The Best Books on Christian Preaching and Homeletics

recommended by Zach_Aument

At its best, Christian preaching opens eyes to the possibilities of human life, practically guides humanity in living, elevates the beautiful, and most importantly—proclaims the gospel of Jesus of Nazareth! But few of us encounter preaching at its best. Many of us sit under the teaching of decent men and women, who are trying their best, but lack the skill and nuance of truly great preaching. There is hope! Great preaching is a process that everyone can grow in. Truly excellent preaching honors God and helps Christ-followers to live compelling Christian lives. Preaching can be so much more than it often is.

  • 1

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    Practicing the Preaching Life
    by David B Ward

    There is a sweet-spot in preaching where form and spirit meet. You can spot it when you see it. The words are so deeply a part of the preacher's soul that they don't need their notes, yet so rich in content that their preparation is evident. David Ward not only lives this, he brilliantly helps his readers get to this place. While most books on preaching hone in on either the practice of sermon writing or on the craft of preaching itself, Ward ties these together in a book that is both practical and compelling. It is the new standard on preaching and if you only own one book on the subject, this should be it!

  • 2

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    Preaching: 25th Anniversary Edition
    by Fred B. Craddock

    If Ward is the new standard on preaching, Fred Craddock's work "Preaching" is the gold standard. Lasting over 25 years in continuous print, this book should be on every pastor's shelf. Craddock does a superb job of laying out the form and delivery of preaching and helps practitioners learn the component skills.

  • 3

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    The Homiletical Plot, Expanded Edition: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form
    by Eugene L. Lowry

    Often the first book young preachers begin with, Eugene Lowry's "The Homiletical Plot" provides a sound foundation of sermon writing. While it can be more dry in places than the other texts on this list, it is by far the most in-depth treatment on nuts-and-bolts writing of sermons. Just as in math, repetition matters, and this book will help preachers to craft truly outstanding sermons.

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    I Believe I'll Testify: The Art of African American Preaching
    by Cleophus James LaRue

    Cleophus LaRue is not only an incredible preacher, he is among the greatest living thinkers on the subject of homiletics. And just as you would expect, this book preaches. While this book takes the form of a text on African American preaching, it accomplishes far more! LaRue manages to covertly address the most fundamental flaws in western preaching in a way that is both fun and significant. If you have been preaching for more than a year and have not read this text, you have unintentionally done your church a grave disservice.

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    Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
    by Chip Heath & Dan Heath

    While not a text on preaching specifically, "Made to Stick" by Chip and Dan Heath is simply the best book on retention I have ever read. If you want the people in your care to remember what you say, there is no better text on the subject. Remember, your people will only be as changed as their memory of what you say and the measure by which God chooses to use it.

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