One of the genres of books that I enjoy as a preacher is the group that deals with act and art of preaching itself. If you have read this blog for any length of time, you have discovered that I have recommended a lion’s share of books about preaching—most have been to do with expository preaching. It is good for preachers to continue to read books that will sharpen their skills as a preacher. Because I believe that preaching—both the delivery by the preacher and the listening by the hearer—is an act of worship, I believe a preacher should do everything within his power to get better at preaching. One of the ways that we can get better is to read books about preaching.
Last week, a friend of mine, Wayne Naylor, sent me a book, A Guide to Expository Ministry which has been edited by Dan Dumas. It is a little over a hundred pages in length and it is packed with very good advice. However, the advice in this book comes from a bit of a different angle in that it addresses the expositor in the first half and the listener in the second half. I believe that churches that trend toward expository, verse-by-verse preaching goes a long way to creating something that takes place in the pews. What takes place in the pews is a heightened awareness of the power of Scripture. So Dumas and his covey of writers are working the angles of both the preacher’s responsibility and the saint’s duty as well.
The chapters deal with the high priority of expository preaching, the spiritual war that attends to its role in the church, living a life of holiness, and preaching that is both in season and out of season. For the hearer there are chapters that listening, reading, encouraging prayer for the pastor, and preparing the heart for worship. All of the chapters are filled with very good recommendations to those who want to be serious about their corporate worship times.
Here is a snippet of quotes that come from the book:
· The fruitfulness of a man’s ministry will never exceed that of his life.
· Local churches should brim with people who know how to use their Bibles.
· Faithful, expository preaching is being replaced with whatever scratches the itching ears of our self-centered, consumerist culture.
· When preaching retreats, a host of entertaining innovations will take its place.
· When the pulpit ministry lacks substance, the church is severed from the Word of God, and its health and faithfulness are immediately diminished.
· Boring preaching isn’t just ineffective, boring preaching is satanic.
· Working on your delivery is not about being a peddler of the Word of God; it’s about removing the distraction that comes from boring preaching.
· God is emphatic about the character of those who lead his people.
· The ministry can be the means of making you more unlike Christ if you don’t watch your life.
· You think you know what spiritual warfare is until you go into the ministry.
· It’s the first duty of every member of every congregation to come eager and ready to hear God’s Word.
All through the book are a variety of lists that will provoke your thinking. One of those lists is for the hearers of God’s Word. It is called “Eight Ways to Use Scripture to Pray for Your Pastor.” Among those eight matters of prayer—for a life of obedience, that he would flee temptation, and that he would be a man of unceasing prayer.
This might be a book to get and add to your reading list in the coming year. My thanks to Wayne Naylor for securing a copy of it for me.
Thanks for reading. . .