“No one is born with the mindset, disciplines, or skills necessary to be an effective preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Preachers are not born; they must be made.”
With these words, pastor, professor, and preacher extraordinaire, Marvin McMickle offers a five-stage approach to the spiritual formation of the preacher. Drawing from the biblical life of Moses, the formation process traces the preacher’s development through the steps of Call, Character, Content, Context, and Consequences. By exploring the process of spiritual formation on display in that leader’s life in Scripture, readers will be able to consider and deepen their own preaching ministries.
As one of the elder statesmen of homiletics, Marvin A. McMickle has gifted preachers with a volume that will serve both early-career ministers as well as those further along their paths of ministry. Weaving insightful exegesis with contemporary application, The Making of a Preacher has the tone of a dear and respected teacher-pastor sitting down with you to share what he has learned from his thirty-five years as a minister and a decade serving as president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School. The result is a volume that is ideal for both the seminarian as well as the long-serving minister in need of refreshment and encouragement in their call. Leah D. Schade is the Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lexington Theological Seminary in Kentucky and author of the book Creation-Crisis Preaching: Ecology, Theology, and the Pulpit (Chalice Press, 2015)
I am in awe of his last book, The Making of a Preacher: Essentials for Ministers Today. Dr. McMickle says no one is born with the mindset, the disciplines, or the skills necessary to be an effective preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Preachers are not born but made. Nothing written today comes near this book in addressing what leaders need for gospel ministry. Academics do not usually write about the practical issues of character, but Dr. McMickle is no ivory-tower scholar. He blends orthodoxy and orthopraxy and as an academic he has extensive end notes and bibliography after each chapter.
By the grace of God, I am a stroke survivor, in recovery with the aid of a loving wife, excellent, physical therapists, and praying friends. Chapter 4 spoke to me as a retired, physically challenged pastor emeritus, reminding me not to recline in the rocking chair of lazy religion, nursing my disabilities with lamentation but to continue being useful. Dr. McMickle skillfully gives examples of well-known persons overcoming disabilities, such as Clay Evans, and reminding us of Moses while writing about Walkers, wheels, and other challenges and How old is too old.J Alfred Smith Sr., Pastor Emeritus, Allen Temple Baptist Church, Oakland, CA, Professor, Emeritus, American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, CA
In this outstanding book, The Making of a Preacher, Dr. Marvin McMickle captures the essence of the spiritual anatomy of the preacher. Using the call, character, and message of the prophet Moses as his model, McMickle not only urges new preachers to be selfreflective, but he also challenges seasoned preachers to do some soul-searching and revisit their call. For pastors who may be silently suffering from burnout, reflecting on the chapters in this book will rekindle the fire and passion for preaching and ignite a new zeal. This book ought to be required reading for every preacher and wouldbe preacher. God bless Dr. McMickle for sharing his prodigious intellect and his penetrating spiritual insight.James C. Perkins
It is hard to imagine a more trusted and capable guide on the homiletical road than Marvin McMickle. Admixing personal biography, pastoral candor, and social critique, The Making of a Preacher urges veteran and aspirant clergy to trek endowed with the spiritual courage of the prophet Moses and liberating agenda of Jesus Christ, remembering that their calling to preach is foremost God-summoned worka lifelong, holy vocation of bold speaking. Kenyatta R. Gilbert, Professor of Homiletics, Howard University School of Divinity, Washington, DC
In The Making of a Preacher, Marvin McMickle brings his years of experience as a preacher, pastor, prophet, and educator to bear to develop a pragmatic, inspirational, and effective guide for those who are considering the preaching ministry as a vocation and for those who are experienced preachers who may need to be inspired anew. McMickle pays particular attention to the importance of character which he seeks to influence positively by using his own personal anecdotes, biblical narratives, and stories of preachers and leaders in contemporary society. I recommend this book for all preachers who take their call to the preaching ministry seriously and who are willing to have their practices, beliefs, and conceptions of what it means to be called to ministry challenged in significant and important ways. Debra J. Mumford, Frank H. Caldwell Professor of Homiletics, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
The Making of a Preacher offers both new and seasoned preachers a barometer for gauging alignment between internal character and external practice. These pages reorient the reader to who the preacher is namely, chosen by God to live out courageously the call of one who preaches. In an era of frequent deception, this reminder of the deep and sustaining work of vocational development is a worthwhile digression from the mechanics of practice alone. Lisa L. Thompson, Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
Marvin McMickle, a seasoned preacher, homiletician, and seminary president, takes a long view at what it takes to form preachers. In chorus with the authors use of Moses as a model for entering ministry, readers will find themselves saying, Go down, Moses!... and Jeremiah, Isaiah, Peter, Paul... and me! Those considering the call to ministry will find here wise guidance for their discernment process. Those serving in ministry will be reminded of why they first answered the call and encouraged in the continual work they are to do to best serve God as preachers of the good news of Jesus Christ. O. Wesley Allen Jr., Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
"In his many writings, Marvin McMickle has always been one of our wisest and most articulate advocates for bold preaching in our compromised culture. Now, in this eloquent and impassioned volume, he names the kind of preachers needed in this fraught moment in American life. Using Moses as a guide and pattern, McMickle describes preachers who are summoned by God to tell the truth of the gospel, bravely and full of hope, even when the Pharaoh de jour seems immovable, deceitful, and cruel. This is an essential preaching guide for our time." —Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, GA
Marvin A. McMickle, DMin, PhD is currently interim pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, where he previously served as senior pastor for nearly twenty-five years. He has also served as past president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. No stranger to academia, McMickle previously served as professor of homiletics at Ashland Theological Seminary and in 2009, spent a semester as a visiting professor at Yale University Divinity School. He also taught at Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State, Princeton, and Fordham universities. A prolific author, McMickle, has more than a dozen books to his credit, including resources on preaching, ministry, and African American history.
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