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While I love reading the biblical prophets, preaching from them is a difficult, daunting task. I imagine many of us who are engaged in regular preaching often avoid the prophetic texts when they appear in the lectionary because the other three lections often seem more favorable for sermonizing. Yet, the prophetic tradition is a powerful […] Read More

I took several courses in sermon preparation while at college and seminary. These courses, at least at the introductory level, taught students the mechanics of sermon preparation and delivery. Despite what some church folks might think, sermon preparation requires hard work; that is, if the preacher or pastor is doing what she is called to […] Read More

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (RNS) Decades ago, Daniel Parker would pretend to be a preacher, belting out sermons as he jumped up and down on his bed. His big sister, Doriane, was right in there, too, doing her best “Hallelujah Jesus” into the spiky end of her hairbrush. Someday, the kids decided, they would be preachers […] Read More

I recently had the privilege of hearing Fred Craddock preach. For many clergy, Craddock represents the personification of a stream of preaching that emphasizes narrative and intuition over expository and logic.   For some it is extremely appealing, not so much for others. For me, he stands as an iconic figure who, for nearly 50 […] Read More

TRENTON, Ill. (RNS) On a recent autumn night, about 100 people gathered in the parking lot of Grace Community Baptist Church here, listening to the Rev. Sam Childers talk about heroin addiction, biker gangs and African warlords. Mostly, though, the man who calls himself the Machine Gun Preacher talked about Sudanese children. Childers talked about […] Read More

Healthy churches hear good preaching.   Few would disagree with such a statement. However, the definition of good preaching is about as easy to agree upon as is good taste in fashion. Our definition of good preaching usually reflects our point of view and the preaching to which we are accustomed.   Unfortunately, for many […] Read More

A document called a certificate of license hangs on my study wall. It reads:   “This is to certify Michael Lee Ruffin who has given evidence that God has called him into THE GOSPEL MINISTRY was Licensed to preach the Gospel as he may have opportunity, and to exercise his gifts in the work of […] Read More

One of the most precarious tasks a preacher faces is that of being a prophet. The role of prophet is one that many ministers feel a deep ambivalence toward. All preachers know that relevant preaching must address the great issues of the day and offer a word from the Living Word.   Biblically speaking, prophetic […] Read More

My grandfather never owned a Bible. In fact, he could not read. He never attended a church, didn’t sing any hymns and never prayed – out loud anyway.   He also seemed to have a certain contempt for preachers. Although he never said directly, I got the idea Grandpa had encountered some of the less […] Read More

Who Is This?

Sermon delivered by Randy Hyde, pastor of Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock, A.R., on June 21 2009. Job 38:1-11; Mark 4:35-41            For a miracle story, which is what this narrative from the Gospel of Mark is, Jesus sure comes across as human. Not as human as the disciples, of course, but still human. This […] Read More