Preacher in a Hard Hat: A Guide to Preaching for Pastors and Everyone Else
Can you imagine Jesus preaching to roughneck fishermen without ever climbing into one of their boats? Jesus' preaching was packed with references to everyday life. His words had immediate appeal and lasting effect.
This book is intended to help the people of God, preachers and listeners alike, make vital connections between the altars in our churches and the lunchrooms at work, between the washing of one's car and the cleansing of one's soul. Preacher in a Hard Hat is an invitation for everyone involved in preaching the speaking, listening, studying, and shaping of God's word to coordinate their efforts and focus their energies. It explores the unique partnership between a pastor and the parishioners, one in which the parishioners invite the pastor into their daily lives. Preacher in a Hard Hat is a collection of wry observations, personal ruminations and copious notes on the challenge of making the Word of God arresting, current and compelling for today's believers. Each chapter includes a sample homily/sermon that illustrates the insights and strategies discussed.
“Jim Schmitmeyer’s Preacher in a Hard Hat is a well-written book that comes directly out of the everyday life of his parish. The means he employs to get to know his people will benefit anyone who wants to take context seriously in preaching. The book offers challenging occasions, and Schmitmeyer provides well-crafted sermons in response. His use of metaphor and image are especially striking in this book that deserves a careful reading by those who must face real-life congregations Sunday after Sunday.”
—Tex Sample, author of The Spectacle of Worship in a Wired World
“What a wise book! Pastor-preacher James Schmitmeyer takes us ‘into the field’ where homilies are harvested from the seed of God’s word meeting the soil of people’s lives. This insightful work reminds us of the importance of listening for the word of God in both the sacred Scriptures and the personal encounters with those we serve. It is a book for those preaching and those listening.”
—James A Wallace, Washington Theological Union and President of the Academy of Homiletics
“The typical person who comes to a church on Sunday morning expects the preacher to make connections made between the Scriptures proclaimed and his or her day-to-day activity. While they may come from different backgrounds and have diverse professions, people desire to hear the Word of God made applicable to their particular circumstances and context in life. Jim Schmitmeyer’s reflections and examples masterfully do just this. His guide to preaching provides a number of helpful insights and suggestions, especially for those who are entrusted with the responsibility of preaching the Word of God.”
—Most Rev. Michael W. Warfel, Bishop of Juneau, Alaska
“Every preacher longs to connect with his or her listeners and bring the Sunday sermon to life. Yet that connection can sometimes prove elusive, even frustrating, for both the preacher and the congregation. How do you translate theological truths into the lived experience of the people? How do you place sacred texts into dialogue with the world of work? Fr. James Schmitmeyer, known throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as a preacher who ‘gets it,’ shares some of the practical and creative ways he involves his parishioner—and their everyday lives—in the art of effective preaching.”
—Susan McGurgan, Seabury-Western Theological Seminary director, Lay Pastoral Ministry Program, The Athenaeum of Ohio