"For years I have had two growing convictions: first, that a person learns to preach, insofar as anyone ever learns, by preaching continuously in a normal pastorate; and second, that the learning never ceases. Throughout the book, therefore, I have had in mind simultaneously the young man just beginning his ministry and the experienced preacher who feels the need of restudying his methods...A person learns to preach by preaching regularly over a period of years while at the same time his appraising and improving his techniques in the light of recognized principles. This book is designed as just such an 'on-the-job' aid..."
"Technical proficiency is not attained once and for all...the preacher who would be skilled must win his skill afresh every week. Skill is the ability to use knowledge effectively. Knowledge is forever increasing and undergoing revision. Methods of utilizing it must, therefore, undergo modification from time to time."
"Preaching procedures must be adapted to the several stages of the minister's own growth and to the changing conditions of the people. Methods effectual in one period of life will not necessarily suffice for other periods. Even though the principles of effective preaching remain constant, the way in which they work out varies as situations change. Hence, homiletical methods need to be revised several times within a single lifetime. This book is planned to aid the experienced pastor who finds it advisable at intervals to evaluate and re-evaluate his techniques of sermonizing." (excerpts from the Preface by Ilion T. Jones)