The Preacher as Storyteller

Why is there so much narrative in the Bible and so little in our sermons? This is the question of Ralph Lewis and his son Gregg Lewis, co-authors of Inductive Preaching: Helping People Listen. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1983, p. 58. Their very helpful book answers the question saying, Our sermons follow Greek rhetorical patterns rather than Bible models (p. 64).

At a recent Thursday morning prayer breakfast, a regular date on my calendar, our host asked what book I am working on at the moment. I told him my main focus at present is a book with the working title; The Preacher as Storyteller. Immediately, a couple of friends in the group, made up of about half laymen and half ministers, expressed frank distaste for the whole concept of a preacher as storyteller. They happen to be laymen in the same church where, it seems, they feel their pastor strings together too many anecdotes in his preaching. I reminded them that Jesus as a preacher and teacher was best known for his parables. Jesus was a storyteller.

I would like to hear the thoughts of you who read this blog. Why do most sermons have so little narrative? Should preachers do more storytelling?


About The Author

Most of my life has been as a pastor of Southern Baptist churches. Preaching, teaching and writing have been the major emphases of my ministry. It has long been my prayer that my mature years might be given more to teaching and writing. Especially do I want to help young pastors in sharpening their preaching and other ministry skills.