Novel Preaching: Tips from Top Writers on Crafting Creative Sermons

Novel Preaching: Tips from Top Writers on Crafting Creative Sermons

by Alyce M. McKenzie


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In this lively and accessible book, Alyce McKenzie explores how fiction writers approach the task of writing novels: how they develop their ideas, where they find their inspiration, and how they turn the spark of a creative notion into words on paper that will captivate the masses. McKenzie's study shows how preachers can use the same techniques to enhance their own creativity and to turn their ideas into powerful, well crafted sermons. Novel Preaching offers a wealth of advice from successful fiction writers, including Isabelle Allende, Frederick Buechner, Julia Cameron, Annie Dillard, Natalie Goldberg, Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Melanie Rae Thorn, and also includes a number of sample sermons from McKenzie herself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780664233228
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Publication date: 02/01/2010
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Alyce M. McKenzie is Professor of Homiletics at the Southern Methodist University Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas. She is the author of a number of books including Preaching Proverbs: Wisdom for the Pulpit and Parables for Today, both published by WJK.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 Cultivating The Imagination

Chapter 1 A Knack for Noticing: Advice from Fiction Writers for Preachers 11

Chapter 2 Noticing What? Characters and Plot 27

Chapter 3 Noticing How? Habits for Heightened Attentiveness 39

Part 2 Shaping The Sermon

Chapter 4 Sermon Shapes: Fiction Writing Strategies for Sermons 47

Chapter 5 Recipes from Contemporary Preachers 79

Chapter 6 Sermon Sampler 117

"Getting What's Coming to You": Jacob's Struggle at Peniel (Genesis 32:22-32) 117

"Wisdom in Person": Ode to a "Woman of Worth" (Proverbs 31:10-31) 123

"Filled with Fear": Exhortation to Trust in God (Proverbs 3:5-7) 127

"Silent Disciples, Shouting Stones": Jesus' Procession into Jerusalem (Luke 19:37-40) 134

"My Favorite Angel": The Angel's Appearance to the Women at the Tomb (Matthew 28:1-10) 137

"Joseph: Father of Our Dreams": The Angel Appears to Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25) 141

"Tony, Tony, Turn Around": The Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10) 145

"Suppertime at the Gospel Cafe": The Christ Hymn (Philippians 1:1-11) 151

Appendix 157

Notes 161

Index 173

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