Can you point to any particular book and say it made a significant impact on your preaching?
I read a lot, but in this list of best books about preaching I’ll be pointing to the small handful of books I can honestly say have made a tangible difference to how I preach.
I believe is so crucially important that we invest in our selves as preachers because as communicators of the greatest message ever, we should be students of communication.
You win by learning the techniques great preachers use for sermon prep and delivery and your church wins by having better preaching.
To help get you rolling in the right direction here are the top 5 books I’ve ever read on preaching. I’d love to hear your recommendations in comments too.
Top 5 Must-Read Books on Preaching
1. The Pro’s Sermon Prep Playbook
The Pro’s Sermon Prep Playbook by The Rocket Company is the ultimate workbook for pastors and speakers who want to break through writer’s block or sermon block.
If you’re not super big on reading you’ll like this book – I read it in a day but it’s always my go to when I’m struggling to put together a message.
The authors do a great job at cutting out the fluff and getting straight to practical how-to.
This book explores the top tricks and techniques of the best communicators at the fastest growing churches in the world.
Even if yours isn’t a mega-church (and even if you don’t want it to be) you’ll still be able to apply these methods to your own preaching at your church.
2. Communicating for a Change
Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley & Lane Jones is the book from this list that I’ve read most recently.
It has definitely shaped the way I preach and the way I teach others how to preach. I’ve used this book as the basis for posts here on the blog such as How to Preach a Sermon Without Notes.
Andy Stanley breaks down his method for delivering engaging and memorable messages week after week.
The first half is a story of a man learning to preach, the second half breaks everything down into practical steps. This is a book about delivery and presentation.
About half of all younger Christians today attend the top 10% of churches. These churches have learned to communicate in ways that are simple and relational.
We pastors need to speak in a language that people can understand… and remember.
I went through this book and applied its communication principles to a “test” sermon.
My preparation was no different than I might have done at any other time, except my delivery intentionally followed patterns laid down in this book.
The results were electric. People were engaged. They didn’t want to leave after the message, and the conversation continued as people slowly left for home.
As pastors and church leaders, we spend a vast majority of our time preparing for or communicating publicly. We must constantly stretch and learn new methods.
3. The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching
The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson and Craig Brian Larson is the greatest collection of preaching articles I have ever read.
What I love most about this book is the incredible variety of opinions from expert preachers like: John Stott, Bill Hybels, Larry Osborne, Tim Keller, Rick Warren, John Ortberg, Charles Swindoll, John Piper, Andy Stanley… and so many more.
It’s a long read, but a must read!
Whether you’re a full or part-time preacher or spend any time at all speaking in an attempt to bring others to a better understanding of the Bible, or to bring them to a point of decision, you need this book on your shelf.
Every article within this book has excited me, filled me with ideas on how to improve my preaching and sermon prep and given me really useful techniques to make my presentation and delivery more effective.
You really owe it to your listeners to pick up this book and refer to it from time to time.
It will be a resource you refer to for years, and it will challenge you at every turn. This book is truly a gift to the Church!
4. Preaching and Preachers
Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones is another all-time classic in the preaching world. This book was originally a series of lectures given by Dr. Lloyd-Jones at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1972.
In it he sought to provide a vision for preaching that would encourage and equip a generation of preachers.
The 40th anniversary edition also includes essays from Tim Keller, John Piper, Mark Dever, Kevin DeYoung, and more.
In my journey to grow as a preacher of God’s Word I have spent time in many books on the subject and I have to say, Preaching & Preachers has proved to be one of the best.
Any pastor – young or old – needs to spend some time gleaning from this book the author’s vision for the preaching of God’s Word.
I not only learned something about preaching, I was set on fire once again for this work to which God has called me.
5. Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition
Everyone loves a good story because they’re compelling and easy to remember.
Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition by Calvin Miller does an excellent job of breaking down the art of story telling in preaching from a master story-teller.
This book will teach you what most Bible colleges don’t: how you interact and build a relationship, a rapport with the congregation.
Miller calls for us to be expository preachers, but not dull, dreary, dry ones.
We should be expositors who can tell the story of God’s glory in a manner that grips the hearts and minds of the people.
Whether we add humor, drama, good illustrations, or use a narrative text, our sermons should find the big picture of the text and simply repaint the picture so as to appeal to the heart of each hearer with the message of God.
What truly spoke to me, however, is the fact that Miller calls for the preacher to be a person in whom the fire of God burns.
The church will very rarely get on fire if the pulpit is not burning brightly.
He calls for the pastor to be a man of character who will live what he preaches and have a good testimony before the people so that they know he is genuine.
The strength of a sermon is not always found in rhetorical skill, but often in relationships.
The people often listen because of what and who the pastor is instead of how he speaks. I not recommend this book enough.
“The Church will rarely get on fire if the pulpit is not burning brightly.” [Tweet this]
Make your next sermon your best sermon
A massive 90% of unchurched people choose a church based on the preaching.
The single biggest factor to growing your weekly attendance is the ability to deliver memorable and engaging sermons week-after-week.
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What’s the best book about preaching you’ve ever read?
Scroll down and share your recommendations in the comments.