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Friday, March 9, 2012

Preaching Essentials: Acknowledgments

Preaching Essentials: A Practical Guide
I remember writing one of my first major papers in college. The research and writing for the paper took hours. Because getting a good grade on this particular paper was important to me, I gave it to one of my more intelligent friends to proofread. I reassured him “this is good stuff.” Well, that “friend” laughed his way through the entire paper and then asked me, “Len, are you really going to give this to your professor?” Somehow I found the grace to keep him on my friend list.

When I sent the proposal for this book along with a few chapters to Keith Drury, Wayne Schmidt, and Harry F. Wood, and inquired, “do you think there’s a need for a book like this on preaching,” they responded with enthusiastic support. They didn’t laugh at me, at least not to my face, but pushed me to “go for it.” These three wise men have served as my ministry mentors through conversations, observations, and writings, so I heeded their words. If they, like my college buddy would have laughed at my work, I might not have had the moxie to submit the proposal.   

Keith Drury is especially worthy of my thanks. He read the entire manuscript and gave me insightful feedback that, no doubt, made this book better than it would have been.

I am grateful to the team at Wesleyan Publishing House, Don Cady, Craig Bubeck, and Kevin Scott, whose excitement for the book and optimism concerning in its potential heightened my own excitement and optimism.

My colleagues at Wesley Seminary make the vocation of teaching so much fun. We eat together, think together, debate together, teach together, and pray together. Their energetic love for Christ, the Church, and students inspired me to write a book like this one. 

Amy, my wife, always believed that I would finish the book and, once I did, that it would be worth reading even when I doubted both. She is a rock indeed!

God amazes me. He used something as odd as preaching to initiate the reorienting of my life toward him. As if that wasn’t enough, he even called me to preach so that through my voice he might do for others what he did for me. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, God outdid himself by calling me to the vocation of helping other preachers “find their voice.” I thank God in advance if you discover or recover your God-given voice for preaching by reading this book.

Lenny Luchetti