Even though some preachers bemoan preaching's loss of importance, in fact it has rarely been more crucial than it is today. We live in a society that is becoming less and less familiar with the Christian gospel. Although preaching is only one part of the complex set of factors and relationships that leads non-Christians to commit themselves to the gospel, it remains the most visible and recognizable part.
The central purpose of this book is to answer a key, seemingly simple question: how does preaching assist the Holy Spirit in the ongoing conversion of adult Christians? The book will take a close look at exactly what the sermon is doing in the larger conversion process, first for those who are new to the faith, but also for those longtime members who need a deeper commitment to the faith they claim as their own. The preacher obviously needs to know more about the sermon's specific effectiveness or shortcomings than what is briefly offered at the church door on Sunday mornings from polite (or occasionally honest) parishioners. Therefore, Frank G. Honeycutt contends, pastors seeking to learn more about the difference their sermons are making in the gathered Sunday assembly will need to be more attentive to the "how" of conversion and preaching's unique opportunity to contribute to conversion and commitment.