My Top Three Practical Books on Preaching

Last week I asked for you to send me any questions that you might have that I could answer in future blog posts. One question asked about my top three favorite preaching books. Since I love preaching, and spent 12 years teaching the subject at a seminary, I have amassed quite collection of books on the subject, making my task a lot harder.

So instead of trying to whittle down my top three from my collection, I thought that I would pick my top three in different areas of focus. Today I want to share with you my favorite books in the area of preaching mechanics. These three books excel in the nuts and bolts of preaching by making the process simple and taking out the highly technical language by instead approaching preaching from the practitioner’s point of view.

Here are my top three practical preaching books, in no particular order, along with a link to them in Amazon to make finding them easier.

12 Essential Skills for Great Preaching by Wayne McDill (Amazon)

Funny enough, this book was never assigned for my preaching classes while in seminary, nor was it on any recommended reading lists. As a matter of fact, I had never even heard of this book until I was given it as a gift from my pastor, who is also the author of the last book. This book is gold. It is so helpful that I made it a required reading book in my preaching clinic class and constantly was asked by students why they weren’t required to read this book earlier.

McDill has set up his book as a practical handbook with an essential skill being presented in each chapter along with a worksheet to help the expositor develop the skill they have just learned. Although it is good to read through the whole book, you will find that it will be a book you come back to over and over again as you seek to strengthen or develop in a particular area of weakness in your preaching.

Preaching That Changes Lives by Michael Fabarez (Amazon)

This book excels in teaching how to make a sermon proposition and outline much more applicational and helpful to the congregation. Very often seminary students that have no experience preaching will come out of seminary with skills in biblical languages, exegesis, hermeneutics, theology, and other technical skills (which they need), but struggle with how these fit into a sermon without overloading the congregation with unnecessary and technical details.

Fabarez teaches the reader how to think through the sermon as it relates to the listening audience. This should lead to a sermon outline that is both faithful to the text as well as points to what the text is calling the listener to do. For those who don’t believe that the preacher should make application of the text in their sermons, the forward by John MacArthur might help overcome their resistance.

Preaching with Passion by Alex Montoya (Amazon)

Pastor Alex Montoya taught at The Master’s Seminary for many years in pastoral ministries and taught several courses in Expository Preaching. This book is largely constructed from the framework of his preaching class notes.

Dr. Montoya is pastoral and practical in his book, seeking not only to instruct pastors who may have lost their passion in preaching, but he also aims to set the newer preacher’s heart aflame with practical discussions on what makes a pastor have passion, what kills his passion, and how passion can be developed in a sermon without it being a phony show or emotionally-driven using wonderful illustrations from his many decades of pastoral ministry.

Now its your turn. What have been your most helpful preaching books with this practical focus?

Question Time!

When I was pastoring in California, we used to pick a Sunday night every so often to allow for Questions and Answers from the congregation. It was interesting not only to share an answer from the Word of God, but also to hear the variety of things they wondered about.

I haven’t tried this before here, and it may not work well, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway. I thought I’d ask YOU what questions you have that I might be able to answer in a future post.

As you consider your questions, I would remind you that I am not looking to pick a fight, nor am I interested in seeing if you can stump me with a hard question. Also, the subject of this website is somewhat narrow with my predominant focus being on the subjects of the Christian life, theology and doctrine, church planting, biblical teaching, and preaching.

If there is something you’d like for me to address, put your question(s) in the comments section and I will do my best to address those questions in the near future.

“What are some examples of questions we could ask?” I’m glad you asked! Here are some of the creative things people asked in one of those times we had Questions & Answers at church:

  1. What does the Bible mean in 1 Corinthians 7:14? Is there a life application today?
  2. In Isaiah 9:6, why is Jesus called “Everlasting Father?”
  3. Why do we worship on Sundays instead of Saturdays?
  4. How do I know what the Lord wants to do with my life? How can I be led in His ways?
  5. What’s wrong with listening to “worldly” music?
  6. Are the books of Enoch, book of Wars and other books referred to in Scripture part of the canon?
  7. What does the Bible say about handling depression or feeling anxious?
  8. How can we correlate the two creation accounts of Gen 1 & 2?

I’m looking forward to reading your questions and seeing what is on your mind. And if you don’t already subscribe to this blog, then make sure you do so that you will get an email notification when I put up new articles—and maybe your question will be answered!

The Blessings and Benefits of Ministry Fellowship

Joining a denomination or going at it alone are not the only options for churches, pastors, leaders, and ministries.

Maintaining doctrinal fidelity and alignment is critical when seeking to work with others to accomplish Great Commission objectives.

IFCA International was founded in 1930 to fight against the onslaught of theological liberalism growing in denominational churches, mission agencies, and seminaries.

Listen to a podcast I was invited to record with some fellow pastors a few months ago as they ask me more about IFCA International. To find out more, go to http://www.IFCA.org.

Listen to the podcast here.