Resources on Preaching

Testimonies of Faith and Fortitude

By Charlie Wingard · July 11, 2015 · 0 Comments
Posted in , , , ,

1843 was a momentous year in Presbyterian history. The founders of the Free Church of Scotland abandoned homes, incomes, and church buildings to uphold the spiritual independence of Christ’s church. Their courage captured the attention of the evangelical world, and bequeathed stirring testimonies of faith and fortitude to subsequent generations of Bible-believing Presbyterians. Author Sandy Finlayson skillfully sketches the lives of ten of these leaders in Unity & Diversity: The Founders of the Free Church of Scotland. Bound together by love of the gospel, a high view of the authority of God’s word, confessional fidelity, and missionary outreach, these men nevertheless held a variety of opinions on controversial issues of the day: church union with other Presbyterian denominations, Roman Catholic emancipation, the evangelistic campaigns of Dwight L.…

Read More

A Good Sermon Is Hard to Find

By Charlie Wingard · July 6, 2015 · 0 Comments
Posted in

A friend reminds me that homiletics is a physician-heal-thyself enterprise, so my critiques of student sermons are restrained. But not as restrained as those offered by “a sexton at whose church theological students frequently did the preaching. He always had three stock answers when they asked with anxious curiosity how they had done. If they had done well he would reply, ‘The Lord has been gracious’; if moderately well, ‘The text is difficult; and if badly, ‘The hymns were well chosen.’” [1] My criticisms are more direct, but not so much as those offered by Professor James Benjamin Green, who began teaching at Columbia Seminary in 1921. After one student’s sermon, he offered this analysis: “There were three problems with this sermon:…

Read More

Preaching and Prayer

By Charlie Wingard · March 27, 2015 · 0 Comments
Posted in

“Ministers must pray much, if they would be successful . . . Many good sermons are lost for lack of much prayer in study.” – Robert Traill in The Westminster Directory of Public Worship. Discussed by Mark Dever and Sinclair Ferguson (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Heritage, 2008), 33.

Read More

Three Preachers to Whom I Owe Much

By Charlie Wingard · March 12, 2015 · 0 Comments
Posted in , , , ,

Thirty-five years ago I finished college and began preaching full-time. For a year, I served as student pastor of  Wales Presbyterian Church in Tennessee, a congregation in the old Southern Presbyterian Church (PCUS). Almost everything I owned fit into my 1970 Chevrolet Impala and off I went to preach the gospel. In addition to a King James Bible, my preaching Bible at the time, I took three valuable books. One was was actually  a booklet, the outlines and notes from John Stott’s expositions on Romans delivered at the 1979 Urbana Missions Conference. The first-time I heard Stott preach, I determined to follow his pulpit example best I could. A model expositor – clear, persuasive, and, above all, faithful to the text – he preached Christ and him crucified. At…

Read More

Politics and the Pulpit

By Charlie Wingard · March 3, 2015 · 0 Comments
Posted in

A point to ponder from 18th century British statesman, member of Parliament and political thinker, Edmund Burke: “. . . Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. No sound ought to be heard in the church but the healing voice of Christian charity. The cause of civil liberty and civil government gains as little as that of religion by this confusion of duties. Those who quit their proper character, to assume what does not belong to them, are, for the greater part, ignorant both of the character they leave, and of the character they assume. Wholly unacquainted with the world in which they are so fond of meddling, and inexperienced in all its affairs, on which they…

Read More

Should Preachers Prepare a Written Manuscript?

By Charlie Wingard · February 9, 2015 · 2 Comments
Posted in

Each preacher has to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of preaching without notes, with notes, or with a manuscript. In a letter to a young minister, Thomas Charles of Wales counsels: “You must be the best judge whether you had better preach extempore or not, as you find liberty and ease in the work. If you cannot deliver your thoughts distinctly, clearly,  accurately and fluently, I think you had better read, or at least use notes.” Nevertheless, about the value of writing the sermon Charles is dogmatic: “As to writing your sermons, however you may deliver them, I think there can be no demur about that: and always write every sermon, or whatever else you may write, with all the care and…

Read More