Christian Focus Publications
Star Rating: 5
There is something quite remarkable here — a big book hidden inside a small book! Anyone taking up this book will find there is sufficient in it to keep them busy for quite a long time.
In his first chapter, Alec Motyer draws the reader’s attention to the fact that ‘sermons are not spontaneous or extended intuitions but things to be worked at’. The rest of the book is what really amounts to a ‘work book’ on how to work at a sermon, with two months of daily Bible readings as a bonus appendix.
The early chapters demonstrate that, if we want to see church growth, then we need preachers who ‘are convinced that the Bible is the Word of God … get deeply involved in that Word … and preach it’.
At the heart of the book (chapters 6-11) is the author’s ‘six-track’ approach to sermon preparation, i.e. examination, analysis, orientation, harvesting, presentation and application. It is in these chapters that the reader, if he is to get the full benefit, has got to put in some work.
Not only is there a clear explanation of each of the six tracks in turn, but in each case the author works through Bible passages with the reader, to illustrate what he intends.
To skip over or miss out on working through these texts with Alec Motyer would be a serious mistake, as they are so helpful. It shows clearly and simply how to do the work of sermon preparation in a way that ensures God’s Word is preached and not some idea of the preacher.
The concluding chapters focus on the preacher’s personal preparation, including the reminder that, ‘The minister must never cease to be an “ordinary believer”, humbly walking with God in the light of his Word’. Those who preach regularly will perhaps find this the most challenging section, but will, nonetheless, be thankful for it.
This is an excellent book. Those who have recently started to preach should read it as soon as possible; it will help them avoid foolish mistakes and a lot of wasted time. Those who have been preaching for some time should also read it — while there is still time to do it better!