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Small Preaching: 25 Little Things You Can Do Now to Make You a Better Preacher

ISBN: 9781683594710
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Print list price: $18.99
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Is bigger always better?

It’s not often that we hear the virtues of the small. Our culture teaches that bigger is better—and that includes church ministry and preaching, too. But what if rather than swinging for the fences, preachers focused on improving their sermons through small habits, practices, and exercises? What if smaller is better?

In a world where “small” isn’t always celebrated, Jonathan T. Pennington provides Small Preaching, a short book of simple tips that can have revolutionary effects over time. Pennington offers preachers 25 words of wisdom that will help shape their preaching for the better.

Praise for Small Preaching

In this delightful little book, Jonathan Pennington proves himself at home in the library and the pulpit.

–Dan Doriani, Professor of Theology and Vice President, Covenant Theological Seminary

This book beautifully combines the renowned exegetical and hermeneutical skills of an eminent New Testament scholar with the heart and passion of a shepherd who loves God's flock.

–Hershael W. York, Dean of the School of Theology and Victor and Louise Lester Professor of Preaching, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Senior Pastor, Buck Run Baptist Church

This book will help preachers who are just starting to hone their skills and seasoned ministers alike.

–JT English, Lead Pastor, Storyline Fellowship

Small Preaching may be small in size and length, but not in the practical wisdom of which all pastors desire and need. I commend it to every pastor.

–Brian Croft, Founder/Executive Director Practical Shepherding

Top Highlights

“What is the distinction? We can define preaching as the invitational and exhortational proclamation of biblical and theological truth. Teaching, by contrast, is the explanation and explication of biblical and theological truth.” (Page 30)

“I suggest that how you handle criticism will most often be the deciding factor in whether you survive at a church and in ministry overall.” (Page 13)

“first of all, decide that you will not respond immediately” (Page 14)

“Encaustic preaching as a metaphor casts a vision for taking a long-arc view of preaching, a layer-by-layer, slow approach to your life as a preacher.8 Preachers should view each sermon they preach as but one layer of wax, one color for one bit of the overall picture.” (Page 34)

“simplicity in preaching that is rooted in depth of understanding.” (Page 60)

  • Introduction
  • The Person of the Preacher
  • Handling Praise Carefully and Gladly
  • Handling Criticism Carefully and Humbly
  • Band of Brothers Preaching
  • Pastoring as Conducting
  • Be God’s Witness, Not His Lawyer
  • Distinguish between Preaching and Teaching
  • Encaustic Preaching
  • Preparation for Preaching
  • Manuscript Writing as Thinking
  • Sermon Writing as Sculpture
  • Snack Writing
  • The Rhythm of Education and the Jigsaw Puzzle
  • Kill Your Darlings
  • Iceberg Preaching
  • “This Sermon Stinks”
  • Practice of Preaching
  • The First Minute of a Sermon
  • The Last Minute of a Sermon
  • Preaching the Church Calendar
  • Preaching the Cultural Calendar
  • The Power of Predictions
  • Every Sermon a Story
  • Make Music in Your Sermon
  • Always Exposition?
  • The Unexamined Sermon Is Not Worth Preaching
  • At Weddings and Funerals, Be a Guide
  • Stealing as Sub-Creating
  • Conclusion
  • Title: Small Preaching: 25 Little Things You Can Do Now to Make You a Better Preacher
  • Author: Jonathan T. Pennington
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Pages: 104
  • Format: Logos Digital, Hardcover
  • Trim Size: 5x8
  • ISBN: 9781683594710
Jonathan T. Pennington

Dr. Jonathan T. Pennington is the associate professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He also served as a visiting professor at Southeastern Seminary, as well as the Institute of Biblical Studies in Orlando, Florida and Melbourne, Australia.

He earned a BA in history and his teaching certificate from Northern Illinois University, and his MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he also taught Greek for two years as an NT fellow. For five years, he also served as the associate pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Mt. Morris in northern Illinois.

He holds a PhD in New Testament studies from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (in St. Mary’s College), where he wrote his thesis, “Heaven and Earth in the Gospel of Matthew,” under the supervision of professors Richard Bauckham and Philip Esler. Dr. Pennington is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Tyndale Fellowship (Cambridge), the Institute for Biblical Research, and the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. He’s published a variety of articles, reviews, and Greek and Hebrew language tools, as well as books like Heaven and Earth in the Gospel of Matthew (Brill),Cosmology and New Testament Theology (T&T Clark), and Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction (Baker Academic).


10 ratings

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  1. Max Diener

    Max Diener


  2. Bruce Goldsmith
  3. John W.Ealoms

    John W.Ealoms


  4. John Armstrong
    Even if you read half of this book, and put some of that into practice, your preaching effectiveness will be greatly improved!
  5. Matt DeVore

    Matt DeVore


  6. Willie Arbelaez
    This book has been a great blessing to me. I read one chapter a day and after being a preacher for so many years , I find myself learning and recognizing how much more I need to learn. I highly recommend it to anyone who preaches and want to improve his preaching. Every chapter is an eye opening to understand and view our work with a deeper perspective.
  7. Steven Yates

    Steven Yates


  8. Jake Davidson

    Jake Davidson


  9. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch


    This is a fine small book with useful tips/advice on preaching. I would advise (as I did) to read just one of the short chapters at a time, to allow yourself some time to mull on it. Probably would also work to add it to your devotional time :) As someone who has been preaching for over 40 years, I applauded many of the chapters, and some were much needed reminders - and yes there were some that I disagreed with - which is also good. It makes you think, and a bit of self-examination of preaching practices is very worthwhile. Highly recommended to fellow preachers - especially those who are starting out.
  10. Rommel



    Recommended for preachers


Print list price: $18.99
Save $6.00 (31%)