Bishop Untener goes straight to the heart of what a preacher should be doing. He makes his readers take account of genuine feedback from 'folk in the pew' and offers practical solutions which respond to their comments but which also encourage the preacher to grow, develop and improve.
The material is set out in short punchy chapters which are easy to read but difficult to forget. Above all, the reader will come away sharing the author's deep admiration for the flow of God's Word through a well-prepared preacher in full control of a well-prepared homily.
This short book can upturn the bad habits of even the most experienced preacher and can teach the novice preacher some early profound principles. I cannot commend it too highly.
If you belong to a tradition where a ten minute homily is more appreciated than a two hour one, you should buy this book. It belongs on the desk of every preacher And if you don't preach yourself consider sending it to your pastor, anonymously if need be. When Untener was assigned to teach homiletics at Saint John's Seminary near Detroit, he began to ask people what they liked and disliked about the homilies they heard. He collected thousands of comments and boiled these down to the 25 that are the heart of this book. Later, as bishop of Saginaw, he began the Saginaw Program: a series of very small groups where his priests and deacons could critique each other's homilies. All of his clergy eventually took part in one or another group, and he took part in them all. Such are the sources for this book. It is clear, concise, practical, impressive. It is short enough to be read at a sitting and important enough to be reread at least every year.. It is to preaching what Strunk's Elements of Style is to writing.