There is no shortage of books being written and published centered on the idea of getting a church to grow. Try this program or this approach. Don’t say ‘this’, instead say ‘that’. Bring the kids in with the adults, leave the kids out. Take communion, de-emphasize communion. On and on and on the suggestions come. In one sense, this book, Saving Eutychus, is yet another attempt to help pastors be better at what they do. But that is where the comparison ends.
Saving Eutychus is a funny, refreshing book designed to help pastors and Bible teachers to be more effective in their teaching ministries. How? I guess two principles rise to the top for me: Preach nothing but the Word, and preach it clearly.
At its core, this book is a clarion call to return to and stay grounded in expository preaching. I know there are other books in this genre pleading with preachers to make the same commitment to Scripture, but, in my thinking, none that quite ‘come from the heart’ like this one. Pastors Gary Millar and Phil Campbell share their humous frustrations with their own pulpit ministries, where they went wrong, and the Gospel-centered prescription it took to correct course. In that sense, it almost reads like a didactic autobiography. Both men script their messages. And yet provide the reader with clever anecdotes so as to not kill the Eutychus in your audience. Each of the pastors takes a turn covering different topics which helped keep me engaged as neither author is a clone of the other.
If you are just entering into ministry, or have been in ministry for some time but your effectiveness has stalled, this may be exactly what you need to jump start your pulpit ministry.
I heartily recommend this work and hope that it becomes a mainstay in the discussion of the need for expositional preaching.