8 Hours or Less Review

Book Review: 

In this book Ryan Huguley puts forward steps he thinks will cut down time studying and preparing for sermons. In his introduction he draws from his experience of being one who loved preaching but hated preparation, something that I cannot in any way relate to. I enjoy sermon preparation I agree with many who say there is both an art and science to preaching. That being said I don't think the problem most pastors face is that they are spending too much time in the study, given the weak and anemic condition of the pulpit in America it seems pastors are not spending enough time wrestling with the text and in prayer.

Hugley's steps are based on his idea of five days of preparation and the preaching of the sermon itself. Day one is developing the outline, day two finalizing the outline with the help of a group,  day three write the introduction, day four write the conclusion, an day five complete the preaching notes. With the sermon preached on Sunday. While I appreciate his logical order of sermon preparation, I do take issue with the idea of faster being better. John Macarthur has said many times deep is better than shallow and slow is better than fast, and I believe that to be true for pastors in the and out of the pulpit.

This book and its advice might work for some pastors. But in preaching and preparation there can be no hard and fast rules for how long a pastor should prepare as each pastor is different in how they prepare and process the content of their sermon. I think many pastors, if they follow this book strictly, will go a great disservice to their preaching ministry. There are some good aspects to the  book, but overall I think there is a lack of balance in the emphasis on speed.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.