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Backstory Preaching

Finish your sermon by Friday.

You know it's important, but preaching is just one of your many responsibilities.

You do your best to squeeze sermon prep into the nooks and crannies of church life week after week.

But when those nooks and crannies aren't enough, sermon prep consumes your personal life.

man in field on mountain top with hands raised backstory preaching

A simple, 5-day process to help you reclaim your Saturday nights

This guide was created to help you take control of your sermon prep—and enjoy it—by teaching you:

  •  a weekly process you can rely on
  •   tools to make your message clear, memorable, and effective
  •  an approach that transforms sermon prep from a chore to a joy


Learn how to structure sermon prep as a time that nurtures your connection with God and feels like respite.


Discover new insights in Scripture, focus on one clear message of Good News, and keep your listeners talking after the sermon ends.


A flexible weekly schedule with clear steps to take you from initial reading to message discernment to finished sermon.

Now that we've outlined a few of our strategies in the video above, let's take a look at the benefits of this quick-start guide, below.


What Can You Achieve with This Process?

With this 5-day process, you'll enter each preaching week confident and calm, knowing you have a clear plan for what should be accomplished toward your sermon each day. This process gives you the structure to digest Scripture, narrow your focus, & craft a compelling message. It's also flexible enough to adapt to your daily time constraints and other responsibilities. And every step is designed to feed your own soul as you work toward feeding your congregation on Sunday.

A Consistent Rhythm

Know what needs to be done each day, schedule the time to do it, and find relief from that nagging feeling of always having sermon prep hanging over your head.

Inspiration & Insight

Learn novel ways of approaching and studying Scripture for new insights that unlock deeper understanding of God's goodness for you and your listeners. 

A Personal Life

Discover how much more effective you are when you have space in your life to enjoy family, friends, and free time. 

Spiritual Respite 

Receive guidance for discovering sermon prep not as a task on your to-do list but a welcome opportunity to slow down, connect with God, and recharge.


About Lisa

Lisa sitting in backyard with clerical collar

The vision for Backstory Preaching® woke the Rev’d Dr. Lisa Cressman in the middle of the night, and she’s been trying to keep up with the Holy Spirit ever since. She is Backstory Preaching’s Founding Steward, sharing insights from more than 25 years as an Episcopal priest, preacher, spiritual director, and retreat leader.  

She is the author of Backstory Preaching: Integrating Life, Spirituality, and Craft and Craft an Effective Sermon by Friday, a guest preacher, preaching instructor, and conference leader. Lisa is a Certified Daring Way® Facilitator, holds a D.Min. in Practical Theology from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, an M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, CA., and a BS in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her next book, The Gospel People Don't Want to Hear: Preaching Challenging Messages will be published in 2020 with Fortress Press/Working Preacher Books.

Her hope for you is simple but profound:

That you would preach with your whole life.


I have my Fridays and Saturdays back!

"I am grateful for the discipline, creativity, and...process available through Backstory Preaching. After months of letting sermon preparation slip into days off, I have my Friday and Saturday back. So happy!" 

Dina vK


A phenomenal process that is getting results.

"In the past year I started using Backstory Preaching as a method for developing and writing my sermons. It’s been a phenomenal process that is getting results. I’m preaching better sermons and the process has been more spiritually edifying for me, too." 

Julie W.

A 5-day Process to Craft an Effective Sermon by Friday