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The Practices of Christian Preaching

Essentials for Effective Proclamation

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Leading homiletician Jared Alcántara offers a practice-centered, collaborative, technologically innovative, next-generation introductory preaching textbook. The book breaks new ground by adopting a practice-based approach to teaching preaching and by using innovative technological delivery to enhance the educational experience of learners.

Alcántara introduces the basics of Christian preaching and emphasizes the skills preachers must cultivate throughout their lives. He shows that preachers can learn effective preaching by paying keen attention to five key competencies: conviction, context, clarity, concreteness, and creativity. Featuring the perspectives of a diverse team of collaborators, The Practices of Christian Preaching is designed to prepare effective communicators for the church's multicultural future.

Call-outs in the book direct readers to a companion website for further information or practice. The online resources include audio and video sermons, video responses from the author, and contributions from collaborators, enabling Alcántara to coach students by showing them instead of just telling them. A Spanish language edition is also available.

1. Preach Christian Sermons
2. Preach Convictionally
3. Preach Contextually
4. Preach Clearly
5. Preach Concretely
6. Preach Creatively


"Great preaching involves a firm grasp of the gospel as well as a keen sense of the moment, a discernment of the crises of this day, and the hungers of particular people at specific junctures of history. In The Practices of Christian Preaching, Jared Alcántara has written a timely and wise book, a book that guides preachers toward sermons born out of the electric encounter between the enduring good news and rapidly moving news of the day."

Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology

"The call to preach the good news of Jesus Christ is the same for each generation and in each specific cultural and linguistic context. Jared Alcántara reminds of both the commonality of the task and its transcultural nature. He initially developed The Practices of Christian Preaching in a Latino context and then made sure the book could be used effectively in both English and Spanish (no small feat). He calls us to learn, practice, and perfect what is at the core of this undertaking. In the midst of all the changes to communication styles in a technological world, our vocation has not changed. We are to preach the Christian message with conviction, clarity, creativity, in context, and geared to concrete situations. This is both simple and radical. Alcántara urges us in a straightforward way not to forget the roots of our calling. But he also keeps us connected to the transcultural and multilingual realities many of us face as we seek to be faithful preachers. ¡Gracias, hermano!"

Juan Francisco Martínez, president of Centro Hispano de Estudios Teológicos

"Biblically and theologically grounded throughout, this book goes beyond mechanics to the practices of preaching as life-giving habits. The book speaks to preachers across cultures--with illustrations, metaphors, and stories that bring clarity and engagement with a variety of voices. Both novice and experienced preachers are invited into lifelong growth and creativity. The work of the Spirit in the life of the preacher and the sermon are beautifully interwoven."

Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, Association for Hispanic Theological Education

"With conviction, clarity, concreteness, and creativity, Jared Alcántara presents a clear and refreshing approach to the teaching of Christian preaching. It is practice-centered, collaborative, diverse, multilingual, and technologically interactive. This deliberate book brings homiletical pedagogy into the twenty-first century and sows innovative seeds that will bloom homiletical beauty in multicultural pulpits for many years to come."

Rev. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke University Chapel

"In The Practices of Christian Preaching, Jared Alcántara blends perspectives from Hispanic, African American, and Anglo-European homiletic theory in a unique way. Only Alcántara can move so seamlessly within these different preaching traditions and practices. This book is an extraordinary contribution to homiletics in the twenty-first century."

Pablo Jiménez, associate dean for Hispanic ministries, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Rather than offering a method for preaching, Jared Alcántara promotes lifelong habits to develop through practice and over time. His fluid writing beautifully crosses over racial, ethnic, and other boundaries, valuing diversity and fresh perspectives. If every preacher would practice his Five Cs, assisted by the Spirit, the church would be stronger and the world would be a better place."

Paul Scott Wilson, professor of homiletics, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto

"Preaching requires practice and the guidance of a wise and trustworthy practitioner; Jared Alcántara is a good choice for this role. Here is one author who follows his own advice. The Practices of Christian Preaching is a literate, diverse, and important addition to the field of homiletics. Just read it!"

Kenton C. Anderson, professor of homiletics, ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University; author of Integrative Preaching

The Author

  1. Jared E. Alcántara
    © Baylor University

    Jared E. Alcántara

    Jared E. Alcántara (PhD, Princeton Theological Seminary) is associate professor of preaching and occupies the Paul W. Powell Endowed Chair in Preaching at Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. He previously taught at...

    Continue reading about Jared E. Alcántara


"The Practices of Christian Preaching may prove helpful both as an introductory text for the novice preacher and as a resource for the homiletics professor. The five basic practices are essential for all preachers. . . . Not only is this text well researched, it is clearly organized, exceptionally readable, interestingly illustrated with anecdotes, and brimming with examples, practical applications, and online learning activities. It comes to us with a global perspective."

Timothy S. Warren,

Journal of the Evangelical Homiletics Society