Preaching Lab

Online: February 1 – March 22, 2021

Videoconferences: Dates forthcoming

Designed for those who already have a little or a lot of preaching experience, this course invites you into a learning community, focusing on on specific dynamic in the experience of preaching that rotates each year.

In Spring 2021, the topic will be: Preaching to Hold the Listener’s Attention. More information forthcoming!


2020 Preaching Lab: Spirit & Schedule

Many preachers experience the same thing: sermon prep gets crammed into the margins of their time. Instead of sermon prep being a process that feeds and brings preachers joy, it depletes and stresses them. This course will change that.

You’ll conduct a deep dive into the theology of the stewardship of your time, your vocation as a preacher, and their intersection with the rest of your church and home responsibilities. You’ll examine your calendar, expectations — and make some tough decisions needed to grow and thrive in ministry.

By the end of the course you’ll have discerned and practiced an ideal weekly schedule; know how and when to deviate from it; and plan for and protect the time you need for sermon prep that will give you the breathing room, spiritually, mentally, and physically, to sustain your entire ministry.

The course will consist of reading, creative exercises, short video recordings, and weekly, live online Zoom sessions (always recorded; day and time TBD).

Course Instructor: The Rev. Lisa Cressman,  Backstory Preaching®

Required materials: Available from the instructor at no additional cost.

From a participant in the 2020 Preaching Lab: Spirit and Schedule:

Lisa’s class has been fantastic. Focusing on building the foundation that allows me to pray a sermon into existence is exactly the work I need to be doing right now. And, the balcony-level technique work we’ve done has also been helpful—it helped me preach about Covid-19 as the pandemic was beginning. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work on that with colleagues, guided by Lisa’s wisdom. It’s been the perfect CE course for me. I give it 6 out of 5 stars.

– The Rev. Justin Chapman, Rector, St. Luke’s, Rochester MN

Comments from students in 2017-18:

It was awesome! I loved the practical application, and the opportunity to make it our own. I also enjoyed the encouragement to think outside our box. The most impactful advice was to use stories to “break open” the Gospel. Now, when preparing a sermon, I ask myself, “Does this bit open or close the Gospel?”

Keep on keeping on. Honestly. Best homiletics instructor I’ve had. Engaging, approachable, intelligent.

Thank you so much, Lisa and Cathie. You are amazing, thoughtful, gentle, kind, and given me gifts that I can use. Blessings.

Great class. The format of weekly on line gathering and in person day was really engaging.

I really appreciated the wonderful teaching provided by Lisa and Cathie, and spending time with brothers and sisters in Minnesota. So fun to be with old friends, and get to know some knew ones better in the process.