Phillip Jensen is well-known around the world as one of the most gifted preachers of his generation. In this book, he explains that his aim whenever he preachers is to “preach the gospel by prayerfully expounding the Bible to the people God has given me to love”. Join Phillip Jensen and co-author Paul Grimmond as they explore each phrase in this carefully wrought statement, and show not only why faithful, powerful, biblical preaching is so important, but how to go about it.
“Preaching is the lifeblood of the local church. This is an outstanding book by one of the world’s foremost preachers, and is essential reading for any would-be Bible teacher.” (William Taylor, Rector, St Helen’s Bishopsgate, London, UK).
Under God, Colin Marshall (The Trellis and the Vine) and Phillip Jensen (The Archer and the Arrow) formed a great ministry partnership for over 20 years—a partnership that God blessed greatly with gospel growth that has now spread all over the world.What was the strength of that partnership? Perhaps the key was the combination of strengths and backgrounds the two men brought to it. Colin Marshall had a heritage and commitment to personal discipleship and one-to-one discipling of others. Phillip Jensen was shaped by a ministry context that held a very high view of public preaching and proclamation.
Clear and powerful public proclamation of God’s word, combined with clear and powerful personal ministry of God’s word, created a rich soil for growing the gospel.
In late 2009, Matthias Media released the book that captured the essence of Colin Marshall and the importance of personal ministry: The Trellis and the Vine. Now with The Archer and the Arrow comes the book in which Phillip Jensen spells out the vital importance of the preaching that accompanies that personal ministry.
The Archer and the Arrow distils what Phillip has learned about preaching over the past 40 years, not just from doing it (a lot!), but from grappling with what the Bible itself says about the preacher’s task. In the book he offers his own summary of what that task is:
My aim is to preach the gospel by prayerfully expounding the Bible to the people God has given me to love.
You’ll notice that this sentence includes the famous three P’s of Christian ministry: proclamation (or preaching), prayer and people. It shares this basic philosophy of ministry with The Trellis and the Vine, and in many ways the two are companion volumes. Trellis and Vine focused on how the three P’s relate to individual people and their growth, and how structures and programs can sometimes overwhelm our ability to nurture and train each person. It zeroed in on the need to train and equip every Christian not only to be a disciple, but to be a disciple-making disciple.
The Archer and the Arrow focuses on the public proclamation of the gospel through prayerful, Bible-based preaching, and—as with The Trellis and the Vine—a simple image illustrates the book’s main point. The job of the preacher is to craft arrows from the word of God and to fire them into the hearts of the people God has given him to love. The preacher’s job is to speak the “oracles of God” whenever he speaks (as 1 Pet 4:11 puts it)—not to preach his own words, but to understand God’s words in the Scripture, and to proclaim and unfold and explain those words to his hearers. (This is ‘expository’ preaching, which is one of those labels that many people claim but few actually practice.)
If your approach to people-work was challenged and provoked by The Trellis and the Vine, then consider it very likely that your view and practice of preaching will be similarly upended by The Archer and the Arrow.
Phillip Jensen is an internationally renowned preacher and evangelist. He is the author of the well-known Two Ways to Live gospel presentation, as well as numerous books and Bible study materials, including Guidance and the Voice of God. He currently serves as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew’s Cathedral. Phillip and his wife, Helen, have three children and a growing number of grandchildren.
Paul Grimmond is a gifted and well-known Bible teacher, currently serving on the campus of the University of NSW. He is the author of Right Side Up, a book aimed at helping new Christians to understand the Christian life. Paul lives with his wife, Cathy, and their three children in Sydney’s east.