Excellence in Preaching: Studying the Craft of Leading Preachers, By Simon Vibert alt

Excellence in Preaching

Studying the Craft of Leading Preachers

by Simon Vibert

Excellence in Preaching
  • Length: 173 pages
  • Published: May 15, 2012
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 6382
  • ISBN: 9780830863822

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Preaching is a dangerously high calling in which mere mortals dare to speak on behalf of God. All too often, well-intentioned preachers preach poorly. But what do good preachers do well? And what can we learn from them?

Simon Vibert has studied the work of today's leading preachers with an eye for discerning the dynamics of effective preaching. Each chapter profiles a contemporary preacher and lifts out practical principles for sermons that are biblical, motivational and transformational. World-renowned preachers like Tim Keller, John Piper and Nicky Gumbel display excellence in preaching by

  • being aware of cultural and philosophical challenges to the gospel
  • inspiring a passion for the glory of God
  • letting the Bible speak with simplicity and freshness
  • teaching with directness, challenge and relevance
  • exposing all of God's Word to all of God's people
  • and much more

Learn from the best. And become the best preacher that you can be.

"Many things will help raise the standard of preaching around the world, but one of the most significant--and underrated--is the need for good models. Simon Vibert provides compelling examples of what constitutes good preaching, not that we emulate superstars, but that we learn from the dynamic interplay of the Word, the Spirit, the congregation and the rich variety of human personality. This is an illuminating read for preachers and listeners alike, and I warmly commend it."

Jonathan Lamb, director of Langham Preaching, Langham Partnership International, and chair, Keswick Convention

"Simon Vibert studies some of today's most effective preachers and shows us what makes their preaching so powerful. These elements, interestingly, aren't always immediately apparent. Yes, preaching is a performance art, 'truth through personality,' but Vibert identifies elements that are transferable from these marquee pulpiteers to the rest of us. Excellence in Preaching gives us 'ears to hear' what we wouldn't have heard otherwise."

Marshall Shelley, editor in chief, Leadership Journal, and vice president, Christianity Today

"With great insight and evenhandedness, Simon Vibert looks at twelve well-known preachers, culling from their sermons the one thing that they do best. By the time he finishes his survey of the twelve communicators, Vibert has fashioned a compelling case for what great biblical preaching looks and sounds like. We all long for more powerful, engaging and effective preaching in our churches. This book goes a long way in helping us reach that goal. As someone who has been preaching for almost seventeen years, I discovered that my views on preaching were both confirmed and challenged by reflecting on Excellence in Preaching. I am grateful Simon took the time to write this book."

Jim Belcher, author of Deep Church

"This is an imaginative and encouraging book, demonstrating how the best of the best of preachers actually do it. Fresh, stimulating and constantly challenging, it made me want to start preparing a sermon immediately! I can't imagine any preacher not being inspired to pick up the task with new courage and at the same time to give thanks for the privilege."

John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford

"Simon Vibert serves us well in this book. First, he recovers a passion and vision about preaching the Bible at a time when some recommend doing away with preaching. Second, his survey of what good preachers do gives us some timely advice and suggestions. Third, he himself models a willingness to learn from other preachers. He's been a preacher for many years but still sees the need to listen, learn and work at his preaching! For these reasons and more, I hope young preachers and experienced preachers alike will read this book to gain a passion and vision for preaching the Bible, to strive to do their task well and to be humble learners and listeners themselves."

Rev. Dr. Gavin McGrath, senior associate minister, Dundonald Church, London

"Simon Vibert offers a fresh and very helpful resource for preachers. He takes twelve effective modern preachers and analyzes their strengths in order to improve standards in our churches. Highly recommended."

Michael Green, Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics



Introduction - Preaching the Bible Way
1. Jesus Christ the Preacher: Setting the Supreme Standard
2. Tim Keller: Be Aware Of Cultural And Philosophical Challenges To The Gospel
3. John Piper: Inspire a Passion For the Glory of God
4. Vaughan Roberts: Let the Bible Speak with Simplicity and Freshness
5. Simon Ponsonby: Be a Word and Spirit Preacher
6. J John: Use Humor and Story to Connect, Engage and Dismantle Barriers
7. David Cook: Create Interest; Apply Well
8. John Ortberg: Preach with Spiritual Formation in Mind
9. Nicky Gumbel: Make Much of Jesus Christ
10. Rico Tice: Preach With Urgency and Evangelistic Zeal
11. Alistair Begg: Persuade People of the Importance Your Point by Passionate Argument From the Bible
12. Mark Driscoll: Teach with Directness, Challenge and Relevance
13. Mark Dever: Expose All of God's Word to All of God's People

Conclusion: Preaching That Changes Lives

Appendix: The Survey and Online Resources


The Profile of a Good Preacher

Appendix 1: Blog Thoughts on "Preaching in an Internet Age"

Appendix 2: Favorite Preacher Survey Results


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Reverend Dr. Simon Vibert is vice principal and director of the School of Preaching at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He previously served as chairman of the Fellowship of Word and Spirit and has two decades of experience in parish ministry. As one of John Stott?s Langham Trainers, Vibert has equipped pastors in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Serbia and Haiti. He studied at Oak Hill College in London, Glasgow University in Scotland and Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida, where his thesis was on the preaching of John Piper. He is the author of Lives Jesus Changed and The Diamond Marriage.