According to God’s wisdom, the preaching of the Word is the mean of grace par excellence for salvation. Therefore, preaching is a gift and duty that ministers - and those who are preparing for the ministry - should always consider as essential both in the congregation and in the preacher’s heart. Because of this, someone who preaches must be someone who every day is spiritually growing. To grow is the natural activity of every living organism, therefore, to grow is the fruit of regeneration and sanctification.

‘Growing as a Preacher’ is the title of this short book written by Jonathan Gemmell, Director for Conferences and Resources at The Proclamation Trust. In a little more than one hundred pages, the author develops this essential thesis: ‘every preacher can be a better preacher and every preacher must strive to become a better preacher.’ This is done through five chapters that deal both with doctrinal and practical truths. For example, from talking about the importance of ‘keeping your convictions’ to ‘heeding the dangers’ (such as idolatry and hypocrisy) and ‘setting and sustaining priorities’. Being a short book provides the opportunity to capture ideas that are keys to learn, remember and apply. At the same time, it is perfect for studying personally or in groups. In fact, the truths described in this book are worthy of being studied not only by those who are beginning to consider seminary studies but also by the young or the retired pastor.

Because this is not a ‘five-steps’ book, but a book that even preaches to the reader, it should be considered for study by those who, by grace alone, are called to preach the gospel in season and out of season. If possible, buy a copy for you and another for the minister of your church. Why must we grow as preachers? Because as Robert Traill (1642-1716) said: ‘The principal work of a minister is preaching, and the principal benefit people have by them, is to hear the Lord’s word from them.’

Israel Guerrero, St Columba's Free Church, Edinburgh