“What I have discovered as I have taught other preachers is that many of them prepare sermons designed to reach the crowd at a seminary chapel service. They imagine their seminary professors sitting in the back pew critiquing their sermons. They have been rigorous in their research of the biblical text. They are diligent in communicating exegetical material. They quote biblical scholars and theologians to demonstrate their education. Basically, their sermons sound like a “research dump.” Other preachers sound like they have just come from a creative writing retreat. They have read everything Barbara Brown Taylor and Fred Craddock have written and seek to imitate what cannot be duplicated or appreciated by most listeners.
“If you are preaching every week to other preachers and professors, stick with this approach. However, if it is your goal to reach the majority of listeners in churches you must change your approach. You will never become an effective preacher looking over your shoulder for your seminary professors. If you want the gospel to connect with real people who have real needs in real life you must apply the secret. Am I saying to forget what seminary taught you? Absolutely not! All of your knowledge must be reframed in a way that connects with your listeners. With that in mind, let me tell you a secret…”
-Excerpt from Chapter One of That’ll Preach! 5 Simple Steps to Your Best Sermon Ever by Charley Reeb, forthcoming from Abingdon Press
Advance Praise for That’ll Preach!
“Charley Reeb is both an outstanding preacher and an engaged student of preaching. He thinks deeply about the craft of preaching, always beginning with the people for whom the sermon is prepared. Few books can help preachers more quickly improve their preaching than That’ll Preach.”
–Lovett H. Weems, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership and Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC
“Charley Reeb understands that preachers must engage their audience and do it quickly and authentically. From that vantage point, he writes about that encounter in a way that engages us as readers, gaining and holding our interest all the way through. I enjoy reading a book about preaching from someone who so obviously loves to preach and believes that preaching can make a difference.”
–Dr. Steve Harper, retired professor of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies
“To say “that’ll preach” is to acknowledge the connection of a word, a story, an image with the nearness of God to us; the word has become flesh! Charley Reeb is an extraordinary preacher. In these pages he honors those who listen to sermons by exploring the logic of this connection between the Word of God and the worlds that we inhabit. Along the way he engages us in a conversation and models how we might connect with our congregations. These pages contain a wealth of practical wisdom for all who seek to preach more effectively and faithfully.”
–Ken Carter, Resident Bishop, Florida Area, The United Methodist Church
“Charley Reeb has a heart so full of love for his Lord and for the proclamation of God’s word that it can’t help but overflow into your life. Surrounded all his life by a number of amazing ministry mentors, he has dedicated his life to practicing and promulgating the craft of powerful and effective preaching. If you are a pastor or communicator of any kind, here is a jewel of a book that I am certain will be a preaching touchstone for decades to come.”
– The Rev. Peter M. Wallace, Executive Producer & Host, “Day1” Radio Program
“Pastors have one of the most challenging communication tasks known to humankind: they must speak to essentially the same group of people about 50 times a year and not only hold their attention but make a difference in their lives. Charley Reeb’s new book That’ll Preach will be a welcome shot in the arm to preachers young and old. Reeb offers terrific insights for shaping and presenting sermons that grab the attention of listeners and make an impact in their lives. Whether you are a novice or a veteran, you’ll come away from this book with practical tools that can make your preaching more effective.”
–Michael Duduit, Executive Editor, Preaching magazine, and Dean of Clamp Divinity School at Anderson University, Anderson, SC
Preorder That’ll Preach! today!