This week we welcome Lenny Luchetti, author of Preaching Essentials, to the blog. Lenny is associate professor of proclamation and Christian ministries at Wesley Seminary of Indiana Wesleyan University. He is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and has been involved in pastoral ministry for more than fifteen years.
WPH: Thank you for joining us, Lenny. Is there a story behind your writing Preaching Essentials?
Lenny: When I was designing the preaching courses for Wesley Seminary students, I searched for a comprehensive and fresh book on homiletics written in the past five years. I couldn’t find one. While some of the foundational dynamics of preaching will never change, many things have shifted in the art and craft of preaching. I wanted to write a book for my students that helped them to think about and practice preaching in a way that is faithful to the past but aware of present shifts in homiletics. So I wrote it.
WPH: What is one thing about preaching that has been the same throughout history, and why is that important?
Lenny: The best preachers throughout the centuries have been the ones who preach as if they have "a word from God" to share with the people of God. These preachers enjoy a sacred love triangle with God, Scripture, and people. The best preachers are the best listeners. They listen long and hard to the heart of God through the text and to the heart of humanity in their context. The sermon, then, is the love bridge the preacher designs to connect God's heart with humanity's hopes. That is the essence of preaching. And that will never change.
WPH: What is one question you continually hear from students about preaching?
Lenny: They asks lots of different questions, but the one question in most of their questions has to do with the call to preach. Some of them wonder deep down whether or not they are called to preach, and those convinced of their call wonder, in their darkest moments, if preaching still matters, if it still has the power to change lives. My vocation these days is to help students to see that preaching has incredible potential and power to build the kingdom of God "on earth as it is in heaven."
WPH: What is the key message you want readers to take from Preaching Essentials?
Lenny: I prayerfully hope that readers will, as a result of digesting Preaching Essentials, fall more deeply in love with the God for whom they preach, the Bible from which they preach, and the people to whom they preach. I wrote the book with that goal in mind.
WPH: What is your next project?
Lenny: I am working on two book proposals right now. One is aimed at a wider audience than preachers and is focused on radical, risky discipleship. The other book I hope to write is for those in ministry. The book will contain ministry maxims on personal growth, congregational leadership, pastoral care, outreach, and, of course, preaching. This book will offer ancient wisdom from the biblical story and Church history to address challenges and opportunities in the contemporary ministry context.
WPH: Good luck with both of those projects, Lenny. We can't wait to hear more about them. Thank you very much for joining us today!
Check out the table of contents and what others have said about Preaching Essentials: A Practical Guide by clicking on the following link: http://preachingessentials.com/