tense Salvation

Dear Working Preacher,

Do we ask too little of our people?

I ask that question with no small amount of trepidation. The churches of the Reformation, after

Identity Theft, Part 2

Dear Working Preacher,

Our word “Lent,” as you know, comes from the German and Dutch words for spring (Lenz and Lente) which themselves derive

Leaving It All Behind

Dear Working Preacher,

This is a story of freedom, even transformation. Not, however -- and as far too many interpreters assume -- from a life of immorality

Spirit Freedom

Dear Working Preacher,

Something’s gotta change. We all know that. Patterns of congregational attendance and membership have declined for decades

Identity Theft

Dear Working Preacher,

When my kids were fairly young, they’d almost always figure out who the people in their lives were via relational categories.

"Do Not Be Afraid"

Dear Working Preacher,

“Do not be afraid.”

It’s easy to overlook the presence of these four words near the tail end of Jesus’

The Revolution Starts Here

Dear Working Preacher,

I think a lot of us probably have one of two reactions to this passage and the (in)famous commands it contains. The first is simple,