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More than a Sermon: The Purpose and Practice of Christian Preaching

ISBN: 9781683597537
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Preach with compassion and conviction

In More than a Sermon, Douglas D. Webster highlights the prophetic and pastoral challenge of preaching today. The task is both harder and easier than we imagine, as we are called to proclaim the biblical text in a way that convicts a hostile world while encouraging our congregations to rest in Christ’s love. We need preaching that both swings the hammer that breaks hard hearts yet does not break the bruised reeds in our care.

Offering practical insights and examples, Webster explores what it means to preach the gospel in different seasons such as:

  • Advent and Lent
  • Memorial services and weddings
  • Times of crisis or social impact

More than a Sermon is a valuable resource for both new pastors and veteran preachers who want to proclaim the whole counsel of God with power and wisdom.

Praise for More than a Sermon

Too many books on preaching promote style over substance, success over faithfulness. Thankfully, More than a Sermon gives us a more excellent way. Dr. Webster grounds preaching in its God-given purpose by calling us to the ‘why’ behind the ‘what,’ and he instructs us in its practice by drawing from the deep well of his pastoral wisdom. Let this book teach, inspire, and challenge you as it did me!

—Jared E. Alcántara, professor of preaching, Paul W. Powell Endowed Chair in Preaching, George W. Truett Theological Seminary

In More than a Sermon, Doug Webster offers a theological window of practical understanding to the homiletical adage—the faithful preacher comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. This book is a treasure trove for those who are serious about marrying biblical theology and homiletics. As Dr. Webster captively demonstrates, biblical theology and homiletics were intended to be joined together; therefore, let no one put them asunder!

—Robert Smith Jr., professor of Christian preaching, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, AL

Webster challenges us to embark on the road less traveled, preaching faithful and fruitful sermons that magnify Christ, comfort and convict, and edify the weary so that—over time, with God’s help—we all may mature fully in Christ. Thank you for this timely gift!

—Samuel Hagos, experience pastor, Progressive Baptist Church, Chicago, IL

  • Scripture to Sermon: Ten Steps
  • Preface
  • Part 1: The Purpose of Preaching
    • More than a Sermon
    • Harder and Easier than We Imagine
    • Compelling, Not Manipulative
    • The Whole Counsel of God
    • A Lifelong Commitment
    • Life-on-Life Discipleship
  • Part 2: The Practice of Preaching
    • Preaching Advent/Christmas Sermons
    • Preaching Lenten Sermons
    • Easter Sermons
    • Memorial Meditations
    • Wedding Meditations
    • Preaching Crisis Sermons
    • Preaching with Social Impact
  • Seven Theses on Good Preaching
  • Title: More than a Sermon: The Purpose and Practice of Christian Preaching
  • Author: Douglas D. Webster
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Pages: 344
  • Format: Logos Digital, Paperback
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781683597520

Douglas D. Webster is professor of pastoral theology and preaching at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University. He has served as pastor at churches in San Diego, New York City, Denver, Birmingham, and Toronto. His other books include The Psalms: Jesus’s Prayer Book, Follow the Lamb: A Pastoral Approach to The Revelation, and The Parables: Jesus’s Friendly Subversive Speech.


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  1. Aaron Lee

    Aaron Lee


    How does God use preaching to shape his people? In More Than a Sermon, Douglas D. Webster writes on the purpose and practice of Christian preaching. Reaching Hearts The first half of the book tackles the purpose of preaching, and Webster relays that preaching is harder and easier than we imagine. He considers the spiritual, intellectual, social, ethical, and pastoral dimensions of preaching. But preaching is a good kind of hard - one where you can find your labor to not be in vain. I was most moved to read how preaching is tethered to a lifelong commitment and partnered with life-on-life discipleship. I thought about how my own preaching has impacted my personal life and how reaching hearts with the Word of God is not restricted to the pulpit. Webster sees preaching clearly as a way of life - being utterly devoted to the primacy and sufficiency of Scripture. Renewing Minds The second half of book focuses on the practice of preaching. Different seasons of preaching are presented, including preaching Advent/Christmas sermons, Easter sermons, weddings, and memorials. I was most interested to read on preaching crisis sermons and preaching with social impact. While I might not be called upon to preach in these special circumstances, I can still prepare my congregation with biblical conviction. The book concludes with seven theses on good preaching, beginning with the fact that good preaching is dependent in every way on the Bible – and ending with good preaching helps believers think for themselves so that they are no longer “conformed to this world” but “transformed by the renewal of [their] mind” (Romans 12:2). I am challenged to proclaim Christ with power, and moved to speak with practical wisdom from the Word. I received a media copy of More Than a Sermon and this is my honest review.


Print list price: $24.99
Save $8.00 (32%)