Craft of Preaching

Pulpit Inventory

I’ve always been fascinated by words. Words shape ideas, so much that a seemingly innocuous phrasing choice can seriously, and sometimes permanently,

The Oddly Comforting World of Saint Matthew

Preaching is little things carrying big things. It’s all about figuring out how to tell the story of Christ; this weighty promise on our transitory

Pulpit Magic

A young woman came into my office yesterday, terrified.

I don’t know much about her background. She spoke broken English with a thick accent that

Social Media and Preaching: Some Dos and Don’ts (Part 2 of 2)

In my previous article, I discussed digital citizenship and the essential ideas behind social media to argue for its value in contemporary preaching. To

Social Media and Preaching: A Primer (Part 1 of 2)

Discussions about social media -- and, specifically in our case, social media in preaching -- are important for the contemporary church. Let’s face

Preach What You Know

I’m reading a novel by a best-selling author that reminds me of one of the cardinal rules of writing:

Write what you know.

The author describes

The Footwasher’s Hall of Fame

I hate being wrong.

I really hate being wrong in public.

I really, really hate being the one to prove myself wrong in public. Unfortunately, that is the

Memory Aid

If Christian traditions exist to help us remember things that should never be forgotten, such as the grace of God, the life and passion of Christ, the promises

Preaching Joy in Times of Conflict

It would sure be nice if the climate in our churches were always seventy-two degrees with brilliant blue skies and no chance of rain. Our pews filled with

First, Do No Harm

I recently attended a funeral service for a young person whose parents I know. The service was performed at a church of another Christian denomination,

To Whom Do You Think You Are Preaching?

Listening to a sermon, I form a portrait of myself. I hear a perspective on the scripture text or theme that makes assumptions about the assembly and therefore

New "Holy Days for Justice" Add Breadth and Depth to Preaching

The Revised Common Lectionary is the backbone of preaching in many congregations. Yet, like every finite entity, the Revised Common Lectionary does not

A Voice Amid the Wedding Noise

I have an unusually heavy schedule of weddings to perform this year -- three in the next 10 months. Which doesn’t sound heavy until you consider that’s

Preaching and Wildfire

In a recent New York Times article, Michael Winerip shares some lessons learned from the ravenous fires of 1988 that consumed nearly one third of Yellowstone

Preaching to Angels

I’ll never forget standing among a crowd in a tunnel as the University of Minnesota marching band strode past, row after row of drums thundering,