Must Read Books for Preachers

Here is a list of the books that have most significantly enhanced, changed, corrected, and confirmed my preaching convictions and habits. They are listed in no particular order. Some are mentioned because of how they shifted homiletic thought in some ground-breaking ways. Others are listed because they are helpful for the nuts and bolts of preaching. Some focus more on the science of preaching and others on the art of preaching. Some are primarily concerned with the theology that undergirds preaching and others with the practice that guides preaching week to week. All, I hope, are worthy of your valuable time.

Dr. Lenny Luchetti presently serves as Assistant Professor of Proclamation and Christian Ministries at Wesley Seminary of Indiana Wesleyan University. He began his 15 years of pastoral ministry when he was 23 years old. During that time he has served as the Pastor of a small rural church, the Assistant Pastor of a large church, and as the Lead Pastor of a congregation that grew from a small to a large missional and multi-ethnic church during his tenure. Lenny has taught preaching courses for ministers since 2003. He has preached at churches, camps, and colleges in the United States and around the world. His passion these days is to invest in those who are investing in local churches.

Dr. Luchetti blogs at

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18 thoughts on “Must Read Books for Preachers

  1. The Homiletical Plot has served me well for the past 9 years. I’m sure my autographed copy of Preaching Essentials will be nosied up right next to it come May 2012 :)

  2. Enjoyed reading, Gutenberg to Google: The 20 Indispensable Laws of Communication, James O. Davis

    Must confess the title caught my eye. However, some of the points challenged me personally. Blessings,

  3. Noted Michael Walters’ tweet, we can’t forget his book:
    Can’t Wait for Sunday.

    The point I think you are making is that preachers need to read to remain both fresh and relevant.

  4. My faves:
    Preaching with Freshness – b mawhinney
    Communicating for a Change – a stanely
    watching stand up comedians – their profession is the closest to the preaching profession in the secular world

    • It’s so true that we preachers can learn a lot from stand up comics, Dave, concerning what to do and not to do. Of course, we are not in this preaching racket to entertain through creative humor. But we can learn from the content development patterns and delivery timing of comics. But what can we do with silent comic Charlie Chaplin?

  5. Lenny, great list. But you left off a biggie – Paul Scott Wilson’s, The Four Pages of the Sermon. Paul’s focus in this book and his homiletical teaching is to discover what is happening theologically in the biblical text. It is a focus that links what God is doing in text with what he is doing in our world. His latest book, Setting Words on Fire: Putting God at the Center of the Sermon, is also a great one.
    Of course, I will admit I’m a little bias because he’s my doctoral supervisor, but I believed in him enough to uproot my whole family and move to Canada to study with him. 😉

    • Thanks Mark. I am a huge fan of Wilson and that book. He has identified and articulated a way to be theologically faithful and contextually relevant. Incidentally, I also like Canadians:-)

      • Lenny, I want to talk with you sometime soon. I’m a Wesleyan minister working on my ThD with Paul, as I said. I’d love to be a part of this site if I could in some way. My thesis is going to be about a Wesleyan holiness homiletic. The working title Paul and I have started with is, Sanctifying Preaching: Toward a Wesleyan Holiness Homiletic. Paul is excited about my focus and working with me on this subject. He is quite a student of Wesley’s preaching.

        Anyway, just wanted to throw that out there.

  6. I also agree with Dave Drury, Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a Change is a wonderful choice and one that every preacher should read.
    I studied with Haddon Robinson and company at Gordon Conwell and I also highly recommend his book, Biblical Preaching.
    A great follow-up book to his is, Invitation to Biblical Preaching: Proclaiming Truth with Clarity and Relevance, by Donald R. Sunukjian. In some ways it’s superior to Robinson’s book, though not quite as winsome in its style.