Preaching Metaphor

Next Step Press is committed to helping you take a small next step following Jesus. Our mission is to resource individuals, discipling groups, congregations, and discipling leaders. As part of that mission, we are pleased to announce a new resource for preachers, educators, and anyone who brings God’s Word into the lives of real people.

Preaching Metaphor:
How to Shape Sermons
that Shape People

by Justin Rossow

From the back cover:

This book will bring you joy.

Preaching week in and week out can be a burden. This book invites you into a way of experiencing preaching that brings life back into your pulpit.

Contemporary metaphor theory provides new methods for engaging the biblical text and shaping sermons that matter. With humor and insight, Justin Rossow harnesses the most relevant advances in metaphor theory to empower your preaching and equip you to impact the everyday lives of real people.

You’ll be delighted at the quality of the example sermons and anxious to put these tools to work in your own preaching ministry. This book is not about making your propositional point a little more interesting; this book will change how you imagine the preaching task.

Refreshingly faithful, theoretically nuanced, purposefully practical, and at times laugh out loud funny, Preaching Metaphor will help you fall in love with preaching all over again.

From the introduction:

“I just want to help make next Sunday a little easier for you and for your hearers. And maybe, if things go as planned, I might even help you delight in the preaching task a little more than you have in awhile. You see, I am on your side; I think what you do week in and week out is amazing. And I want to help.

“In order to help, I want to talk about metaphor. I know, I know; talking about metaphor sounds all artistic and poetic—and it can be—but, as we shall see, metaphor is also a fundamental tool for how we make sense of our lives, reach decisions, imagine possibilities, and evaluate outcomes. Because metaphor is a fundamental tool of human thought and experience, getting a better handle on metaphor opens up all kinds of possibilities for reading and preaching Scripture.”

What critics are saying:

“A pioneering and incredible piece of work. Rossow’s treatment of metaphor and culture is not only enjoyable, it makes you wonder how often we fill in the blanks of biblical images with our own cultural narratives without giving it a second much less passing thought. I know of no other work that offers such a well-developed theory of metaphor for preaching.”

Len Sweet
best-selling author, professor, and
owner of

“Remarkably clear, winsome, compelling, and practical. This book is not only a must for the preacher’s library, but a gift to the preacher.”

Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.
author of Sculptor Spirit: Models of Sanctification  from Spirit Christology and
professor of Systematic Theology at Concordia Seminary—St. Louis

“In an era when images saturate our existence and capture our attention, Justin Rossow provides what a visual generation needs: a way to create compelling sermons that stick—for both the preacher and the hearer. In a humble, winsome, and knowledgeable way, Preaching Metaphor presents the practice of harnessing imagery as a means of communicating Gospel truth. You’ll find this to be a practical manual for powerful preaching!”

Michael W. Newman
author of Gospel DNA: Five Markers of a Flourishing Church

“Every once in a while, I’ve read things that make me wonder how they’re possible, and I really thank God for letting me read them. This book is one of those. Praise God for Justin.”

Conrad Gempf
author of Jesus Asked: What He Wanted to Know
and lecturer in New Testament at London School of Theology, UK.

About the Author

Rev. Dr. Justin Rossow preaches, teaches, presents, and writes at the intersection of Scripture, culture, and metaphor theory. With 20 years of ministry experience focused especially on discipleship, Justin brings a refreshing and encouraging voice to the adventure of helping people delight in taking a next step.

Justin is known for his insight and energy, and writes like he talks: with humor, humility, and profound dependence on Jesus. His PhD in Theology and Culture helps bridge the academic and the practical; in his writing you’ll find depth, nuance, immediate application, and just plain fun.

Justin and his wife Miriam live in Michigan with their four children. He is the founder of Next Step Press and The Next Step Community.

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