By Thomas W. Spann

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The Learning and The Burning - Ways to Enhance Preaching

About The Book


Whether a preacher is just starting out in ministry or has been in pulpit ministry for several decades, this book is filled with creative ideas for enhancing this sacred oratorical art. Thomas Spann writes from the perspective that any preacher’s current method or approach to preaching is fine, but can be enhanced. In this sense there is no judgment on any preacher’s current method. Drawing on over fifty years in the gospel ministry, this offering is an attempt to provide insights and ideas to aid in next level preaching. Ideas in this book range from the use of poetic flair to social messaging of the gospel. With care and concern, Thomas Spann addresses unusual topics in the field of preaching, including: disavowing the joke about seminary/cemetery; progressive celebration; preaching as a physical act; perspiration and inspiration; and avoiding common errors in English. Using his African American religious experience as a broad background, Thomas Spann believes that this book is useful in a variety of denominational settings. The book concludes with four original sermons.

In this book I will share my ideas and practical techniques, with the intent of stirring up the gifts that are already in you, so that you create your own path to a new and exciting venture in preaching and teaching preparation.


What’s inside


Part I: Introduction


Part II: Strategies, Methods, and Approaches

  • Use of Poetry
  • Examples of Creative Use of Poetry in Black Preaching Oratory
  • Work on the Beginning Sentences

… and more


Part III: Sermons

  • Eulogy for Bertha Baker Hilburn
  • Eulogy for Archie Cooper
  • What Shall I Render?
  • Resources for the Rest of the Journey


My approach to the subject of preaching is not about getting you to accept my preaching method or that of an established national preacher. Other preachers’ methods are good and wonderful; they work for them. Perhaps some aspects of their methods can be applied to enhance your preaching and teaching. My aim is to invite you to become the subjects of your own research.
Each of you has a method or a way of thinking, organizing, and delivering a sermon or a lesson plan. I want to bless or affirm that the implicit or explicit method/approach you have is good, but it can be enhanced. So, I am not starting with the idea that a published author or a professional homiletical is the starting point. Rather, the starting point for reflection on preaching and teaching preparation is your own implicit or explicit method or style, as developed over years of practice. The difference is that you will now look at your own practice from a critical, constructive, and compassionate countenance, using some of the insights that I will share.

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I thought about titling this book Ways to Improve Your Preaching and Teaching. I know of no one who opposes personal improvement. No one in their right mind votes against the spirit of improvement. The biggest room we have is room for improvement. We improve our homes; we have road and street improvement.

Serena Williams works at improving her tennis swing.
Tiger Woods works at improving his golf technique.
LeBron James works at improving his basketball skills.
Gladys Knight works at improving her singing.
Nolan Ryan worked at improving his pitching.
Toni Morrison worked at improving her writing talents.
James Brown’s band worked several hours a day to improve their sound.

Andrae Crouch worked at writing music every day.
Church choirs rehearse each week to improve their singing.
Sacred dancers work hard to improve their artistry to the praise of God.

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Dr. Thomas W. Spann has authored several books.

Click on each title to read more and to place your order.

Memoir Front Cover I Went To Bishop College
Front Cover - A Light in the Bottom
A Girl Dreams of Preaching
Saying Amen through Advent
New edition - Church In the Mirror
The Learning and The Burning
40MidWeek-Meditations - Cover
A Necessary Transition
Cover I Feel My Help Coming
First Sunday - Front Cover
When Theological Reflection Goes to Church
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