Article of the Week

“Form Follows Function: Well Shaped Sermons for the 21st Century,” in Questions Preachers Ask: Essays in Honor of Thomas G. Long, edited by Scott Black Johnson, Ted A. Smith, and Nora Tubbs Tisdale (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2016).
by Alyce M. McKenzie

No one, in all my years of preaching, has ever come out of a service, shaken my hand and said, “I really admire your form, pastor.” For one thing, it sounds slightly inappropriate. For another, most listeners are not equipped to listen for and analyze the form of our sermons. Shaping a coherent and compelling sermon form is our job as preachers. And it’s more important now than ever before. Download article »

Preaching Wisdom from the Flipside
by Alyce M. McKenzie

Some years ago, when I lived in Pennsylvania, my daily commute took me past a billboard with a huge picture of Jesus, long hair, flowing robes, outstretched arms. The caption read: “How will you spend eternity?” Someone had spray painted a line through the word “eternity” and substituted the word “today.” The graffiti artist had changed the billboard so that it featured the basic question of wisdom. It is a question Socrates asked centuries ago “How should one live?” Wisdom, across cultures, religions and centuries, is practical reflection on the question “How will you spend today?” Download article »