Learn Preaching From Cary Schmidt Part 1

Welcome to week five of our preaching podcast mini-series. We are excited to partner with Veritas Baptist College for this preview on the sermon preparation courses they will be offering in the upcoming semester. In this episode, I have the opportunity to discuss preaching and sermon preparation with Cary Schmidt. Here are the notes from our conversation: 

How would you say that pastoring a local church has transformed your preaching from being a youth pastor and assistant pastor?

Well, the message delivery changes because you’re no longer revisiting themes like you would with youth but you’re feeding adults a consistent biblical diet. I would attribute my growth to a statement from Kurt Skelly which is “I preach the Bible expositorily; I just work through the Bible because I don’t have that much to say but God does.”  The older I get, the more I realize that this statement is true because God is sufficient.

I have loved the fact that senior pastoring forces me into scripture, context, and narrative. It allows me to feed God’s people from his word.

You are based in New England, in a predominantly post-Christian, highly educated culture- how does that impact your preaching?

I am preaching to two types of people. The first is post-Christian, secular by choice. The second group would be post-Catholic, disappointed with catholicism but disappointed by Christianity. This has forced me to adopt a gospel-centric style because neither of these groups understands the gospel.

As you have gone through this journey, can you share any resources and teachers that have greatly influenced your preaching with this context in mind? 

The most profoundly influential books I’ve read on this subject are:

  1. Prodigal God - Timothy Keller

  2. Preaching: Communicating Faith In An Age Of Skepticism - Timothy Keller

  3. The Courage To Be Protestant - David F. Wells

  4. God in the Whirlwind - David F. Wells 

What advice would you give to a young preacher who is wanting to improve on his communication skills?

  1. Be a good communicator the way God created you to be. You can’t and shouldn’t try to be Bryan Samms, Kenny Baldwin, or Kurt Skelly. You can’t be anybody but you in the pulpit.

  2. Listen to everybody. Study how others communicate, not with the goal of being like them. Try to identify speakers that engage you and ask yourself what grabs you about this speaker's skills. 

Communication is a learned skill. The longer you do it, the better you will become at communicating. Listen to yourself, criticize your own preaching, and identify your distracting tendencies. Use good resources to hone your skill. A resource is a resource, regardless of secular or ministry relation.

Book Reference for Ted Talk:

Talk Like Ted - Various

Connect with Cary:



Emmanuel Baptist Church


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