There are many people who respect the work and ministry of Samuel D. Proctor. He has been noted as one of the most prolific teachers in preaching. During my last semester of Divinity school, my class read his book The Certain Sound of the Trumpet: Crafting a Sermon of Authority. If there is any book in all of the books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading, for this class or any other, this is probably one that I would say is worth reading over and over again.
The reason I rate this book so highly is because it outlays in very short order the call of a preacher, the basics of sermon preparation, and how to have a well-crafted sermon that is dynamic. Proctor identifies five types of preachers and then highlights for the reader which of them result in the makings of a great preacher. Acknowledging this, he is then able to reveal those aspects that make for a well-crafted sermon that can be preached with authority.
Well thought out sermons with a structure that can help a preacher communicate the gospel is essential for helping the believer by guiding them like a driver following GPS coordinates. Poorly communicated sermons can confuse a believer and a seeker.
I think the one part of this book that was significant for me is the section dealing with relevant questions. This is because there are often sermons you hear preached, where the person preaching will lead you down a certain thought or raise a particular question, but not provide answers or have anticipated points that may address the questions that might come up as a result of something that was brought up. Proctor’s dealings with this reminds the reader that a good preacher will think ahead and anticipate those things that might need further exploration.
I believe that this is one book that any preacher will find resourceful. Regardless of how long you may have been preaching, this book may present some concepts that can enhance the thing you know. If you have a hear to proclaim God’s good news, you will find this book to be a straight forward and easy to digest read that will equip you in simple terms.
QUESTION: If you preach, what has been your process for crafting your sermons? If you’ve read this book before, has there been anything in it that has helped you identify ways to strengthening your prepared messages?