Augsburg Fortress

The Gospel People Don't Want to Hear: Preaching Challenging Messages

The Gospel People Don't Want to Hear: Preaching Challenging Messages

Lisa Cressman, founder of Backstory Preaching, offers preachers tools to craft difficult sermon messages that can be heard. The gospel changes lives, but to do that it must first be heard. For it to be heard, people have to trust they are "seen" and their concerns and fears are acknowledged. They have to feel their perspectives are real, valid, and respected.

Preachers have a difficult message to preach, a message many will not want to hear: new life always emerges from death. Cressman shows preachers how to craft sermons with the right tone and how to have the courage to say what you're called to say.

Part 1 of the book provides the preparatory work needed before crafting those difficult sermon messages. Here the focus is on how preachers prepare themselves, build relationships of mutual trust with listeners, and understand and appropriately use authority and leadership to proclaim the gospel.

Part 2 focuses on the sermon itself with suggestions on what to say and how to say it. The preacher will find new tools and sharpen existing ones to preach difficult messages with empathy, compassion, and skill.

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$18.99Save 75%

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506456393
  • eBook ISBN 9781506456409
  • Age/Grade Range Adult
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 160
  • Publication Date May 5, 2020


"In a time of division and heightened rhetoric, the task of preaching can seem perilous, especially preaching on sensitive and challenging issues. Lisa Cressman does not shrink from the task. She creatively describes a way of preaching that is prophetically faithful and an act of deep pastoral care."

Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology

"With her characteristic creativity and candor, Lisa Cressman fearlessly addresses the anxieties of clergy and churches while providing gospel-centered, practical, and hope-filled ideas for navigating this challenging time. Her trust in the ever-renewing love of God is contagious!"

Leah D. Schade, author of Preaching in the Purple Zone: Ministry in the Red-Blue Divide

"Lisa Cressman invites us to courageously live into the chaotic realities of our falling skies so that we may fully participate with God in the creation of something new. A trusted companion for those who find themselves having to preach through the uncertainties of life."

Mark Andrew Jefferson, assistant professor of Homiletics, Virginia Theological Seminary

"Lisa Cressman rightly names the rigorous and dangerous challenge preachers face as they enter the pulpit to preach an unflinching gospel message. Reading her words feels like sitting with a friend whom you know understands this lonely, risky work."

Amy Butler, pastor, leader, teacher, writer

"This book is a timely call for preachers to proclaim the timeless gospel. Lisa Cressman shows us how to preach with the power of faith instead of fear."

Micah Jackson, president, Bexley Seabury Seminary