modern preaching

I remember the first church I was regularly in the preaching rotation. After a few sermons my pastor gave me a copy of the “Preacher’s Sourcebook of Creative Illustrations“. If you have ever wondered where country preachers get really corny stories…it is in books like these.

I think the method of preaching and preparing for sermons has changed drastically in the last 20 years. When I moved to St. Paul’s I had to shift from longer (30min) sermons to shorter messages. The content also had to shift. I was moving from a much more academic culture into one that had different needs.¬†What I learned was the power of story telling and narrative preaching. I wanted to find great examples of people telling great stories. I want to share some of those findings with you. These are all great place any preacher could pick up a few new tips from.

My Favorite Resources for Modern Preaching

1.Pixar:
No one is better at telling a story people of all ages can focus in on than Pixar. I didn’t find out about this naturally. The wife and I don’t have kids. Our movie and television watching begins with the Walking Dead and ends with Quintin Tarantino (a GREAT storyteller) usually. I was aware of Pixar, but it was an article by Joe Berkowitz made me pay attention. Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling–Visualized gives so many creative hints preachers can learn from. A google search will turn up more analysis of Pixar around the internet.

2. Fasttocreate.com
Fasttocreate.com is the creative arm of Fast Company. Full of intriguing content, much can be learned by spending 5 minutes a day on their site. The writing staff shares, picks apart and focuses on amazing story telling. This is the best place to be If you want to learn how peoples minds are listening, processing and ingesting information.

3. Nancy Duarte and Duarte
Nancy Duarte and her team at Duarte are hands down the best people developing digital presentations today. Most people learned about them after they worked on Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.” Nancy has written several great books on presentation development. Possibly the best, the one preachers really need to read, is being given away right now digitally. Resonate is a book we should all have in our toolbox. If you struggle with visual images in your sermons you really need slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations. I think both of these books should be seminary and bible college curriculum for the craft of preaching.

Honorable Mention:

These are a few other great resources for modern preaching.

Ted Talks: I didn’t put Ted on the main list because I honestly think they are getting tired. The information is there, but the presentations have started to become lacking. There are still great ones…but I have personally found a hit or miss pattern lately.

SERMONSMITH: If you like digging into other peoples sermon preparation you need to listen to the SERMONSMITH podcast. I love it and don’t miss an episode.

Preaching Rocket: I have written before about why I love preaching rocket. It is an investment, but I couldn’t imagine not having their product in my toolbox. They have a great (free) webinar on How to Become a Better Storyteller.

Preachers, where do you find help in non traditional ways?

If you aren’t a preacher, what methods of sermon delivery do you appreciate?