The Preaching Initiative
The Preaching Initiative trains current and future pastors, as well as lay people, to be better preachers. The initiative includes elective courses in homiletics for students, annual preaching conferences, and preaching cluster groups where students and non-students alike can hone their preaching skills in a relational setting.
Pastors do many things, but in most cases, nothing is as visible as their preaching. A seminary education prepares men and women for pastoral roles, but preaching is just one of a number of topics covered in a typical seminary curriculum. Where can current and former seminary students go to learn more about preaching? Some pastors do not even have the opportunity to attend seminary. Where can they go for help?
Denver Seminary's Preaching Initiative is helping to answer these questions. The initiative provides a solution to the widespread need for better training in how to most effectively communicate God's truth to modern society.
There is more than one way to preach. Even so, we believe training is most effective when we focus on one well-attested method - "big idea" expository preaching. Denver Seminary has a long history and expertise in training its students in this method, and it is the primary approach the Preaching Initiative incorporates as well. The initiative has four main components:
- Course Electives in Homiletics for Denver Seminary Students and Alumni.
- Two Annual Preaching Events: (1) The Shannon Lectureship in the spring semester, and (2) The Preaching Conference in the fall semester.
- Preaching Cluster Groups: These groups combine instructional content from Denver Seminary homiletics courses with opportunities to preach, all in a relational setting facilitated by an expert pastor-preacher.
- Spiritual Formation: Preaching skills are critical, but so is the spiritual vitality of the preacher. An expert in this realm, Denver Seminary Chancellor Gordon MacDonald, will share his insight with preaching initiative participants in a private setting near the end of each semester.
To find out more about or to register for a Preaching Cluster Group, please click here.
2014 Preaching Initiative Kickoff Meeting
Good preaching clearly explains, illustrates, and applies the Bible to people’s lives. Clear communication, though, comes at a cost. Preaching is hard work, but it is a glorious task as well.
Here are videos from four different preachers who have devoted many hours preparing for, delivering, and evaluating sermons. The videos cover a lot of ground, and are intended to be a good resource for you to reference as you go through the preaching cluster group experience.
View Videos Below
There are multiple preaching methodologies to choose from, but we focus mainly on the “big-idea” expository method because we believe it serves as a proven and highly effective approach.
Clear, biblically faithful communication begins with an outline. The structure of a sermon is a make-or-break step in good preaching.
Bare outlines make boring sermons! Good preaching puts “flesh on the bones” of a good outline.
Preachers have a narrow opportunity to either gain or lose people’s attention. Aim to “hook” listeners from the start.
A poor conclusion is like a rough landing—listeners, like airplane passengers, are unhappy and may be left unsure of what just happened. Your final words are critical!
A good delivery does not equal a good sermon, but a bad delivery can undermine even the best preparation. Don’t waste your hard work with a poor delivery!
2014 Preaching Conference
The Preaching Initiative was happy to host Chuck Swindoll as the speaker for the 2014 Preaching Conference. Chuck addressed the Seminary community and those who joined for the event about the importance of preaching, its purposes, trials, and joys. Audio of the three parts of the conference is available below.
Monday, October 6, morning session: Be Who You Are
Monday, October 6, evening session: Preaching in Today's Culture
Tuesday, October 7, morning session: Preach the Word
For more information about the Preaching Initiative, contact Perry Marshall at or (719) 494-4940.