Later this month, I will be traveling with my good friend, pastor, and President of the Practical Shepherding Board, Jim Savastio, to Zambia, Africa. We will be preaching at some local churches there on Sundays, as well as teaching at The Copperbelt Ministerial College during the week. I have been assigned the task to teach on the preparation and proclamation of sermons. I will be teaching several hours a day for 5 days. Here is my basic outline. I welcome your thoughts:
Day 1: The Preacher’s Heart. This focus is dealing with the calling and biblical qualifications of a pastor, preacher, and minister of the gospel.
Day 2: The Preacher’s Decisions. There are so many decisions that a pastor must make in his weekly routine to prepare to preach on a regular basis: from what text to preach, how much, how long, to what do I take in the pulpit with me.
Day 3: The Preacher’s Exposition. Discussing the need to spend time with the text, know it well, dealing with the languages, and crafting an outline and direction that will be helpful for the hearers.
Day 4: The Preacher’s Application. A sermon with no application is a verbal commentary and not very helpful to most. We will discuss the essential need to consider many potential hearers and what might be a helpful way to press home the truths being preached.
Day 5: The Preacher’s Preaching. The final day will be to take all this information and help them focus on the delivery of what they have prepared, stressing the need for them to be themselves, be clear, and to communicate passionately the deep truths they discovered in their study.
For those interested, here are a few books I have been impacted greatly by in the past that I revisited in my preparation for these lectures. There are many good preaching books, but I found these particularly helpful, especially in the practicality of preparation. Pastors, if you are regularly preaching and do not have these, you need to make it a priority to get them and read them with a highlighter:
How Sermons Work by David Murray
Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Preach: Theology Meets Practice by Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert
The Supremacy of Christ in Preaching by John Piper
Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell