Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Review of One Year to Better Preaching by Daniel Overdorf

One Year to Better Preaching: 52 Exercises to Hone Your Skills
By Daniel Overdorf
ISBN 978-0-8254-3910-0
Kregel (Ministry Imprint)
Reviewed by Clint Walker

What a neat little idea. This book has 52 2-5 page articles describing how to become a better preacher. Most of the advice focuses on the practice of preaching, so it is accessible across the theological spectrum. The idea is that the preacher can put one of these practices into action each week, and then add another skill the next week, and by the end of a year, step by step, can be a much more competent preacher. A great concept, and a thoughtful addition to any preacher or bible teacher's bookshelf.

I have begun to use this book in last month or two. I am working though it more slowly than others might, but the book has still given me something to think about. For instance, one chapter challenged me to ask myself: In my preaching planning, am I offering a balance of Scriptural content? If not, why not?

Even more than the content piece, which I think I am doing alright with, the author gives some clear instruction for forming relationships in the congregation that will improve sermons. With chapters that tell you to encourage texting in the sermon, or that challenge you to teach preaching to teenagers, Overdorf is always keeping the preacher growing and on her or his toes.

Even for the most skilled of my pastor friends, I would recommend the purchase of this book. It is full of helpful reminders of how to become the kind of preacher we had hoped to be, but at times had lost focus of.

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