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Prepared to Preach
God's Work and Ours in Proclaiming His Word
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'Prepared to Preach' offers an accessible and concise aid for all those who have been challenged to preach or feel a growing compulsion to do so. This is an essential read for all those who are wondering precisely where to start in preparing to expound God's word, whether it is for the Divinity Student, the layperson, the parachurch worker or the short-term missionary. This is a comprehensive yet digestible guide. Scharf focuses on the attitudes and skills those inexperienced in preaching need to develop, whilst at all times re- enforcing that although there are a number of things you, the preacher, must do, it is what God does that is at the heart of preaching. This book illuminates to us how to prepare our minds to preach, how to prepare the congregation to hear and obey God's word, how to prepare the message God gives you to preach, and also how to deliver the message you have prepared.
Throughout it all Scharf is motivated by a tremendous concern to equip preachers so that they might clearly express God's word.
Greg Scharf is the Chair of the Pastoral Theology Department and Professor of Pastoral Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He has served as president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and is married with 3 sons, 2 daughters-in-law and one granddaughter.
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I read this book last night and it is very, very good. It manages in 174 easy to read but rich pages to cover the scope of preparation for preaching and teaching the word of God. So good is this book that in time I anticipate giving a copy and (if I can) requiring that all the teachers at Grace read it and interact with me about it. It mixes the important disciplines of prayer, study, examination of our own lives, etc. as they relate to being a mouthpiece for God. It is theologically rooted, emphasizing God's call and preparation of the preacher-teacher. And it is interested as much in the content of the Text as the hearers--a very difficult balance to strike. He includes an excellent six question analysis to evaluate the thrust and function of a passage. He briefly shows how to use a commentary. And best of all, I think I can hand this to a very typical Christian with no formal Bible education, and they will, with work, be ready to give a correct devotional to their family at home or teach a shepherd group at church.
Andrew Franseen, Pastor
"The keynote that Scharf strikes throughout is preparation: first the preparation of the preacher, and second, the preparation of the message. Preaching is not mere explanation - it is proclamation of the living and enduring Word of God. In the detailed chapters on preparing the message Scharf excels. His careful and logical approach will surely result in better preaching - there is no higher commendation for a book on preaching."
Robin Sydserff, Minister, Chalmers Church, Edinburgh
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