Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie

‘How-To’ Book on Presentation Prep Packs a Punch


Simple Preaching Prep: A guide to finish your first sermon and flourish beyond. by [Mark Messmore]Simple Preaching Prep

A guide to finish your first sermon and flourish beyond

By Mark Messmore, 2022



“I don’t know about this one, Kimmi girl,” chirps Her Momness the other day. “Does this book look like a good fit for Pages and Paws?”

“Mom,” says I, Kimber the Magnificent.Of course it’s a good fit. Cuz I’m a World Champion Reacher! I reach for unattended New York steaks. Burgers on the counter. A thick, juicy T-bone. (I might even reach for a stray Brussel sprout or two. But let’s get carried away here, okay?”) So, ya see, Mom. I’m an awesome “Reacher!! Right up my kennel!”

“That’s preacher, Kimmi,” says Mom.  Insert eye roll here. Mom says we don’t do pulpit supply – whatever that is – and we’re not big into parsing Greek verbs. Whatever that means. So I dunno about reviewing this book, said one of us.

Which just goes to show you what Mom knows.

Maybe you’re thinking the same thing. Maybe you’re thinking a book on preaching prep isn’t your cuppa. That’s okay. Cuz while Simple Preaching Prep is geared toward Jesus followers, its principles and practical advice will help anyone looking to sharpen their presentation skills, organize their thoughts, and connect with their audience, be that in a church, business, club, discussion group, classroom, or other context.

The Basics

Defining preaching as “Communicating truth through personality,” the author packs a lot into 66 short pages. Peppered with pithy observations, illustrations, personal examples and real life applications, this simple “how to” guide offers clear, easy to follow advice for smart presentation preparation in any context.

Initial preparation includes:

  • Beginning “from a place of questions and curiosity.”
  • Comparing multiple Bible translations to help identify important words, phrases, and ideas.
  • Using paper and pen to boost the use of both logic and creativity. Reading the text out loud.
  • Asking questions about the text, like Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? Make observations.

Put it into Practice

The author provides examples and graphics on how to do all of the above. Each chapter concludes with a Put it Into Practice section to remind and reinforce material covered previously. There’s also a section on considering Why this message is important? and What do I want the audience to do with it? Also ways to help make an idea “stick.” Preparing the material and preparing you.

Lots more. Like: 

“Pirate-ninjas of the world, unite!”

You’ll get that if you read the book.

One of us has read boatloads of resources on this and related topics over the years. Simple Preaching Prep is one of the best. No gimmicks. No dog and pony shows. No smoke and mirrors. Just straight-forward, practical, down-to-earth advice presented in an easy to follow, step-by-step format that will benefit both novice and seasoned preachers and anyone who wants to improve their presentation skills.

It just might surprise you. You gonna eat that?

4 thoughts on “‘How-To’ Book on Presentation Prep Packs a Punch

  1. Thank you so much for taking the time to review my book!

  2. I like that you related this to a presentation preparation guide. Not many of us are preachers!

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