Crafting sermons that effectively communicate the Word of God is an immensely important task—at times a great joy, at others a great challenge. Even the most experienced preachers occasionally run dry or struggle to breathe life into the weekly message.
PulpitTalk is designed to give you a fresh look at sermon preparation and the tools to preach the Scriptures with clarity and power.
A lively and thought-provoking quarterly audio journal by the Center for Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, PulpitTalk lets you listen to sermons, learn from faculty critiques, gain new insights on the elements of effective sermons, hear from master preachers on their own sermon preparations…and much more.
In your study or in your car, you can glean new ideas and receive new perspective from preaching experts with a common passion: to share biblical truth in ways that reach hearts and change lives.
Volume 13 (Fall 2014 – Summer 2015)
Fall 2014 – Faithful to the Call – In this edition of Pulpit Talk, we want to continue our theme from this year’s National Preaching Conference, Faithful to the Call. During the conference, we had speakers from near and far come to preach and teach of the meaning of the call, and how to continue to faithfully walk in it. We want to share a little bit of what they shared, so that you will be equipped with the tools needed, and the renewed passion, to carry out the calling God has given you.
Winter 2015 – Preaching Epistles – Let’s talk about the epistles. On this edition of Pulpit Talk, we want to dig deeper to the letters that make up the majority of the New Testament, and look into fresh ways to approach these important texts. There are so many aspects of epistles that we, as preachers, need to be mindful of: style, context, audience, tone, and so much more. It is important that we take the time to understand the intricacies of these letters so that we can preach effectively.
Paul the Missionary: Realities, Strategies, and Methods by Eckhard Schnabel
Preaching with Variety by Jeffrey Arthurs
Spring 2015 – Preparing to Preach
Summer 2015 – Cultural Exegesis for Preaching
Fall 2013 – Preaching Old Testament Historical Narratives – Preachers have an array of genres to minister from on any given Sunday. But our focus for this edition is how to study, understand, and preach Old Testament Historical Narratives, effectively. Our scholar-preachers at Gordon-Conwell desire to encourage preachers to saturate themselves in the narrative, to study the context of passage to grasp its full meaning, and to preach the text for what it is, being faithful to what God is saying through the narrative.
Exodus: New American Commentary by Doug Stuart
Hosea-Jonah: Word Biblical Commentary by Doug Stuart
The Majesty of God in the Old Testament: A Guide for Preaching and Teaching by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
Winter 2014 – Hermeneutics and Preaching – Hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation used when studying the scriptures. Preachers approach scripture with various ideas and presuppositions that are revealed in their preaching. On this issue of Pulpit Talk, we want to encourage preachers to be mindful of the original intent of the authors in the Bible, carefully exegete, and then apply the message to the current day. Our desire is to give preachers an understanding of what hermeneutics is, how it impacts the reading of the text, and how it should be carefully attended to in their preaching.
An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics, Second Edition by Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
Spring 2014—Preaching in the Urban Church
In this edition, we want to highlight an area that may not be addressed too often: preaching in urban contexts. How does a preacher preach effectively to people who have differing educational backgrounds? How does he minister to different socio-economic statuses within one congregation? What does she do to bridge the inter-generational gap within multi-generational churches? These are some of the questions that commonly come up that we want to deal with. For those preachers who preach in urban contexts week-in and week-out, we want to provide encouragement, and maybe additional perspectives that may enhance your ministry. For those preachers who don’t preach in this context, we want to inform you of where else the work of God is going on.
Summer 2014—Preaching Grace
On this issue of Pulpit Talk, we want to dig into this important topic of grace, and how it comes through our preaching. As preachers, we are to extend grace to our hearers through whatever biblical text we may be dealing with on a particular Sunday. If our goal, as preachers, is to encourage and equip people to live biblically, then we need to be mindful of how we are presenting God’s truths, and remember the grace of God in the midst.
Fall 2012—Preaching and Apocalyptic Literature – Apocalyptic Literature is commonly held at arm’s length, and may not be top on the list for many preachers, because of its “heavenly and future realities.” Some preachers may have asked themselves, “How do I preach from such a difficult genre, when I do not know how?” Or “How do I preach from a text I do not understand?” With this issue of Pulpit Talk, we want to dispel any fear of preaching and teaching from apocalyptic texts within scripture.
Old Testament Exegesis by Dr. Douglas Stuart
Winter 2013—Preaching and Public Reading of Scripture – Oftentimes in our churches, today, music and the sermon are the main foci. The public reading of scripture has taken a less significant role in our worship services due to a number of reasons. In First Timothy 4:13, we are admonished to devote ourselves to the public reading of Scripture; so how do we do it? On this edition of Pulpit Talk, we will discuss the importance of reading scripture publicly, and how we can do it well.
Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture by Dr. Jeffrey Arthurs
Spring 2013—Preaching and the Gospel– What do we mean when we say “the Gospel?” In this edition of Pulpit Talk, we discuss how to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our sermons. We will delve into the challenges in clarity experienced in our modern society regarding the meaning of the Gospel, and how to preach and share it in the world. We will deal with the theological significance of redemption and salvation, and the practical aspects of how we, as preachers, can effectively minister on the Gospel.
Summer 2013—Preaching and Leadership – How can a preacher lead from the pulpit? The sermon is a medium to lead and guide the children of God. In this edition of Pulpit Talk, we want to learn how to be Godly leaders when we stand to preach. Leadership and preaching go hand-in-hand, because preachers are communicating a sense of vision. As preachers, we are to be faithful to the text, but also be able to lead our listeners further in discipleship and growth in their faith.
The Ascent of a Leader by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNichol, Ken McElrath
Fall 2011—Preaching and the Marketplace – As preachers, we know that for our listeners Sunday’s world is different from Monday’s world. How do we make what we preach on Sunday relevant to what people do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and the rest of the week? Our goal with this Pulpit Talk is to underscore the importance of preaching to our listeners about their work and to provide some practical advice on how to make our sermons on Sunday extend to the marketplace on Monday.
Resources from the Mockler Center:
Workplace Research and Writings
Winter 2012—Preaching Wisdom – The Bible is filled with a variety of literary genres… from narrative to poetry to epistles and more… each genre of Scripture presents unique characteristics and challenges that we, as preachers, must take into consideration. With this issue of Pulpit Talk, we want to explore the genre of Wisdom Literature and how we can communicate its truth to our listeners.
Old Testament Exegesis by Doug Stuart
Preaching with Variety by Jeff Arthurs
Preaching Proverbs by Alyce McKenzie
The Book of Proverbs (NICOT) by Bruce Waltke
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, & Song of Songs (NAC) by Duane Garrett
Preaching Christ from Ecclesiastes by Sidney Greidanus
Spring 2012—Preaching and Ethics – On this edition of Pulpit Talk, we will deal with the correlation between preaching and ethics—a pair not commonly seen together. When preaching, we are bumping into the decision making of people; therefore, ethics is important in preaching, as people are deciding what is right and wrong in their daily lives. Ultimately, as preachers, we want to get the point across that how someone lives his life really matters; and how we frame that should be taken seriously as we preach in today’s Church and society.
Doing Right: Practicing Ethical Principles by Dr. David Gill
Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World by Dr. Dennis Hollinger
The Meaning of Sex: Christian Ethics and the Moral Life by Dr. Dennis Hollinger
Summer 2012—Preaching and Discipleship – As followers of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to become more like Him throughout our life. The question is: how do we accomplish that? For pastors, the question may be: how do I encourage maturity in my congregation and how can I incorporate that idea into my preaching? On this edition of Pulpit Talk, we discuss why it is important to merge preaching and discipleship, and also how to merge the two.
Preaching with a Plan: Sermon Strategies for Growing Mature Believers by Dr. Scott Gibson