Craft of Preaching

Preach like Jacob? Times When It’s Good to Limp

I have a confession: I have had the tendency, throughout my life, to be the type of person where when things get too hard, I quit.

It’s not something

Preaching to Grads

Graduate Recognition Sunday.

Just the mention is enough to give you THE SHIVERS,[1] isn’t it?

Not for every church, and not for every grad. It’s

When Safe Spaces Become Toxic Places (Part 2 of 2)

“For those of us preachers who are viewed as aberrations or abominations, there are certain stories whose edges dig sharply into our souls. It is

A Preacher’s Case for Safe Space

“Definition of safe space: a place (as on a college campus) intended to be free of bias, conflict, criticism, or potentially threatening

Blessings Precede You

In my last Working Preacher article, “How to Preach the News without Drowning,” I encouraged preachers to take a few minutes’ reflection

How to Preach the News without Drowning

“Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household ... This

Rebooting Your Translation

A recent State Farm commercial depicts how a shift in context can dramatically change the meanings of words: “Is this my car?!”—with joy,

Give Them a Story

The story of God’s love incarnate in Jesus Christ is often referred to as the greatest story ever told. As preachers, we are constantly trying to

The False Comfort of Agreement

Pause for a second before you start reading.

Stop. Think. Picture: Who is in your text study group?

Now, not everyone has a text study group, but we all

How Deep Is Your Bench? The Importance of Preaching with a Sixth Woman (or Man)

For this column today, I’d like to take the chance to introduce you to our Sixth Woman.

Anyone who knows me even slightly should already be raising

Notes from the Field: Elections, Bulldozers, and Grief

Anybody here feel like a bulldozer has run over you a few times lately?

If so, you’re probably in a context that’s dealing with the U.S. presidential

The Spirit Catches You and You Run and Hide

The title to this article is a riff on the 1997 book The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman. It’s the story, ultimately,

How to Preach to Mikey (and His Parents)

Working Preachers, does this sound familiar: you’re wheeling your cart through the grocery store when you see the nice young couple from church who

In Lonely Exile: Miscarriage and Infertility at Christmas

It’s almost Christmas. There are songs, pictures, and talk of Sweet Baby Jesus (à la Will Ferrell) everywhere. This baby is invariably adorable

How to Preach to Mildred

It’s never great for a preacher’s ego when someone snores during your sermon. For me, it happens at least a once a month.

Once a month I preside