At Building Faith, one of our goals is to equip church staff and volunteers with the resources they need for effective ministry. This includes online resources. There are some web pages that everyone should have bookmarked, and we hope we can help you build that library.
Today’s suggestion: Working Preacher at www.workingpreacher.org
What is it?
A clean, concise, and updated website focusing on the Biblical readings for the upcoming Sunday. Working Preacher provides analysis, background, and commentary on the Biblical texts from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm, and Gospel. The site follows the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), but it also features commentary on the Narrative Lectionary – a recent creation offering large sections of scripture in a sequence. Finally, there is always a commentary on the Gospel en Espanol.
The commentaries on Working Preacher are – in our opinion – just the right length. They are not too long so as to get bogged down. But on the other hand, they are deeper and more substantial than brief reflections.
Whom is it for?
As the title suggests, Working Preacher is geared toward those who are preparing sermons or homilies for the upcoming Sunday. That said, the site is also extremely useful for formation leaders who will be referring to the Sunday readings.
In addition, anyone desiring a head start on understanding the Scripture passages that will be read in church will love this website. You will be sure to be more engaged with the sermon, having read some of the background information.
Who writes this website?
The good folks at Luther Seminary in St. Paul Minnesota – one of the strongest seminaries in the United States. That said, many of the commentaries are written by authors from other seminaries or universities, from various Christian denominations. The writers are usually professors, and experts in the field of Biblical Studies. They represent a range of theological approaches and interpretive methods.
What else is on the site?
In addition to the weekly commentaries, you will also find blog-style posts from the site’s editors, as well as other authors. These helpful pieces are slightly less formal, and excellent food for thought as one considers the overall “craft of preaching.”
Also, you will find videos from expert preachers, explaining their tips and tricks on preaching.
There are a few other features, such as a list of upcoming events. Overall, however, one of the things we like about Working Preacher is that it’s not cluttered with too much “stuff.” The creators have tapped into a niche, and they are well focused on it.
What if I don’t like reading?
One of the best parts of Working Preacher is that it is the portal to one of the best podcasts available. Sermon Brainwave is an absolutely brilliant 30 minutes, updated every week, discussing the upcoming readings in serious, yet highly engaging manner. The voices are Rolf Jacobson, Karoline Lewis,David Lose, and Matt Skinner, who are all Luther Seminary professors. We highly reccommend this podcast.
We hope you enjoy the site and use it in your ministry or personal practice!