"Progress in the Pulpit is a master class in preaching, written by two most-qualified authors. Dr. Jerry Vines is truly a Prince of the Pulpit.” — Dr. Albert Mohler Jr., from the foreword
Like musical instruments, preachers get better over time—unless, of course, they neglect maintenance. Progress in the Pulpit is for seasoned preachers looking to refresh their craft and receive guidance for contemporary challenges to preaching.
While most preaching books are geared toward new preachers, Progress in the Pulpit builds on the basics and focuses on what often falls into neglect. You will learn to better:
- Connect to audiences without compromising biblical truth
- Plan, evaluate, and get feedback on sermons
- Battle biblical illiteracy in your congregation
- Employ word studies and other technical aspects of biblical interpretation
- Increase imagination and creativity in sermon writing
- Extend the life of a sermon via social media, small groups, and more
- Establish habits for continued growth
Drs. Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix, who wrote Power in the Pulpit (a book still used in seminaries today), remain committed to pure expository preaching. Yet they understand that the times change and present new challenges. Here they offer guidance to help preachers stay sharp and grow in the craft of faithfully proclaiming God’s Word.
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About the Author
DR. JERRY VINES (B.A., Mercer University; Th.D., Luther Rice Seminary) retired as pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida in 2006, where he served for 40 years. He served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jerry is author of a number of books including Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons, and A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation. He and his wife, Janet, have four adult children and five grandchildren.
JIM SHADDIX (BS, Jacksonville State University; M.Div., D.Min., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, occupying the W. A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching. He has pastored churches in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Colorado, and also served as Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Preaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, LA. Jim is the author of The Passion Driven Sermon (Broadman & Holman, 2003) and co-author of Power in the Pulpit with Jerry Vines (Moody, 1999). Jim and his wife, Debra, focus much of their attention on discipling and mentoring young leaders and spouses. They have three grown children.
Table of Contents
Introduction: "He Will Have to Do Better than That!" 13
Part 1 Defining the Sermon
1 "Gentlemen, This Is a Sermon!": Revisiting the Roots of Expository Preaching Jim Shaddix 21
2 A Holy Man of God: Living and Preaching in the Spirit Jerry Vines 35
3 Never Without a Word: Planning to Preach God's Revelation Jim Shaddix 47
4 Pulpit Discipleship: Shepherding People to Christlikeness through Preaching Jim Shaddix 61
Part 2 Developing the Sermon
5 King James, Prince, and Merle: Preaching Literature Jerry Vines 83
6 We Deal in Words, My Friend: Preaching Language Jerry Vines 95
7 Is a Beeline the Best Line?: Getting to the Cross in Every Sermon Jim Shaddix 107
8 "Turpentine" the Imagination: Imagining the Sermon Jerry Vines 127
Part 3 Delivering the Sermon
9 The Awakening of the Reverend Van Winkle: Culture, Clarity, and Communication Jerry Vines 141
10 "Just As I Am": Extending the Invitation Jerry Vines 155
11 Rising Above Foyer Feedback: The Art of Objective Sermon Evaluation Jim Shaddix 167
12 Teaching about Preaching: Helping People Worship Through the Sermon Jim Shaddix 185
Conclusion: Construction in Progress Jerry Vines 207
Appendix: Sermon Presentation Feedback Guide 219
Recommended Resources 221
Scripture Index 227
Subject Index 231
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Moody Publishers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.] As someone who has been speaking from the pulpit off and on for more than a decade now , the importance of the progress one makes as a speaker is something I pay a great deal of attention to. It has been my own observation at least that many speakers do not make a great deal of progress over time. There is, towards the beginning of one's education as a speaker, a great deal of time and effort spent in mastering the basics of study and preparation and organization and delivery of messages, but after that a lot of people simply coast by on their laurels and their God-given talents and do not dedicate a great deal of attention to improvement and growth. That is an unfortunate situation and the authors of this book seek to remedy this situation at least in part by encouraging speakers to make progress in the pulpit and grow rather than remain stagnant in one's delivery and speaking. While complacency is a tendency none of us are immune to, the Spirit of God working within us seeks to change us through time into God's image, and that is something that we all need to keep in mind. This short book of about two hundred pages is divided into three parts and twelve short chapters. The first part of the book defines the sermon, revisiting the roots of expository preaching, discussing what it means to live and preach in the Spirit as a holy man of God, encourage speakers to plan to preach God's revelation, and shepherd people to Christlikeness through preaching. The second part of the book encourages readers to develop the sermon through preaching literature and language, getting to the Cross in every sermon message, and imagining the sermon before one gives it. The third part of the book looks at the challenges of delivering a sermon, including a reflection on changes in culture and communication, extending the invitation (often known as the altar call), the art of objective sermon evaluation, and helping people worship through the sermon. Following a conclusion about the issue of progress there is an appendix that includes a sermon presentation feedback guide to encourage people to grow through receiving feedback. Admittedly, I spring from a different religious tradition than the authors do, and so there is much in these books that I view from a different perspective. The authors, for example, spend a lot of time giving some unfriendly opinions about the lack of biblical focus among many who consider themselves involved in the work of ministry, and that is certainly not an issue in my own background, where the biblical focus is often very serious and intense. Likewise, the fact that the authors use the language of evangelical Christianity can be a barrier to those who do not have a background coming from people like Darby, Schofield, and Murray, as this book would presuppose. Even so, there is a great deal of worth in this message in encouraging speakers to gain feedback for improvement and also to focus on the life and preparation and larger context in which preaching is to be done. At some point, our messages need to tie back to the larger context of the Kingdom of God that we hope to reach ourselves and lead other people to. And if this book encourages that goal, it is certainly a worthwhile one, even if its perspective is not one I happen to entirely share.  See, for example: http://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/0
This book was very encourages and very helpful book with compelling to read, easy understand with offering us a knowledge plus tools and technic from experiences, not only on preaching, but from living lives of godly character. Whether you're the lead preaching pastor of fill in Bible study teacher, everyone will walk away from the book with the confidence to grow as a better communication of God's word. I highly recommend to everyone must to read this book. " I received a copy of this book free from Moody Publisher Newsroom for this review "