Ryan Huguley’s book “8 Hours or Less” is an easy, quick primer that guides pastors to writing faith sermons faster. The business of ministry can become overwhelming, but the call of the pastor to “preach the Word” is not lessened; you are still charged with faithful preaching. Huguley understands this and has written an easy-to-follow guide to help busy pastors who, from time-to-time, find themselves caught up in ministry and have not been able to devote time to sermon preparation.
Before you can figure out how to write faithful sermons faster, you must know what a faithful sermon is. That is the first chapter of this book. Huguley defines and defends what a faithful sermon is (and what it is not). The essence of a faithful sermon is that the sermon is “saturated with Scripture” (22), “Christ-centered” (27), “Culturally Contextualized” (ibid.), “Directed to the Whole Person” (28), and “Proclaimed Boldly” (31). This is essential to the remainder of the book and what he is attempting to accomplish. These are the “ingredients” of a faithful sermon.
Huguley uses the rest of the book to lay out daily challenges which can be accomplished in focused, concerted efforts. For instance, the challenge for Mondays is “to write a clear and concise sermon frame in two hours” (33). This challenge comes on a day when most do not want to work, or some even consider “quitting” because of exhaustion. Huguley emphasizes taking a Sabbath but also emphasizes that it is better to take on this challenge of framing your sermon as early in the week as possible.
As someone who does not preach often but aspires to someday preach every week, I appreciate what Huguley is laying out. I appreciate a work like this, even more, when it is written by a pastor who does preach week in and week out. This process is not “bullet proof” nor is it fail proof. What I have found it to be, at least through this book, is a guide to help those who preach every week, once a month, or simply on occasion to find time in busy schedules to write faithful, “Christ-Centered Sermons.” For that, I highly recommend this book as an introduction to faithful sermon preparation.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Moody Publishers through the Moody Bloggers Review program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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