Craft of Preaching


It's not just about the sermon -- preaching is part of the larger liturgical context of worship.

Biblically-Based Wedding Sermons? (Part 1 of 4)

Many wedding sermons are not based on biblical texts, and for a number of reasons.

Should they be? This essay addresses the role of biblical texts in wedding

Lenten Addictions

Lent is the time in the liturgical year when preachers, for better or worse, are more apt to commend spiritual practices from the pulpit.

This makes sense

Preaching Baptism through Lent

Questions about the importance of baptism are in the air these days.

Some voices charge that this sacrament Jesus commanded us to "go and do" excludes people

Smartphones, Smart Pastors, Smart Church

Next time you see a group of young adults dining together at a restaurant, take a closer look at the table.

Nine times out of ten, you'll be able to glimpse

Preaching Advent’s Absurdity

Advent is an exercise in paradox.

For four weeks, we stand in the pulpit and speak visions of peace and hope, hills made low and valleys raised up, lions

Writing Hymns That Preach

About six years ago at a Hymn Society meeting I was talking with some people and noted that I was getting old and didn't have the kind of inspiration I

Cultivating the Heart and Art of the Preacher-Poet

Poetry is essential to the art and craft of preaching. 

I'm not talking about crafting a sermon with three points and a poem.   I'm not talking

A Humbler Reformation

Mark was conspicuously absent that Reformation morning.

Reformation Day was his favorite church festival, a day on which our organist blew every stop on

Preaching and Worship for Children, Youth and Families

Our family has a habit of going out for lunch Sundays after worship. More often than not, we end up discussing that day's worship.

One particular day my

What if our Assumptions about and Models for Preaching are Wrong? Part 3

Deploying Pastoral Expertise Differently

One question that I have wondered about is whether this sort of move surrenders the pastoral office or pastoral

What if our Assumptions about and Models for Preaching are Wrong? Part 2

Last month, I wondered in writing whether some of the basic assumptions that I have operated with as a preacher have gone the way of the buggy whip.

I wondered,

What if our Assumptions about and Models for Preaching are Wrong? Part 1

In this essay, I want to explore a simple question: What if the assumptions that we have about what a good sermon should do and the models we have about

Prayer, Preaching and Worship for a Vigil of Pentecost

Everyone does a Vigil of Christmas ("Christmas Eve"), and many have Vigils of Easter services. But who has a Vigil of Pentecost service?

Yet, we have profound

The Place of the Sermon within the Worship Service

"Preaching in the assembly is integrated with the whole event of worship"

[Augsburg Fortress, 2002], Principle P-4). More than one Christian tradition's

Crafting the Sermon: The Easter Vigil

To preach at the Easter Vigil is to be concerned with the very substance of every Sunday's sermon: asserting hope in the face of despair.

The governing