Book Review: One Year to Better Preaching
Author: Daniel Overdorf
Publisher: Kregel Ministry ISBN: 9780825439100
I was very impressed with the exercises I found in One Year to Better Preaching. I am an “old schooler” when it comes to preaching tools and homiletics, used to Haddon Robinson, Fred Craddock, Stott, and a few others as my primary inspiration and mentors. It has been awhile since I’ve read or studied any material concerning preaching and I thought it might benefit me to wade into some of the latest offerings that might be circulating on the bookshelves. I am so glad I went “wading.”
I’m generally a bit skeptical when it comes to “tools to better ………” approaches to skill sets. It’s not that they are valuable, but many tend to be tiresome and sometimes repetitive and cliché. This is not the case with Daniel Overdorf’s effort with his 52 Exercises. I was genuinely surprised at how inspired I was with the suggestions he provided for honing my preaching skills. I should add too, that there are more than 52 exercises once you include the 7 Bonus Exercises at the end of the book!
Personally, I’m not sure I could tackle the various exercises in the course of a single year. I might be able to concentrate on a one or two dozen…maybe. That’s me. What I found extremely helpful was the introduction piece that helps the reader prepare for the various preaching exercises. Here, Overdorf acknowledges “tackling an exercise every week might prove too burdensome” and suggests maybe one or two exercises a month. Again, that’s me. What I also appreciated and found helpful in determining what exercises might be best for me was the chart that he provided that categorized the exercises into eight homiletical skills that might be “honed.” The eight skills addressed in the exercises follow: Prayer and Preaching, Bible Interpretation, Understanding Listeners, Sermon Construction, Illustration and Application, Word Crafting, The Preaching Event, and Sermon Evaluation.
Each exercise is detailed in four-five pages, so nothing I found was overly complicated in description or instruction. Each chapter (exercise) also includes a testimony of feedback from people who have tried the exercise. This is encouraging hear “real world” results. Also, Overdorf includes a short bibliography of resources for further reading and study. I always appreciate a good bibliography.
As I stated earlier in my review, I am very impressed with this little book of exercises and think that it will benefit me beyond the scope of preaching; I think it will benefit my communication skills across a much broader spectrum than just the pulpit. I will recommend this book to all my friends and I am very happy to be adding it to my other preaching and teaching resources.
Thanks Kregel publications for another great resource!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”