Every Preacher Needs This Book

12 12 2017

9780802495440_p0_v2_s550x406“Ouch…Charlie that really hurt!”  That was taken from a very popular YouTube video from several years back, but that is how I felt in the opening chapters of this tremendous read from Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix entitled Power in the Pulpit:  How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons Revised Edition published by Moody.  I found myself hurting only through conviction as I was reminded of what expository preaching entailed and what was expected of me, the preacher.  This work which actually began in the heart of Jerry Vine’s two books, A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation and A Guide to Effective Sermon Delivery, was originally published as Power in the Pulpit in 1999 after Jim Shaddix was asked to revise and update Vine’s two books.


Dr. Jerry Vines

The authors do not just dive into the nuts and bolts of sermon preparation, but rather spend a great deal of time setting a foundation in their section entitled The Preparation for Exposition.  It hurt because I’m reminded of the great responsibility upon my shoulders when I am God’s chosen representative given the task of present the very Word of God each week to those who listen.  They reminded me of the necessity of the Spirit of God for this to truly take place.  I found myself convicted and praying more for Sunday.

To add insult to injury these guys then have the audacity to put a chapter in their book


Dr. Jim Shaddix

which tells me that I need to “give attention to issues like personal worship, character and integrity, dependence on the Holy Spirit, intellectual development, physical fitness, good study habits, and healthy role models.”  Actually this chapter is worth purchasing the book.  I especially found myself convicted on the discussion of the Holy Spirit’s anointing and how a preacher might pursue it.

From there these two authors, who are known for their own capabilities in the pulpit, lay out the nuts and bolts of sermon preparation.  This book is filled with so much information that at times I felt myself overloaded at times.  This is a book that I will have to return to time and again.  For the next year this book is going to be close to my desk as I seek to sharpen my knife of preaching.  From studying the text to the organization of the sermon itself, the authors allow us to look at the process of exposition from every angle.  In this process it is clear that the authors have a high view of the text and a desire to keep it front and center in the exposition process.

The authors have a whole section on the actual presentation of the sermon and leads the reader down so much material to think and consider.  There is even a section on protecting your voice and was written from the personal experience of author Jerry Vines who struggled with a vocal nodule in his ministry.  The reader is able to benefit from the time that Vines himself spent studying the subject of voice and how to be best steward the voice that God has given us to use.  There is nothing left out on the section on the presentation as the reader is taught to hold the attention of his hearer and best convey the message that God has given him through his time of study and preparation.

This is one of the most thorough books on the preparation and delivery of expository sermons that I have read.  It is written by two men who are not only are masters themselves in this arena but have influenced some of the best preachers of our day.  Though I never sat in a class taught by either of this men, I will be at their feet learning for a long time to come.  I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to read and review this book.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.