The Heart is the Target
Preaching Practical Application from Every Text
God’s Word is powerful, and when preached clearly and applied pertinently it can change lives. Yet preaching does not always have this impact; preachers concerned merely with teaching information can leave congregations unmoved, and those who sacrifice substance for relevance skimp on the power of the text.
To truly change those who hear it, preaching must blend biblical faithfulness and insightful application together. Murray Capill helps all preachers who want to change lives to make their preaching wholly applicable, avoiding the pitfalls of tacked-on application.
He takes preachers through the living application preaching process—moving the Word of God, via the life of the preacher, to the lives of the hearers—and gives them the tools to systematically explore the application potential of any text. He himself applies this teaching to any preacher’s situation by showing how it works out in some of the specific challenges and situations of preaching.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: What’s Preaching All About?
- 1) A Beginner’s Guide to Application
Part 1: The Living Application Preaching Process
- 2) The Living Word: It has Work to do
- 3) The Life of the Preacher: A Full Reservoir
- 4) Lives of our Hearers: The Heart is the Target
- 5) Lives of our Hearers: One Size Doesn’t Fit All
- 6) Applications that Live: Shooting Sharp Arrows
Part 2: Putting Living Application Into Practice
- 7) Preaching the Kingdom
- 8) Engaging with Stories
- 9) Preaching with “Ives”
- 10) Preparing Holistically
“Experienced preachers are well aware of the pitfalls that pervade the terrain of application in preaching. . . . The Heart Is the Target not only provides biblical and theological correctives to such errors and imbalances, but also offers practical guidance in preparing sermons that serve the transformative purposes of the Bible.” —Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary, California
“Murray Capill has obviously thought deeply and long about sermon application and clearly has a passion for it—one that is highly appealing to the reader. There is a sensitive awareness of the situation of the ‘average preacher.’ . . . I wish I had had this text in my hands when I began preaching over fifty years ago.” —Bruce Milne, traveling preacher and teacher of pastoral leaders
About the Author
Murray Capill (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary, California) has pastored churches in New Zealand and Australia and is principal of the Reformed Theological College in Geelong, Australia, where he lectures in preaching and pastoral ministry.