Luke Powery serves as Dean of Duke Chapel at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. I first met Luke at Princeton Seminary where he was my first preaching professor. I quickly grew to respect Luke for his passion for communicating from the heart and his desire to raise up preachers and communicators who loved Jesus and are committed to the powerful message of the Gospel. Luke talks openly about the connection between developing as a preacher and developing your heart as a leader.

Welcome to episode 5 of the Young Church Leaders Podcast with Grant Vissers!

Show Notes

Guest Links

Follow Luke on Twitter

Duke University – 

Duke University Chapel –

Duke Chapel Youtube (Sermon Links) –

Duke Divinity School –

Luke Powery Duke Bio –

Luke Powery’s Book “Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope” –

Takeaways from the Episode

1. Stay Healthy Amidst the Fits, Cheers, and Jeers

Remember first and foremost not to take yourself too seriously; have a sense of humor when you need to. God is the main attraction, not us.

Secondly stay connected in relationships. If you have a family, spend time with your spouse and kids; if not, join a community of fellow believers with whom you can enjoy life. Relationships help us stay connected and remind us what matters most in life.

2. Be a Steward of Words (and everything else)

Everything you have and do belongs to God. This includes the words that you preach. As you prepare and rehearse your sermons, do you treat your words with that knowledge?

Think about everything you do and have as being on loan from God; how are you going to use the things He has given you? Are you going to multiply them or let them sit?

3. To Become a Better Preacher, Become a Whole Person

God has given us life to enjoy. His creation is all around us and the relationships we can have are meant to be enjoyed. Do you want to become a better preacher? Go out and enjoy life! Go climb a mountain and marvel at his creation, spend a day at the beach, go out with some friends and just enjoy their company.

A person who enjoys life will preach better because they understand the human experience more.

4. Listen to God, People and Other Preachers

In your prayer life, don’t just talk to God; let him talk to you. Listening to God and simply being with God in silence helps center you in a world that is all too busy. Listening to people will help you better understand the crowd you preach to. Remember, as a preacher you aren’t just interpreting scripture but you are also interpreting culture and the people in it.

5. Lamenting Matters

We see throughout scripture that lament, mourning, anger, and sadness are biblical. We don’t have to have all the answers; we can doubt God, we can be angry at him, and we can let it show as well! Ultimately the purpose of lament in scripture and in our preaching is to point us towards the hope we have in God. Ultimately, we can’t have hope unless we first learn to lament.

6. The Heart Matters

Everything rises and falls on where your heart is. If you are connected to Jesus you will bear fruit; if you aren’t you won’t, you can’t give what you don’t have. It is impossible to preach a truly Christian message without Christ at the center of who you are. In your work as a preacher you must value interfaith work and understanding, but without roots keeping you grounded you will die. Stay connected to Jesus in private devotion and prayer and it will affect your preaching more than anything else.

Quotes from this episode

My goal is to be faithful, to be as faithful as I know how to be to God Click To Tweet

I may plant, and water, but God gives the growth Click To Tweet

I’m preaching toward what we are becoming, not who we are Click To Tweet

Without death there cannot be true hope Click To Tweet

What’s the point of a Christian message if you are not engaged with the Christ? Click To Tweet

Have you found this helpful?

If you found any part of this episode helpful, the best thing you could do is head on over to iTunes and leave a rating and review. It’s super simple, just click here.

Next Episode

Join us next time on the Young Church Leaders Podcast with Grant Vissers.