Review: A Little Handbook for Preachers

A Little Handbook for Preachers: Ten Practical Ways to a Better Sermon by SundayA Little Handbook for Preachers: Ten Practical Ways to a Better Sermon by Sunday by Mary S. Hulst
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After preaching almost every Sunday for 35 years, it’s easy to fall into old habits and familiar ruts of preparation and delivery. These not only make the message seem stale, but also rob the process of creating a sermon of the inherent joy that is possesses. So, for a good while I tried to read at least one book about preaching each year, but the past few years I have failed to do this.

I don’t recall how I heard about Mary Hulst’s ‘Little Handbook for Preachers’, but I am so glad that I did. I gave this book five stars, with the caveat that this is from a preacher and for preachers. I was encouraged by this book and found many blessings within. I was also challenged and reminded, which is what I would hope.

I could encourage anyone in the preaching ministry to spend a little while with this book and absorb some of the encouragements here. Not only is there very specific and interesting instruction about the preaching event, I found Hulst’s spirit to be energizing, positive, and realistic. There is a perceived camaraderie here, a humble approach that isn’t “above” the reader.

You might not engage all ten of Hulst’s “practical ways to a better sermon”, but you will certainly consider some of them and I believe it will be a “better sermon by Sunday”. I loved a thought that comes at the end of the book. I think it gives you a taste of the kind of encouragement and appreciation for preachers/preaching to be found in this book:

“I hope this book cheers you on in the beautiful, hard work of writing and delivering sermons. Preaching is a great privilege, holy work, and I believe that God uses it to change people, change the church and change the world. Keep it up.”

I highly encourage this as a great guide for new preachers, and great reminders for old preachers, and some well-grounded advice for all preachers.

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