Art of the Sermon

A show for preachers, teachers, and communicators

About the show

“Art of the Sermon” is a show for preachers, teachers, and communicators. My aim is to make a show for leaders in ministry–formally or informally, inside or outside the church–who have an interest in preaching/public speaking and church communication.

The primary format for this show is the interview. This allows us to engage with a wide-range of guests on many different aspects of preaching, teaching, and communication. While many of the guests are pastors and preachers, I also believe it is important to learn from those outside the profession of preaching who have something to teach us.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links on this site are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Defining Grace is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

Art of the Sermon on social media


  • Episode 71: How to Lead in a World of Distraction - An Interview with Clay Scroggins

    September 23rd, 2019  |  35 mins 35 secs
    preaching, sermons

    Clay Scroggins, lead pastor of Buckhead Church in Atlanta, joins us to share about the battle with distractions in life and preaching.

  • Episode 70: Permission to Go Short This Advent

    November 15th, 2018  |  4 mins 52 secs
    preaching, sermons

    Advent is supposed to be a season for things like love, joy, hope, and peace. And yet, unrealistic expectations and extra events can leave ministry leaders feeling more stressed out than ever. If preaching or teaching a little shorter will help you better enter into Advent, then do it.

  • Episode 69: Responding to Negative Feedback

    November 1st, 2018  |  8 mins 43 secs
    preaching, sermons

    Preaching inevitably leads to feedback, and some of it is negative. Using a framework devised by graphic designer Michael Bierut, this episode explores how to respond to negative feedback.

  • Episode 68: Inside Out

    October 18th, 2018  |  38 mins 30 secs
    preaching, sermons

    Leadership writer Simon Sinek discovered that transformational leaders and organizations start with an understanding of why they do what they do. In this episode, Dan shares a sermon he preached adapting this content for our lives of faith and ministry.

  • Episode 67: Replanting the Sermon - An Interview with Abby Norman

    October 4th, 2018  |  42 mins 3 secs
    church planting, preaching, sermons

    Abby Norman is the pastor of New Hope United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Abby joins us to share about how her sermon process has changed as she replants a local church.

  • Episode 66: Overcoming Anxiety in Sermon Planning and Writing

    September 20th, 2018  |  17 mins 14 secs
    planning, preaching, sermons, writing

    For many preachers, the joy of this work is in the delivery, and the anxiety of the work is in the planning and writing. Here are 7 tactics and approaches that can help relieve some of that anxiety.

  • Episode 65: The 3 Arcs

    September 6th, 2018  |  21 mins 56 secs
    preaching, sermons

    There are 3 arcs to keep in mind when planning, writing, and delivering a sermon or sermon series: narrative, emotional, and rhythmic. They are all part of the congregation's experience, and they can contribute toward or take away from the impact of a sermon.

  • Episode 64: I'm Still Here - An Interview with Austin Channing Brown

    May 17th, 2018  |  42 mins 50 secs
    preaching, sermons

    Austin Channing Brown is an author, writer, and speaker who focuses on racial justice and racial reconciliation. Austin joins us today to talk about how to lead difficult conversations in our congregations and she shares about her new book "I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness."

  • Episode 63: Better Church Announcements

    May 3rd, 2018  |  16 mins 40 secs
    preaching, sermons

    Announcements are a double-edged sword: both necessary and often a waste of time in worship. Here are 10 action steps for better church announcements with a special focus on including relevant announcements in your sermon.

  • Episode 62: Secrets of a Top 5 TED Talk

    April 19th, 2018  |  15 mins 21 secs
    preaching, sermons

    In 2010, Brené Brown delivered a TEDxTalk that she describes as, "the combination of an accident and an experiment.” It has since been viewed by over 33 million people, landing it in the top 5 most viewed TED Talks. In this episode, we explore some of the factors of its success that are transferable to preachers and teachers.

  • Episode 61: Success and Failure - An Interview with Rev. Matt Miofsky - Part 2

    April 5th, 2018  |  26 mins 45 secs
    leadership, preaching, sermons

    Rev. Matt Miofsky is the founding and lead pastor of The Gathering in St. Louis. MO. In part 2 of this 2-part interview, Matt talks with us about assessing, understanding, and responding to success and failure in preaching.

  • Episode 60: Preaching and Church Growth - An Interview with Rev. Matt Miofsky - Part 1

    March 15th, 2018  |  24 mins 53 secs
    leadership, preaching, sermons

    Rev. Matt Miofsky is the founding and lead pastor of The Gathering in St. Louis. MO. In part 1 of this 2-part interview, Matt talks with us about the relationship between preaching and church growth.

  • Episode 59: The Prayer Wheel - An Interview with David Van Biema

    March 1st, 2018  |  40 mins 50 secs
    prayer, preaching, psalms, sermons

    David Van Biema is an author and the former Head Religion Writer for Time. David joins us to share about the rediscovery of a mysterious long-lost medieval prayer tool that can once again guide us today.

  • Episode 58: Identity and Preaching - An Interview with Rev. Justin Coleman

    February 15th, 2018  |  44 mins 2 secs
    preaching, sermons

    Rev. Justin Coleman is the lead pastor of University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, NC. Justin joins us to talk about how his upbringing and identity have shaped his preaching and leadership.

  • Episode 57: The Original Storyteller - An Interview with Robert Carnes

    February 1st, 2018  |  38 mins 8 secs

    Robert Carnes is an author and the Managing Editor for the Orange Group in Atlanta, GA. Robert joins us today to talk about the elements and power of storytelling and his new devotional "The Original Storyteller."

  • Episode 56: Breaking the First Rule of Preaching

    January 18th, 2018  |  12 mins 6 secs
    preaching, sermons

    Preaching classes, textbooks, and workshops recommend that we start our sermons with something compelling—a story, joke, fact, or question. But some of the best communicators in the church ease into sermons on occasion. This episode explores when and how to do that effectively.