Darryl Dash is one of my close friends in ministry here in Toronto. Knowing someone can make you either want to read what they write or not want to read what they write.
So when Darryl’s new e-book came out yesterday, I made sure to read it through, the first chance I got. Knowing Darryl, I wanted to read his thoughts on preaching.
The book itself is short. And frankly, that’s refreshing. Though there are 28 chapters, none are more than a few pages. Each chapter is concise, contains a single thought, and engages the reader well. Much of what you will find are lessons that Darryl has learned from authors, teachers, and preachers from whom he has learned. He is sharing with us what he has gleaned from years of study.
Ordinary Preacher is divided up into six decidedly uneven main sections: Fundamentals, Planning, Preparation, Application, Delivery, and Final Thoughts. Most of the content of the book is found in the Planning, Preparation, and Final Thoughts, with less space devoted to Application and Delivery.
The imbalance is intentional, though.
When I taught preaching, I didn’t worry too much about delivery. Delivery will improve over time if a preacher is teachable. I care about the fundamentals. Get the fundamentals right, and you have a framework for an effective preaching ministry that can last a lifetime.
That aligns with the author’s basic beliefs about preaching, preachers, and the purpose for the book.
After years of preaching, and years of listening to preaching, I’m more convinced that ordinary, faithful preachers make a difference. My job isn’t to be exceptional. My job is to preach biblical, accurate, Christ-saturated messages as well as I can. That’s your job too.
With that in mind, Darryl has put together this book to help average, everyday preachers diligently think through the issues involved in our weekly labour.
Many interesting topics are covered, ranging from planning a preaching schedule, to preparing sermons in less time, and preaching without notes. For those who love to think and talk about preaching, there are many conversation-starting points.
I read through Ordinary Preacher in the span of an evening with several interruptions along the way. It is a quick, easy, engaging read. Much of the content will be familiar to faithful readers of Darryl’s blog, even if it has been given new life and re-packaged for this medium.
There were points in the book where I wanted to say ‘Amen!’ There were other points where I thought I wanted to text Darryl and challenge him on his conclusions.
But to me, that’s the strength of the book.
Ordinary Preacher will not replace Lectures to My Students or Preaching and Preachers. But it wasn’t intended to. Reading Ordinary Preacher feels like sitting down with a fellow pastor who has ministered faithfully in a variety of contexts and ‘picking his brain.’ It’s a conversation that ranges from the beginning of sermon preparation to the goal of a lifetime of preaching ministry.
And for those who are interested in engaging in that conversation, Ordinary Preacher is well worth the couple of hours you’ll devote to reading it.
You can get your a copy of Ordinary Preacher: A Short Book on Preaching Well, Even If You’re Average by Darryl Dash for free by signing up at Dashhouse.com.