“I would not be who I am and I would not be doing what I do if it were not for God's grace toward me through the reading and applying of this book.” —David Platt.
It's still used in Bible schools and seminaries today, and it shows no signs of slowing down: Power in the Pulpit is an ideal introduction to preaching.
Dr. Jerry Vines and Dr. Jim Shaddix have achieved a balanced approach to sermon preparation in Power in the Pulpit. This primer combines the perspective of a pastor of forty years with that of someone who devotes daily time to training pastors in the context of theological education. It offers practical preaching instruction from a tradition that sees biblical exposition as a paramount and frequent event in the life of the local church.
Power in the Pulpit is the combined work of Dr. Vines's two earlier publications on preaching: A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation (Moody Publishers, 1985) and A Guide to Effective Sermon Delivery (Moody Publishers, 1986). Dr. Shaddix carefully organized and supplemented the material to offer this useful resource that closes the gap between classroom theory and what a pastor actually experiences in his weekly sermon preparation.
From there these two authors, who are known for their own capabilities in the pulpit, lay out the nuts and bolts of sermon preparation. This book is filled with so much information that at times I felt myself overloaded at times. This is a book that I will have to return to time and again. For the next year this book is going to be close to my desk as I seek to sharpen my knife of preaching. From studying the text to the organization of the sermon itself, the authors allow us to look at the process of exposition from every angle. In this process it is clear that the authors have a high view of the text and a desire to keep it front and center in the exposition process.
The authors have a whole section on the actual presentation of the sermon and leads the reader down so much material to think and consider. There is even a section on protecting your voice and was written from the personal experience of author Jerry Vines who struggled with a vocal nodule in his ministry. The reader is able to benefit from the time that Vines himself spent studying the subject of voice and how to be best steward the voice that God has given us to use. There is nothing left out on the section on the presentation as the reader is taught to hold the attention of his hearer and best convey the message that God has given him through his time of study and preparation.
This is one of the most thorough books on the preparation and delivery of expository sermons that I have read. It is written by two men who are not only are masters themselves in this arena but have influenced some of the best preachers of our day. Though I never sat in a class taught by either of this men, I will be at their feet learning for a long time to come. I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to read and review this book.
Anyone who is interested in doing expository preaching will find this book very valuable. If this is you, I would say that this book would be on the list of required books for your personal library. It is used widely in many preaching classes with good reason. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about or fine tune their expositional preaching. It is in the top 2 or 3 books on expositional preaching that I have read to date.