Preaching Articles

Preparing a meal is more loving than throwing a shower of vitamin pills at someone. At the risk of overworking the analogy, here are some thoughts on pulpit cooking options. I’ll let you evaluate each one:

1. Fast Food Preaching. It is prepared quickly, in a very standardized process, with standard content, high on application, but almost bereft of nutrition. Some people get addicted to it. Some people grow sick of it.

2. Home Delivered Fast Food. It is the same as number 1, but you didn’t even have to go and get it. It was delivered by the internet delivery moped and saved you a whole load of time.

3. Home Delivered Fast Food Stolen. Once you get it delivered, you hide the box and pretend that you cooked it. There is a sensed lack of integrity, but you think everyone’s nice comments are genuine.

4. Thrown Together Leftovers. Again, short on time, you pull together scraps from here and there. They don’t necessarily go together, but what you heard from him and what you read over there and what is on your mind once you pause to think about it . . . all served on one sermon plate.

5. Good Food Disconnected. This is better, you have done some cooking. But you haven’t grasped that while all food may be good food, not all good food goes together on the same plate.

6. One Favorite Recipe. You have learned to do a mean chili con carne, so that’s what you cook. Every time. Guests coming? Chili con carne. Sorted. Unless, of course, they come twice. Works better if you are a traveling chef, unless people swap venues and then things get complicated.

7. Good Ingredients Cooked the Wrong Way. You take your chili con carne recipe and just replace the ingredients. Problem is that it doesn’t work with a lamb joint, cooking chocolate or a fruit selection. Forcing every Bible text into the same sermon shape may not be such a great solution!

8. Good Ingredients Cooked the Right Way. Please cook salmon differently than beef. Deal with each text and congregation and situation according to what and whom they are.

9. The Fast Feast. Seven good but random courses back to back in half an hour, without either break in delivery or connection in content. Not ideal.

10. Non-Gourmet Home Cooked Healthy Meal. It isn’t exciting. It won’t win a prize. But it may win hearts as you give of yourself to those you love. And over time, it will generate health like nothing else.

Peter Mead is involved in the leadership team of a church plant in the UK. He serves as director of Cor Deo—an innovative mentored ministry training program—and has a wider ministry preaching and training preachers. He also blogs often at and recently authored Pleased to Dwell: A Biblical Introduction to the Incarnation (Christian Focus, 2014). Follow him on Twitter

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David Buffaloe

commented on May 17, 2013

11. Artificial but supposed to be healthy meal. Lots of information, but the main ingredient - Scripture - has been substituted by human opinion.

Tim Secrist

commented on May 17, 2013

Fun article, though a bit cheeky. Does everything, especially those things said in fun, have to have a scripture reference? This is not a theological treatise: it is only a fun reference to genuinely real types of sermons, none of which are mentioned by name (that is, expository, narrative, inductive, deductive, etc.) in the Bible. Lighten up, and have some fun preaching!

E L Zacharias

commented on Oct 1, 2018

Tim, I think David was just offering an 11th meal (in spirit of Peter's 10-meal article) where artificial ingredients (of human opinion) are substituted for the real ingredients (Scripture).

Alexander Shaw

commented on May 17, 2013

I have just watched a CHEF, Tom Kitchin, training 17/18 year olds to become first class CHEFS. He is the grandson of the man who looked after me in my formative years! How we so need this caring authentic authoritative attitude in The Church of Jesus Christ today. This programme on BBC2 - five 30 minute programmes was inspirational in terms of discipleship!

Minister Sanders

commented on May 18, 2013

The only thing that needs to be served on the menu is the Word according to the Scriptures in God's Inspired Word, The Holy Bible. We, as teachers of God's Word has been charged with feeding people through the Gospel and those that are truly hungry for the Gospel will become full, and those that are truly thirsty through God's Word their thirst will be quenched, for Jesus said, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled"-Matthew 5:6 Those that refuse to eat what God has put on the plate will starve spiritually and then Satan will easily be able to come and deceive them with things that are appealing to the fallen nature of man. Therefore, let us as men and women of God continue to stand on God's Word now more than ever, and let us, in these days and times, continue to Watch, and to Pray Be Blessed!!!!!!!

E L Zacharias

commented on Oct 1, 2018

I'm sure many pastors feel like they are cooks whose food is served up right but whose fare is pushed around the plate and never eaten. In the real world, such picky eaters end up malnourished and diseased. In the metaphorical sense, the same is true for those who never "taste and see that the Lord is good." Be a master in your kitchen and chase those critics out with a wooden spoon.

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