Craft of Preaching

Preaching Tough Texts

There are some tough texts coming up in the lectionary. I’m thinking especially of the Hosea 1 text for July 28th, where God calls the prophet Hosea

Preaching While White

Living in Atlanta, Georgia, has challenged this Midwesterner in many ways. Pollen, for one! Even more, experiencing diverse racial interactions has been

Being Yourself vs. Using Yourself

I was recently gifted a copy of the sarcastic, crude, delightfully funny little book Hyperbole and a Half. Half comic book, half stream-of-consciousness,

Fantastic Beasts and How to Preach Them

There’s a delightful little creature in the most recent Harry Potter movies. It’s called a niffler.

Physically, the niffler is an endearing

Preaching Under Pressure

Preaching regularly is a grind. But what about preaching under pressure?

Picture this:

Sunday. About 15 minutes after the last worship of the day has

Preaching “Praises”

We get the name “Psalms” from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible: the word psalmos roughly corresponds to the translation of the Hebrew

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