The Mission of Preaching (Book)

Mission of PreachingIn April 2015, I was delighted to see the publication of my book, The Mission of Preaching:Equipping the Community for Faithful Witness, from Intervarsity Press Academic. The mission of this book is to rethink homiletics from the standpoint of missional theology, and fashion a way of preaching that is faithful to a de-centered, post-modern, and post-Christendom context.

The focus of homiletics can no longer be the preacher in the pulpit. We must zoom out to see the whole community of witness, the church that is gathered around font, Word, and table, and that is sent to bear witness in a thousand ways. The community is the primary witness — not the preacher! And the community’s witness offers the most credible testimony to the gospel for a watching, yet skeptical, world. The preacher in the pulpit is a “servant of the servants of God,” who calls the church to faith in Christ, who contextualizes the gospel for their time and place, and who sends the community out to bear its faithful witness.

The Mission of Preaching is structured as a conversation between a school of homiletics I call “testimonial homiletics,” the ecclesiology of Karl Barth, and the practices of missional congregations in the United States. The “tentative conclusion” of the conversation is that preaching today should confess Jesus Christ through a missional interpretation of scripture, in order to equip the Christian community for its witness to the world.

I look forward to continuing the conversation, and I welcome conversation, questions, and feedback in this journey of discovering what it means to preach the good news of the gospel as the sent people of God.

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