More Information
ISBN: 9781839732720
Imprint: Langham Preaching Resources
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 13
Publication Date: 31/05/2022
Pages: 252
Language: English

God Is in the House

A Fresh Model for Shaping a Sermon


Good preaching is not simply a matter of communicating the gospel message. Rather, it is an invitation to encounter the living God who dwells within that message.

Distilling forty years of preaching experience into a single book, God Is in the House is a highly practical tool for all those seeking to strengthen their preaching ministry. It draws on Scripture’s many images of God as architect and builder to guide its readers through the process of shaping effective sermons. Both manifesto and manual, it addresses the overall role and significance of preaching, while also exploring the specific elements a sermon should contain. Full-length examples are included for illustration, and each chapter has practical exercises to aid the reader in integrating new tools into their homiletic practice.

This book offers a fresh and imaginative model for thinking about the process of designing and delivering sermons. It is an excellent resource for both experienced and developing preachers.

Author Bios

John Woods

JOHN WOODS has dedicated his life to the art of preaching. A pastor for nearly four decades, he has a DMin in homiletics from Spurgeon’s College, London, UK, and has been training preachers in Eastern Europe since the early ‘90s. He currently serves as training director for the School of Preachers Trust and also teaches at the Latvian Biblical Centre, where he is chairman of the board of directors.


John Woods is a highly experienced and gifted preacher and teacher of preaching who has reflected long and deep about the nature and craft of the sermon. With its engaging style, helpful exercises and sample sermons, this book will be an inspiring and practical resource for preachers around the world.

Stephen I. Wright, PhD
Spurgeon’s College, London, UK

Do yourself a favour and read this. Doing so will place you in the presence of a seasoned preacher and a skilled teacher of preachers. Read it yourself. Read it with other preachers. Reflect together on its significance for your practice of preaching, for the good of your congregations and the greater glory of God.

Antony Billington
Beacon Church, Ashton-in-Makerfield, UK

John Woods offers a helpful lens through which preachers can reflect, while also providing useful tools to aid in sermon preparation. A very enjoyable and stimulating read.

Raymond Brown
East London Tabernacle Baptist Church, UK

While it is all based on good foundations, one of the joys of this book is the breadth of its content, combining personal experiences and wide reading with clear application. Any preacher, new or experienced, will find this a delight to read as it provides sound instruction about our privileged task.

Derek Tidball, PhD
Retired Minister and Former Principal of London School of Theology, UK

For those of us who are called to this important ministry, here is a book which contains a life’s worth of experience and study presented in a very practical and user-friendly style. This is no doubt a book that should be in every preacher’s life.

Captain Sarah Ilsters
Assistant Regional Leader of The Salvation Army in Latvia

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Preface
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Part 1: Getting Ready to Build
    1. Discovering the Architect’s Intentions
      1. Design
      2. Construction
      3. Exercises
    2. Being at Home in the Bible Reading the Whole of Scripture
      1. The Heart of Scripture
      2. Humming the Rhythms of Scripture
      3. Exercises: Based on Deuteronomy 6:4–9
    3. Pausing at the Porch Praying the Whole of Scripture
      1. Praying to Our Father
      2. Praying with Others
      3. Praying for Our Church Family
      4. Praying with Dependence on Our Father
      5. Exercises
    4. Clarifying the Architect’s Intentions
      1. The Big Idea
      2. The Theme and Aim
      3. The Focus and Function
      4. These Three Approaches in Practice
      5. Exercises
  5. Part 2: The Zones of the House
    1. The Door
      1. Starting a Sermon
      2. First Impressions
      3. How Do We Start a Sermon?
      4. Exercises
    2. The Rooms Structure and Movement in a Sermon
      1. Following Scripture’s Floorplan
      2. Thinking about the Homiletic Theory – Points, Moves, Steps, Pages, and Scenes
      3. Exercises
    3. The Connectors Signalling the Transitions in a Sermon
      1. Example: Connectors in Genesis
      2. Example: Connectors in Mark’s Gospel
      3. Hallways
      4. Doorways
      5. Stairs
      6. Wi-Fi
      7. Exercises
    4. The Openings: Pictures, Windows and Mirrors Insight, Images and Illumination
      1. Pictures
      2. Windows
      3. Mirrors
      4. Exercises: Mark 5:1–20
    5. The Exit Door Ending a Sermon Well
      1. Gospel Endings
      2. Exit Ideas
      3. Don’t Stop – Finish!
      4. Exercises
  6. Part 3: Four Vital Considerations
    1. Ambience and Atmosphere The Wow Factor
      1. Lights
      2. Welcoming Jesus the Host
      3. More than Words
      4. Exercises
    2. Appropriate Proportions
      1. Pacing the Sermon
      2. Varying the Content
      3. Exercises
    3. Embodied Preaching
      1. Ear-Gate
      2. Eye-Gate
      3. Taste-Gate, Touch-Gate and Aroma-Gate
      4. Exercise
    4. Preaching Jesus from All the Scriptures
      1. Preaching Christ from the Old Testament
      2. Mark’s Gospel
      3. Developing the Instinct
      4. The Jesus Seminar
      5. Exercises
    5. Afterword Standing in the Porch
      1. Bless This House
      2. Praise
      3. Prayer
  7. Part 4: Sample Sermons
    1. Introduction
      1. Exercises
    2. Home: Finding Your Place
      1. Entrance
      2. Travelling: Stopping: Resting: Dreaming: Seeing: Listening: Responding
      3. Reflections on the Sermon
      4. Exercises
    3. The House Fixer Fixes People Mark 2:1–12
      1. Surprise Number 1
      2. Surprise Number 2
      3. Reflecting on the Sermon
      4. Exercises
    4. Preaching an Occasional Sermon Revelation 22:1–6
      1. The River
      2. The Tree
      3. The Face
      4. Reflection on the Sermon
    5. Preaching at Funerals
      1. Key Players in Funeral Services
      2. When a Person Is Not a Believer
      3. Exercise
  8. Bibliography
  9. Scripture Index