In Let the Earth Hear His Voice Greg R. Scharf provides examines obstacles or as he calls them bottlenecks to preaching and provides biblical and practical recommendations on how to address them.
Scharf lays the foundation for a biblical theology of the task of preaching, beginning in the Old Testament and going through the New Testament. He then addresses eight bottlenecks for preaching. At the end of each chapter exercises are provided that aid in addressing the bottlenecks. These bottlenecks after reading the book are very evident in much preaching that I have encountered, even my own sometimes. The first two bottlenecks are deal with the character and calling or lack thereof of the pastor. The remaining six bottlenecks involve issues such as faulty exegesis, inadequate sermon preparation, poor illustrations, and bad delivery. The bottlenecks addressed are readily seen throughout evangelicalism in America.
This book reminds pastors and preachers that much of the preparation for the sermon is in essence self-preparation. In appendix b there are cross references with Bryan Chapell’s Christ-Centered Preaching which contributes to the usefulness of this book.
While there is an ever growing amount of books on preaching this one has stood out in its focus on addressing the bottlenecks that hinder preaching. If you’re pursuing or in the preaching ministry this book will aid you in your ministry.