Preaching Lab

Online: February 1 – March 22, 2021

Videoconferences: Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 PM, February 4, 11, 25, and March 11.

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.

Spring 2021 Preaching Lab: Preaching to Hold the Listener’s Attention.

The gospel isn’t heard if people aren’t listening. How can the preacher make it as easy as possible for listeners not only to track a sermon from beginning to end, but keep them on the edge of their seats? 

This course will apply practical suggestions to hold the listener’s attention, including:

  • Attention grabbing first sentences and memorable last ones
  • Creating literary conflict
  • Incarnating the sermon (i.e., sermon “delivery”) in person and online
  • Applying the secret to good storytelling
  • Involving the listener in the sermon
  • Using the communication skills every sermon needs
  • Keeping mystery alive

By the end of the course you will have new skills to apply to your sermons that will keep your listeners engaged from the first word to the last so Good News is heard—then shared.

The course will include reading, video instruction, written chat discussion, student video assignments, a final sermon, and live Zoom sessions on Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 PM, February 4, 11, 25, and March 11.



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.