On Preaching Preparation

“I have a conviction that no sermon is ready for preaching, not ready for writing out, until we can express its theme in a short, pregnant sentence as clear as a crystal. I find the getting of that sentence is the hardest, the most exacting, and the most fruitful labour in my study. To compel oneself to fashion that sentence, to dismiss every word that is vague, ragged, ambiguous, to think oneself through to a form of words which defines the theme with scrupulous exactness—this is surely one of the most vital and essential factors in the making of a sermon: and I do not think any sermon ought to be preached or even written, until that sentence has emerged, clear and lucid as a cloudless moon.”

—J. H. Jowett, The Preacher: His Life and Work (Harper & Bros, 1912), p. 133.

5 thoughts on “On Preaching Preparation

  1. Amen to this! I always know there is more work to do when my wife asks, “What are you preaching on?” and my answer meanders through a paragraph without such clarity…. Great quote Tony, thanks! db
    PS, the BANNER OF TRUTH CONFERENCE, just finished was great — with a record attendance.

  2. Sinclair was as good as ever (one brother said it was his best). Particularly helpful was his observation that there is a ‘grammar’ embedded in how Paul speaks of Christ (“Union with Christ” 1st of 2 addresses).

    It was also a huge blessing to hear Pastor Walt Chantry speak, both with power and with tears, from 2nd Timothy 3.

    I’ll have a couple of posts up this coming week with simple outlines of those two messages (www.thebreadline.wordpress.com)


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