An author of ten books, Dr. Satterlee connects preaching and areas of congregational life and mission, including worship, spirituality, stewardship, community engagement, and leadership. Visit Craig’s Amazon Author Page.

View a selection of Dr. Satterlee’s articles on preaching.

My Burden Is Light: Making Room for Jesus in Preaching 

My Burden Is Light: Making Room for Jesus in Preaching invites preachers to reclaim proclaiming Jesus as the goal of preaching. Too often, Satterlee observes, we usher Jesus to the back of the pulpit, invite him to make a cameo appearance, or even excuse him from the sermon altogether. With the author’s guidance, readers imagine the ways Jesus is present in their favorite liturgical space and explore ways they can make room for Jesus in preaching and experience abundant life for themselves and for their people.

Satterlee argues that by preaching the mystery of Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection as good news for God’s people, the church, and the world–all of whom long for salvation, we powerfully address the issues we face, including pandemic, climate change, assaults on democracy, social justice, and division. Drawing on his lifetime of experience learning, preaching, and teaching the gospel, this book is foundational for preaching courses and a balm for preachers needing nourishment and renewal.

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You Are Witnesses of These Things: Sharing the Story of Jesus

Coauthored with Chelsey Satterlee

With all that is happening in society, the world, and their lives, people are open, even eager, to receive the story of Jesus and the good news that God is working to bring unconditional love and abundant life to all creation. In fact, the only reason new people will join the church is because they received the story of Jesus, want to learn more about Jesus, and experience the church actively following Jesus.

You Are Witnesses of These Things: Sharing the Story of Jesusequips and empowers Christians to share the story of Jesus with people for whom it is new for no other reason than because Jesus is such life-changing, world-shaping good news. This book brings the good news to people who do not yet know Jesus and helps people who know Jesus to be comfortable and confident sharing this good news with others.

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Preaching and Stewardship: Proclaiming God’s Invitation to Grow 

Both new and veteran preachers alike find the annual stewardship sermon a challenge and are eager for encouraging, practical advice. In Preaching and Stewardship, Craig Satterlee offers a nuts-and-bolts handbook on preaching stewardship, raising issues preachers need to consider when preparing stewardship sermons and offering advice on how to address them. Satterlee argues that stewardship preaching must include a bold and concrete proclamation of God’s love, will, and justice, as well as an invitation to grow as stewards in response to this proclamation. He focuses each chapter on a question preachers ought to ask themselves as they prepare the stewardship sermon, beginning with, ‘What do you mean by stewardship?’ and ‘Why should we give to the church?’ In chapters 3 through 6, he explores what the Bible says about stewardship. In chapter 7, he names some of the assumptions both preachers and worshipers bring to the stewardship sermon. The final chapter a variety of ways congregations can support the stewardship sermon. Satterlee illustrates the premise of each chapter with anecdotes from congregational life. Preachers who desire examples of stewardship sermons will especially appreciate stewardship sermons he shares from various preachers to illustrate points in the main text.

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Ambrose of Milan’s Method of Mystagogical Preaching

Mystagogy, or sustained reflection on baptism and the Eucharist, is the method of postbaptismal catechesis used in the R.C.I.A. In Ambrose of Milan’s Method of Mystagogical Preaching, Craig Satterlee provides a method of mystagogical preaching for today’s Church by looking at the sermons of Ambrose of Milan. 

Confronted by a culture that increasingly cannot be counted on to reinforce the Christian faith or participate in the formation of Christians, the Church today questions the nature of the connection between Word and Sacrament, and liturgy and mission. In addressing these same questions, the catechumenate of the early Church took seriously that they lived in a culture at odds with the faith, particularly the period of mystagogy which is characterized by sermons that probe the rites of initiation. Their biblical importance for Christian life, continues to hold great potential for the Church today. However, it remains largely undefined. 

By asking such questions as, what did Ambrose do and how did Ambrose do it? Satterlee explains that the best way to learn to preach mystagogicaly is by using a fourth-century mystagogue as our guide. In chapter one Satterlee establishes the need for mystagogy. Chapter two lays out the historical context of Ambrose and his church. Chapters three through eight are a series of six historical studies on Ambrose and his church that correspond to the components of a homiletic method. Chapter nine proposes a method of mystagogy for the contemporary church based on Ambrose’s preaching. A brief biography of Saint Ambrose, history of the church of Milan, and a look at patristic exegesis are also included. 

Modeled after William Harmless’sAugustine and the Catechumenate, Ambrose of Milan’s Method of Mystagogical Preaching serves as a companion volume to that work. Chapters are ‘You saw what is seen, but not what is done’: The Need for Mystagogy;” “‘Having been renewed by baptism, hold fast to the style of life that befits those who have been washed clean’: Setting the Stage;” “‘I yield to my desire to teach’: Ambrose: The Preacher;” “‘This family clothed in white’: The Newly Baptized of Milan: The Listeners;” “‘I shall begin now to speak of the sacraments which you have received’: Initiation in Milan: The Text;” “‘Gather from the holy scriptures’: Interpreting the Rites;” “‘Milky speech’: The Shape of Mystagogy;” “‘But now my voice grows weak and time is running out’: Mystagogy as Proclamation Event: Delivery;” “‘We too are not without discernment’: Discerning a Method of Mystagogical Preaching.”

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Creative Preaching on the Sacraments

Coauthored with Lester Routh

Creative Preaching on the Sacraments is a practical guide to lifting up the connection between Scripture and the Christian life in sermons that explore the meanings of the sacraments as the church’s experience of Christ’s saving activity in baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Mystagogy, the genre of creative preaching described in this book, leads listeners into the mysteries of the Christian faith and declares that these great truths of God in Jesus Christ are made visible and tangible to us in the sacraments.

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When God Speaks through Change: Preaching in Times of Congregational Transition 

At times, a congregational transition looms so large in a sermon that it becomes the lens through which scripture is interpreted, the congregation is addressed, the preacher is heard, and God is experienced. Homiletics professor and parish pastor Craig Satterlee reflects in this accessible, provocative volume about on how to integrate such significant events in a congregation’s life into the preaching ministry of the church. Rather than offering a blueprint for preaching, however, he walks alongside pastors, seminarians, and other congregational leaders who want to make sure the Gospel, not an agenda, is preached.

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When God Speaks through Worship: Stories Congregations Live By

When God Speaks through Worship: Stories Congregations Live By is a collection of stories of congregational worship in which God’s ongoing presence, speech, and activity are apparent. These stories of proclaiming the gospel, teaching the faith, praying, singing, baptizing, blessing, and sharing bread and wine in Jesus’s name share the purpose of these activities in worship, yet still challenge the reader to explore the motives behind them. When we worship in church, are we worshiping God, or ourselves? Has worship become more people-centered than Christ-centered? We have our preferred styles, but is that getting in the way of the purpose of worship? In his follow-up to When God Speaks through Change: Preaching in Times of Congregational Transition and When God Speaks through You: How Faith Convictions Shape Preaching and Mission, Craig A. Satterlee uses eight stories to inspire other congregations to seek God through their worship. He discusses both the joys and challenges of worship, as well as the supportive parts of it, such as specific vocations, planning, and communication. However your church chooses to express itself through worship, this book will make you think about how you re going about it, why, and what impact it is having on the people within your congregation and the community around it.

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When God Speaks through You: How Faith Convictions Shape Preaching and Mission

“Holy and active listening” means listening openly and attentively to one another with the expectation that God will speak in and through the conversation. In When God Speaks through You, homiletics professor Craig Satterlee helps preachers and their congregations learn to listen to one another with such grace. Satterlee demonstrates how individuals and groups can identify, clarify, and articulate their convictions about the Christian faith and share them in a nonthreatening manner. He also helps readers discover their expectations of and reactions to preaching itself. The preacher will come to better know what people listen for, and parishioners will better understand what the preacher hopes to accomplish in the sermon. Creating discussion groups about preaching frequently results in spiritual growth, renewal, deeper appreciation for difference, new perspective, and motivation for the preacher and the discussion group members and, through them, the congregation. These conversations can prepare congregations for broader conversation about how people’s faith convictions shape both their lives and the congregation’s worship, life together, and mission.

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The Christian Life: Baptism and Life Passages 

The Christian Life, written by Dennis L. Bushkofsky and Craig A. Satterlee, focuses on the formative role of baptism not only for the individual being baptized but the church. Examines baptism and the related rites of affirmation of baptism in which the baptismal center is clearly seen: Healing, Funeral, and Marriage.

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