While it’s true that the only way to actually improve as a preacher is to preach – over and over again – it is true that reading about preaching can also provide considerable help in sharpening one’s skills. So, with that in mind, I offer, in chronological order, the following recommendations, each with a sample quote from the book:
Preaching With Purpose, Jay Adams (1982). “The lecturer speaks about the Bible; the pastoral preacher speaks from the Bible about the congregation. He tells them what God wants from them.” (43).
The Supremacy of God in Preaching, John Piper (1990). “Gladness and gravity should be woven together in the life and preaching of a pastor in such a way as to sober the careless soul and sweeten the burdens of the saints.” (59).
Christ-Centered Preaching, Bryan Chapell (1994). “Although the degree of homiletical skill will vary, God promises to perform his purposes through all who faithfully proclaim his truth . . . You may never hear the accolades of the world or pastor a church of thousands, but a life of godliness combined with clear explanations of Scripture’s saving and sanctifying graces engages the power of the Spirit for the glory of God.” (32).
Spirit Empowered Preaching, Arturo Azurdia (1998). “God will have no competitors. For this reason, He manifests His power through weakness. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the gospel preacher to recognize the overpowering nature of his inabilities.” (146).
The Priority of Preaching, Christopher Ash (2009). “Those who think this doctrine of authority puffs up the preacher have not begun to feel the sheer terror of being a preacher . . . No preacher who wants to be in the pulpit ought to be in the pulpit. Nobody who likes the limelight ought to be a preacher.” (42).
Well-Driven Nails – The Power of Finding Your Own Voice, Byron Yawn (2010). “When you are free from your people’s smiles and frowns, you are at liberty to be an instrument of blessing to them.” (35).
Saving Eutychus – How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake, Gary Miller and Phil Campbell (2013). “Don’t flinch at the point of application. Don’t be timid. There’s nothing duller than a dishwater preacher. But always mix boldness with grace. It’s important to say what you mean, without being mean in what you say.” (73).