Compelling Preaching Initiative

Deepen your practice of proclamation in community with other preachers

We believe that the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ is essential to the building up of the kingdom of God. Through compelling preaching moments, many have been enlightened, convicted, led to repentance and become faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We also believe that effective preaching is a practice that requires diligent cultivation, spiritual health and a strong reliance on the Holy Spirit.

The Compelling Preaching Initiative is designed to support preachers in this important work. The program offers opportunities to experiment with innovative and participatory models of preaching, to attend to personal spiritual health and formation, and to engage in meaningful community with other preachers. Through annual gatherings, small learning cohorts and online resourcing, active and aspiring preachers are invited to partner with us to explore and experiment with new ways of proclaiming the greatest story ever told.

I'm Interested

**Registration for the 2024 Preacher Retreat is now available! Find details here.**

Learning Cohorts

Resources & Research


Program Values

  •  Integration of EPIC Delivery Styles: Coined by Professor Len Sweet, E.P.I.C. preaching is experiential, participatory, image-rich and connective. This model of preaching deemphasizes information-centric styles and is designed to help listeners feel known, to help them step into an experience of God, and to acknowledge how God is already working in and among the place and people.
  • Preaching to Young Adults (Gen Z): New models of proclamation are one way in which the church can call young people into deeper community in the body of Christ. We feel strongly that as preachers attend to the preferences and longings of new generations, all hearers will be invited into a new experience of God. It is this value that motivates the program’s research project.
  • Preaching as Pastoral Care: In order to proclaim the gospel in ways that transform people, preachers must make connections between the work of pastoral care and the sermons they deliver. Preachers must allow their messages to be shaped by the people receiving them to successfully speak into their everyday lives and affirm how God is moving in and through them.
  • Spiritual Formation of Preachers: Strong preaching requires that the preacher be spiritually healthy. Preachers must know themselves well, be connected to God, and be connected to others in order to do the difficult work of stewarding God’s word and the stories of others in their proclamation. Spiritual practices that emphasize reliance on the Holy Spirit, dwelling in God’s word and seeking out community are essential.

Meet Our Team

Mindy Smith

Project Director

Joy York

Research Director

Mary Hulst

Mary Hulst

Preaching Expert, Cohort Leader

Drew Peterson

Drew Peterson

Cohort Leader