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Podcast Episode 73 | 26 min

The Role of Deliberate Practice in Preaching

How to become an expert in proclaiming the gospel.
The Role of Deliberate Practice in Preaching

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How can you practice deliberately as a preacher? In this episode, Matt Woodley explores that question with Jared Alcantara, associate professor of preaching at Baylor University’s George Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. He also wrote the book, Crossover Preaching: Intercultural-Improvisational Homiletics in Conversation with Gardner C. Taylor.

Deliberate practice in preaching is a “relentless ongoing commitment to growth.” Alcantara cites the work of K. Anders Ericsson, a Swedish psychologist who wrote Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. He identifies four commitments people often make, who become experts in a given field, like preaching or playing the violin.

  1. A willingness to take risks
  2. Constructive feedback
  3. Focused attention
  4. Concrete goals

This concept is more widely known from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers where he popularized the 10,000 rule. The rule says that “it takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials, like playing the violin or getting as good as Bill Gates at computer programming,” according to Alcantara.

Check out what was referenced on the podcast:

Jared E. Alcántara is an Associate Professor of Preaching and holds the Paul W. Powell Endowed Chair in Preaching at Truett Seminary in Waco, Texas. His latest book is "The Practices of Christian Preaching: Essentials for Effective Proclamation." Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @jaredealcantara.

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