Top 5 Must-Read Books for Preaching Better Sermons

Last Update 3rd October, 2016.

Can you point to any particular book and say it made a significant impact on your preaching?

What are the best books on preaching you have read?

The messages you deliver are what keep your current members coming back week after week.  

And, they’re the greatest determining factor of whether or not guests and unchurched people will attend your church.

Two ways to invest into yourself as a preacher

1) Get the right preaching training.

Preaching Rocket Core Coaching is an online preaching course I can highly recommend if you’re looking to prepare and present better sermons because of the full monthly training modules and interactive Preaching Rocket community.

This means you never have to feel suck and can always get help with crafting a bottom line.

2) Read books about preaching.

Aside from a practical online training course, reading books on preaching is one of the best ways to glean from some of the great preachers of our time.

The challenge is that there are so many books out there, where do you start?

That’s exactly why here at GrowChurch I’ve compiled this list of my all time favourites so you don’t have to spend time, money and effort sifting through the books that get you nowhere.

This isn’t an exhaustive list. My purpose here is to share with you the books that have impacted my preaching the most.

Note: If there’s a book that’s impacted your preaching that should be on this list, please add them in the comments below.

Top Five Must-Read Books on Preaching

1. Biblical Preaching – Haddon Robinson

Biblical Preaching RobinsonBiblical Preaching is the standard book on expository preaching. This is the book that most seminaries and Bible colleges give their students to read.

It’s a true classic.

If you read almost any book written on expository preaching it will always refer back to this one.

Robinson starts by making a case for expository preaching. Robinson shows exactly what expository preaching (and is not) and why it’s important.

Here’s Robinson’s definition:

Expository preaching is: ‘communicating biblical concepts… through proper exegesis… with the Spirit’s help in the preacher’s life and applying it to the hearers.’

Robinson then takes the readers step by step from digging out the main idea from the texts, building an outline, asking functional questions (this section is very good), making good application, things to take note during preaching, how to introduce the audience to the text and how to conclude it and offer life application.

What I found the most were the exercises at the back of the back which you complete after reading each chapter.

I found this really helpful and I had several light-bulb moments as what I was reading seemed to ‘click’ into place.

2. The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching – Haddon Robinson and Craig Brian Larson

art and craft of biblical preachingThe Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching 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!

3. Preaching and Preachers – D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

preaching and preachersPreaching and Preachers is another 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.

4. Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition – Calvin Miller

Preaching The Art of Narrative ExpositionEveryone loves a good story because they’re compelling and easy to remember.

Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition 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]

5. Communicating for a Change – Andy Stanley & Lane Jones

communicating for a changeCommunicating for a Change is the book from this list that I have read most recently.

It has definitely shaped the way I preach and the way I teach others how to preach.

I have even used this book as the basis for many posts on 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.

Better preaching will grow your church. We should always be learning. Buy the book and read it!

Your Turn

So there you have it, the top 5 must-read preaching books. Check them out. Pick one you haven’t read. Make a goal to finish it in the next month. You will be glad you did.

What book has influenced your preaching the most? Please share your recommendations below.


  1. Oluwatosin Samuel October 11, 2018
    • Simon October 12, 2018
  2. Deke Effiong November 28, 2017
  3. Paul February 1, 2017
    • Simon February 3, 2017

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