Craft of Preaching


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

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

Our Road to Emmaus

Dear Working Preacher,

This is our story -- the story that sums up the nature and purpose of our calling as preachers as well as anything in Scripture.

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

Sunday, Sunday

Dear Working Preacher,

Do you ever wonder what it's all about? Sunday, I mean. The gathering, the worship, the singing, reading, and preaching -- why do

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

Preaching and Worship in Lent

What we hear on Ash Wednesday when Lent begins is this: "give alms ... pray ... fast ... do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. For where your

Why Lent?

Let's face it. Lent's in trouble.

Let me explain. Most of us have favorite holiday seasons. For some it's Christmas, with the family get-togethers and