Calvin Miller | Preaching

I preach about 50 messages every year—in addition to teaching a number of Bible studies. I’ve learned that the single most important way to grab someone’s attention and connect is to tell a story. In an effort to become more effective, I picked up this book on preaching from a master story teller.

The strength of this book was the perception Miller has gained from years of preaching. Here are a few examples of his insight:

The textless sermon is a stammering talk by a prophet whose amnesia will not allow him to cherish the call. (101)

I think God has never used a cookie cutter to mass-produce prophets. (180)

People don’t want to know the truth you read (they can read for themselves). They want to know how you personally feel about the truth you read. (182)

My biggest frustration was the old bait-and-switch with the subtitle. I expected to glean insight from a seasoned story-teller. I expected a book on “Narrative Exposition.” Instead, I read a text on sermon preparation that spoke about the importance of storytelling while sharing very little about how to actually tell a good story.

Overall, Miller’s tone and quick sense of humour made this book an interesting read. I just wish he spent more time on the subtitle.

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