Inductive Preaching

Copyright © 1983 by Ralph L. Lewis and Gregg Lewis.

Published by Crossway Books
a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers
1300 Crescent Street
Wheaton, Illinois 60187

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in
a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission
of the publisher, except as provided by USA copyright law.

First printing 1983

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 83-70321

ISBN 13: 978-0-89107-287-4
ISBN 10: 0-89107-287-X

Printed in the United States of America

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A fine
farm family
now older, grown,
or gone: Mother,
Dad, and



One: Need

Two: A Promising Solution

Three: Old Parts and New Hope

Four: The Story of Induction

Five: God's Way?

Six: Master Model

Seven: Web and Flow

Eight: More Web and Flow

Nine: Unbeatable Combination

Ten: In the Study

Eleven: Behind the Pulpit

Twelve: End to Our Means


Appendix One: Inductive Preaching—Two Examples

Appendix Two: Checklist of Inductive Characteristics

Appendix Three: 96 Inductive Preachers from 20 Centuries

Appendix Four: A Strategy for Making Traditional Sermon Structures Inductive


How can we help?

Why don't more people listen when we preach?

What implications does our electronic age hold for preaching? Can the new discipline of cognitive science with its most recent discoveries on brain function help us better communicate God's Word?

Modern students of the brain have discovered a clear distinction in function and capabilities between the right and left hemispheres of the human brain. Critical thought, reading and linear logic all seem to center on the left side of the brain. Creativity, visual memory, feelings and imagination are functions of the right half of our brains.

But what does this have to do with a Sunday morning sermon?

Nearly 500 years ago the printing press revolutionized the world. It altered the basis of human communication and thus affected the pattern of popular human thought. Gutenberg hooked humanity on the printed word and corraled much of our cerebral life into a left-brained pattern of linear logic. And for five centuries the bulk of our teaching and preaching has been built on this foundation.

Today the reverberations of a new revolution are shaking the old foundation. The printing press is no longer the primary means of collecting or communicating human thought. Most knowledge is now stored on microfilm or in computer memory banks and communicated by blips on a screen or photoelectronic printouts. And if the communications thinkers are right when they say a culture's means of communicating and storing its basic pool of information and knowledge may be the single most crucial determinant of that civilization's ...

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About Inductive Preaching: From This World to That Which Is to Come

"I spend hours in my study and on my knees preparing sermons, but when I preach them no one listens. What's wrong? Why aren't I getting through? Why do I see blank stares, daydream reveries, nodding heads as soon as I open my mouth to preach? I know my messages are biblically sound. I'm sure I'm preaching what God has laid on my heart. But it's not being received. What's wrong? What can I do?"

Sound familiar? If you're a preacher, you probably know the feeling. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can learn to preach in a way that will be readily, even eagerly, received by your congregation.

It's all here: what inductive preaching is, how it works, why it's effective, who's used it--including Jesus, Peter, Paul, Augustine, St. Francis, Wesley, Edwards, and Moody, to name only a few. Also included are:

• Step-by-step guidelines for constructing an inductive sermon

• Two sample inductive sermons

• A list of 96 inductive preachers from 20 centuries

• A strategy for making traditional sermon structures inductive

• A checklist of inductive characteristics.

The principles in this book can dramatically increase your sermon effectiveness--turn apathy into involvement, make listeners out of the listless. Inductive preaching is preaching that works!

"Thoroughly and convincingly sets forth the case for inductive preaching." --James W. Cox, Professor of Christian Preaching, Southern Baptist Seminary

"Will be a real service for anyone wishing to convince modern man about the gospel--a resource for all of us who preach and teach for years to come." --Jay Kesler, President of Youth for Christ

"I have read many books on preaching during my 34 years of teaching the subject. This is one of the first which I have read from beginning to end without stopping. If you plan to preach next Sunday you had better read this book today." --Lloyd M. Perry, Director, Doctor of Ministry Program, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

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