Preachers Must Be Readers First

Jason Micheli —  August 13, 2013 — 1 Comment

8731787754_f6a4a8b42f_zA friend new to ministry recently asked my advice on preaching…

I remember a preaching professor, Dr Cleo Larue, closing class by saying

‘Next week is reading week. So for God’s sake read.’

Another mentor told me upon graduating that the best advice he could give me was to subscribe to the New York Times.

It’s some of the best writing available out there and it will teach you how to write better sermons, he said.

No doubt you’ve heard similar advice given to you from others, but I’ll repeat because these ten years have born it out for me:

What you preach, how you preach, how well you prepare to preach, the ideas that come to you to preach etc – it all hangs on you reading.

Read as much as you can as often you can as diversely as you can.

There’s nothing more depressing (to God too I would wager) than a preacher who hasn’t read anything but Max Lucado since he or she left seminary.

For God’s sake, read. Your preaching will be blessed for it.

Some Suggested Reads 

Some of you have responded to previous posts by asking for suggestions on reading.

Fully aware there is no shortage of preaching texts and even more aware that our reading tastes mirror our own idiosyncrasies, I nevertheless offer you some texts that have sit on my shelves with dog-eared pages, inky notes and not a little sweat pored over them.

On Writing 

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

Ron Carlson Writes a Story by Ron Carlson

The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade by Thomas Lynch

On Preaching

Discovering a Sermon by Robert Dykstra

The Heart of Black Preaching by Cleophus Larue

The Gottingen Dogmatics by Karl Barth

The Undoing of Death by Fleming Rutledge


Jason Micheli


One response to Preachers Must Be Readers First

  1. I hope that it goes without saying that a pastor should be a faithful reader of the Bible.

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