Back with Crackers & Grape Juice

I so much enjoyed discussing with the Crackers and Grape Juice gang the reprint of my The Gospel for the Person Who Has Everything.

They write:

Friend of the podcast and all around Gandalf to the gang, the irascible Will Willimon returns to talk about meeting the Risen Jesus, fighting in church, Karl Barth, preaching, and the new edition of his first book, The Gospel for the Person Who has Everything.

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Racial Bridge Building in Matthews

My talk for Matthews UMC on the lynching of Willie Earle has been published on their YouTube Channel.


I wrote about the lynching, Hawley Lynn’s sermon afterwards, and what all that has to do with preaching against racism today in my book Who Lynched Willie Earle?

Who Lynched Willie Earle? Preaching to Confront Racism

Purchase from Abingdon Press

Effective 21st century preaching demands a more perceptive understanding of both race and Christian faith.

How do pastors of white, mainline Protestant churches preach effectively in situations of racial violence and dis-ease? Even though you long to address contemporary social crises, how do you know where to begin when it’s simply not possible to relate to black pain? Who Lynched Willie Earle? uses the true story of pastor Hawley Lynn’s 1947 sermon, a response to the last lynching in Greenville, South Carolina, to help pastors preach on race and violence in America, inviting and challenging the church to respond.


Leading with the Sermon Study Guide

I’ve been hearing from clergy across the country about my new book, Leading with the Sermon.  I’ve also met with a number of clergy groups who have used the book in their professional growth in ministry.  My former student and friend, Wade Powell, who leads a congregation in Texas, has now done a study guide on the book for individuals or groups of preachers.  You are welcome to use Wade’s guide individually or in your clergy group.

If you gather a group of clergy friends to study the book, I’d be delighted to meet with you by Zoom.  

I hope that you find the book helpful in your ministry.

Will


Leading with the Sermon: Preaching as Leadership

Purchase from Amazon

Purchase from Fortress Press

In this addition to the new Working Preacher Books series, prolific author William H. Willimon makes the compelling case that two key pastoral tasks–preaching and leadership–complement, correct, strengthen, and inform one another. Preaching is the distinctive function of pastoral leaders. Leadership of the church, particularly during a challenging time of transition in mainline Protestantism, has become a pressing concern for pastors.

This book shows how the practices, skills, and intentions of Christian preaching can be helpful to the leadership of a congregation. It will also show how leadership is an appropriate expectation for sermons. In preaching, pastoral leaders can help a congregation face its problems and coordinate its God-given resources to address those problems. Sermons can be an opportunity to articulate, motivate, and orchestrate God’s people in doing God’s work in the church and in the world.

Leading with the Sermon includes chapters on why pastors must be leaders, why preaching is such an essential task in telling the truth about the gospel, how preaching makes better leaders, and how better leaders make better preachers.

Talking Race with Matthews

Matthews UMC has invited me to do a talk on the lynching of Willie Earle. This event will be February 16 at 7pm on the Matthews UMC YouTube Channel.

I wrote about the lynching, Hawley Lynn’s sermon afterwards, and what all that has to do with preaching against racism today in my book Who Lynched Willie Earle?


Who Lynched Willie Earle? Preaching to Confront Racism

Purchase from Abingdon Press

Effective 21st century preaching demands a more perceptive understanding of both race and Christian faith.

How do pastors of white, mainline Protestant churches preach effectively in situations of racial violence and dis-ease? Even though you long to address contemporary social crises, how do you know where to begin when it’s simply not possible to relate to black pain? Who Lynched Willie Earle? uses the true story of pastor Hawley Lynn’s 1947 sermon, a response to the last lynching in Greenville, South Carolina, to help pastors preach on race and violence in America, inviting and challenging the church to respond.


Chatting with Chapelwood

I talked recently with John Stephens and Matt Russell of Chapelwood UMC in Houston, Texas for their Pod Have Mercy podcast. We talked about the politics of church (such as was presented in Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and me), honing in on what it means today that the church’s politics ought to be being the church God has called us to be and what the difference is in the pulpit between being political and being partisan. I also shared some thoughts about the future of the UMC.

Listen here.

Preaching After Crisis

I had the honor of preaching in Duke Chapel on the first Sunday after 9/11. In the weeks that followed, I canvassed preachers in college pulpits around the country to find out what kinds of things they had said to their own congregations; The Sunday After Tuesday was my effort to document an important moment forced on the church. The interview I did with Jerusha Neal a couple years ago about my memories of that time is now available on Duke Chapel’s YouTube.