Books on preaching tend to focus on how to exegete the passage or construct a sermon but not many focus on how to reevaluate and consider one’s current practice of preaching through the matrix of application. Preaching that Changes Lives, by Dr. Mike Fabarez, helps the preacher or teacher to give attention to three areas of ministry: “preparation, preaching, and follow through, which will help the preacher to develop a new pattern of preparing to change lives, preaching to change lives, and following through to changes lives” (Fabarez, xv).
In one hundred and ninety-five pages the author makes the case that “Real biblical preaching brings about changes that conform a person to the image of Christ” (Fabarez, xiv). To assist the preacher in this task the author points out that “all greater preachers have caused people to gaze face to face in the mirror of James 1:23 and commit themselves to change in the areas which God’s Word is addressing to them each week” (Fabarez, xiii). The goal of this is that our preaching would not only “affirm what is honorable, but also expose the imperfections of our audience. We must boldly point out what needs to be changed, and then help them to change” (Fabarez, 9).
The first strength of Preaching that Changes Lives is that it is firmly rooted in the Word of God. The second strength of this book is that it clearly calls its readers to the ground for all change—the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, as a result of being rooted and grounded in the Word of God, the author calls preachers to know the Lord Jesus and then serve Him out of their knowing of Him. The only very minor weakness this book has that would strengthen it is if Dr. Fabrez provided questions and homework at the each of each chapter to work through the ideas presented in each chapter.
Preaching that Changes Lives is an excellent book by a seasoned and well-educated Pastor that will help its readers to learn not only how to prepare, preach, and follow through, but to develop a new pattern of preparing to preach in order to change lives and follow through to change lives for the Gospel.
While reading this book, I felt I was being shepherded to have more confidence in the Gospel, because there is a direct correlation between being confident in the Gospel and effectiveness in ministry. Preaching that Changes Lives is a very helpful book that accomplishes its goal to help preachers think through how to apply the Word, not only to their hearers but particularly to their own lives like they never have before.
Title: Preaching That Changes Lives
Author: Michael Fabarez
Publisher: Wipf and Stock (2005)