Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Review: Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook, Volume 3

Nelson's Annual Preacher's Sourcebook, Volume 3
Dr. O.S. Hawkins
Thomas Nelson, 2013
English, 592 pgs, DVD included

Preach great sermons and plan innovative worship services with the newest edition of Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook. This volume is the same sermon planner you have come to depend on for more than ten years. Outstanding pastors provide an entire year’s worth of preaching and worship resources for every week. Look for a new volume every fall.
Features include:
  • Sermons, creative outlines, illustrations, and quotes for every week of the year
  • Worship helps, including hymns, prayers, and Scripture texts
  • Inspirational thoughts and preaching techniques
  • Sermons for special occasions and holidays

The third volume of Nelson’s excellent “Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook” continues the work of the previous editions, giving pastors a well-written tool for ministry. The volume contains a year’s worth of  “sermons, creative outlines, illustrations, and quotes…worship helps, hymns, prayers, and Scripture texts.” This volume also features preaching and ministry techniques used by several of today’s noted preachers, including Jim Henry’s (Pastor Emeritus at First Baptist Church, Orlando, FL) excellent discussion on the pastor and the wedding, Russell D. Moore (President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission) and Phillip R. Bethancourt’s (Executive Vice President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission) timely discourse on preaching through moral and ethical issues, and Steven Smith’s (Dean, Professor of Communication, The College At Southwestern) teaching on text-based preaching through the Gospels. These essays alone are worth the purchase of the book.
This volume also includes a DVD of files associated with each of the sermons and events presented in Rich Text Format. This is of particular use with registries, as it allows the user to import the unformatted files into Microsoft Word or other word processors and easily reformat the files to their needs and aesthetic desires.
There are some who might balk at the idea of this sourcebook, as if it were somehow intellectually or spiritually dishonest for a preacher to use sermons written by someone else. As the wife of a busy pastor in a mid-sized church, I can see the utility of such a volume as this. As my husband said, “A book like this provides sound, Biblically-grounded material from which to start.” The provision of the entire sermon allows pastors to read and understand how others construct and deliver sermons, much like musicians watching, learning and even performing parts of other musicians’ work. As editor (and noted Southern Baptist pastor) O.S. Hawkins states in the introduction, “It is not designed to provide an ‘easy fix’ for late Saturday sermon preparation.” 

There is opportunity for growth and development of new inspirational tools in the pastor’s toolbox. But just like any other tool, it depends on how it is used. If used correctly, as a help and inspiration, this sourcebook can be an invaluable tool for pastors. If used merely as a source for copying, the arguments against such a tool can quickly become valid.

 I received a copy of the book from BookSneeze for the purpose of this review. No additional compensation has been received and I was not required to write a positive review.

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