As I’m often asked for book recommendations on various subjects, I decided to put together an online list of my top ten books in various categories. Basically, if I was only allowed 10 books in my library on that subject, these are the ten I would choose. Other posts include:

Today I’m listing my Top 10 books on preaching.

After my list you’ll find a poll where you can cast three votes for your favorite books and help others choose the best books on the subject. Click on “View Results” to see what books are most popular. You can also add any book not on the list by writing the title in “Other.”

1. Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

What a difference it would make to the church if this book was modeled more widely. As the title suggest it is not just about sermons, but about those who preach them – the message and the man. This edition is interspersed with valuable commentary by contemporary preachers like Logon Duncan and Mark Dever.

2. Christ-centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell.

If I was just starting out in preaching, this would be my first purchase. It will anchor your sermons in the text and focus them on Christ. Key insight is the FCF (Fallen Condition Focus).

3. Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today by John Stott.

Good material on the theology of preaching, and good arguments to overcome objections to preaching. Especially good on identifying “The Dominant Thought” of the preaching passage. Also strong on application, but if I was looking for something on application alone, I would choose Truth Applied by Jay Adams.

4. How to Preach Biblically by John Macarthur and the Master’s Seminary Faculty.

As is common with multiple authorship, some chapters overlap and some are a little weak but this is the most comprehensive book on preaching on this list.

5. Feed my Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching by a constellation of outstanding preachers, edited by Don Kistler.

Not for the newbie but if you’ve been preaching for a few years this will take you to the next level.

6. The Preacher and Preaching by various preachers, edited by Sam Logan.

My favorites chapter are Exegesis by Sinclair Ferguson and Sermon Structure and Flow by Glen Knecht. Gwyn Walters’ chapter on The Body in the Pulpit is also fascinating.

7. So Pastor, What’s Your Point? by Dennis Prutow.

Really a complete homiletics course in one large but very practical volume.

8. On The Preparation and Delivery of Sermons by John Broadus.

A bit verbose, but a treasure trove of classic homiletic teaching. Some of it dated, but much-needed “old-fashioned” emphasis on the privilege and dignity of the office of preacher.

9. Lectures to My Students by C.H Spurgeon.

So full of plain common sense and lots of funny stories.

10. How Sermons Work by David Murray.

Hope you’ll forgive me for including this – in my defense, I put it in at #10! Probably the simplest and most practical of the bunch. A good starter or refresher.

Now you decide, what are your favorites? You can cast three votes and add a book if it’s not in the list.

Honorable mentions

If I’d had a Top Twenty the following books would also have been included.

The Imperative of Preaching by John Carrick. Explains the four “moods” of preaching : The indicative, the exclamative, the interrogative, and the imperative, with the emphasis of the book being on the imperative.

 The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper. More focused on the subject of preaching than the method. But if this book doesn’t put fire in your belly, nothing will.

The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges. Covers much more than preaching but still worth it for the preaching material alone.

Preach: Theology Meets Practice by Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert. 40 pages on the theology of preaching, 70 on the practice, and another 60 of sample sermons where the principle and the practice come together.

Dying to Preach: Embracing the Cross in the Pulpit by Steven W. Smith. His basic thesis is that the nature of our message should impact the way we present and communicate our message. Those who preach a crucified Christ should preach in a crucified style. And even though it is more about style than substance, the whole book is an argument for an absence of style, or, rather, a crucified style.

How To Preach Without Notes by Charles Koller. More specialized, but even if you don’t get to note-less, it will encourage less dependence on notes.

The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text by Sidney Greidanus. A bit more technical but also many practical helps to bridge the gap between the time and culture of when the Bible was written and our own day.

Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon. Fairly negative but needed.

Preaching to a Post-Everything World by Zack Eswine. This and the following book are the two best books on preaching that have been published in the last couple of years. Contemporary, challenging, and encouraging.

Saving Eutychus: How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake by Gary Millar and Phil Campbell. A call for more imagination, creativity, and feeling in preaching. Given the aim (less sleepy hearers), I was surprised at the continued commitment to full manuscript in the pulpit.

How to Evaluate Sermons by Joel Beeke. Although this focuses on the aftermath of preaching, it’s also a great checklist before preaching.

Reader Suggestions

Spirit Empowered Preaching: Involving The Holy Spirit in Your Ministry by Arturo Azurdia

Preaching with Passion by Alex Montoya

The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors by Thabiti Anyabwile

On Preaching: Personal & Pastoral Insights for the Preparation & Practice of Preaching by H B Charles

Sacred Rhetoric by R. L Dabney

Preaching: A Biblical Theology by Jason C. Meyer

Preaching with Purpose by Jay Adams

Preaching? Simply Teaching on Simply Preaching by Alec Motyer

Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson

Spirit Empowered Preaching by Art Azurdia

The Cross and Christian Ministry by D. A. Carson

Text-Driven Preaching: God’s Word at the Heart of Every Sermon. Edited by David Allen and Daniel Akin.

Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today by David Helm

He is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World by Al Mohler

Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition by Calvin Miller

  • Daniel

    Hello, what are your thought on Haddon Robinson’s works? or Donald Sunukjian?


    • David Murray

      I like Robinson’s earlier work.

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  • Peter Walters

    Although not speaking specifically to preaching, “Secrets of Dynamic Communication” by Ken Davis has been extremely helpful to me.

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  • Bob Browning

    I would highly recommend “Text-Driven Preaching”. One of the editors is Dr. Daniel Akin. All the authors are excellent and it does a great job at pointing you to helpful resources. It is also very easy to read, which I feel is a necessary trait of any book claiming to improve the reader’s ability to communicate.

    • David Murray

      Thanks Bob. I’ve added that to the list.

  • Leon

    Are you familiar w/ any books on preaching from African-Americans, Latinos, or other minorities? A quick gloss of the books did not reveal books on this topic from minorities.

    • Matt Mager

      Azurdia is Latino. Alex Montoya’s “Preaching With Passion” is an excellent book to put a little jalepino in your sermons. He is hispanic. Thabiti has a great book on three african american preachers called “The Faithful Preacher”. He has a bio on each and then excepts of their sermons directed towards pastors. Also, HB Charles has a book on preaching called “On Preaching.” I haven’t read it but everything I’ve read from his blog on preaching has been superb.

      • David Murray

        Thanks Matt. I’ll add these to the list.

    • David Murray

      Good point Leon. Not a conscious decision, obviously. Reveals my rather mono-cultural background, I’m afraid. Would you mind if I consulted you for future Top 10 lists so that they are more balanced and better reflect the make up of Christ’s church?

  • Paul Horne

    What about expositional preaching by David Helm? Or He is Not Silent by Al Mohler? Preaching by Calvin Miller? These are just a few i have on deck and wanted to know what your thoughts are about them.

    • David Murray

      Thanks Paul. I’ve added these.

  • Chris

    Preaching, by Fred Craddock? W

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  • Greg Gallaher

    Learning to Preach Like Jesus by the late Ralph L. Lewis and his son, Gregg Lewis, is a classic on inductive preaching. Dr. Lewis was my preaching professor at Asbury Theological Seminary in the 1990s.

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  • Fred Wright

    Two additional preaching resources: 1. John Piper’s Bernard H. Rom Lectures in Preaching at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, November 2-3, 1994 . I have these as lectures as audio discs from Desiring God ministries but I couldn’t find it in their store anymore! Maybe someone can help out there. If you search for “Preaching As Worship Meditations on Expository Exultation” you can find a transcript, but it’s way, way better to hear Piper deliver these addresses. I would go so far as to say that if you were only allowed to have one resource on preaching this would be it. These lectures have profoundly shaped my vision for the pulpit. 2. J.W. Alexander (old Princeton Prof.) “Thoughts on Preaching” from Banner of Truth. Not a “how-to” manual, but it has some really warm and shining moments “I fear none of us apprehend as we ought to do the value of the preacher’s office. Our young men do not gird themselves for it with the spirit of those who are on the eve of a great conflict; nor do they prepare as those who are to lay their hands upon the springs of the mightiest passions, and stir up to their depths the ocean of human feelings.” – p.9

  • Jonny

    David, not sure if you’re likely to respond to this with it being an old post, but would you have read any books you’d recommend on the history of preaching?

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  • Matthew

    Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism would be a good one to add to the list.