in the season of awards – the Emmys, the Grammys, and the “Big Kahuna”
of awards shows: the Oscars. By the time you read this, the Oscars will have
been presented (Feb. 27), but as I write this a few weeks before the big night,
I’m going to go out on a limb and make a prediction: the best actor and actress
awards are going to go to very rich people who appeared in movies I haven’t

I have seen all three of the films nominated as “Best Animated Feature
Film,” which I suspect says more about my status as a father of young boys
than my film expertise.)

it’s not just entertainers who celebrate themselves with awards. It seems as
if every field has it’s own awards system, from the “Cardiologist of the
Year” to the “Teacher of the Year” and so on. When I worked in
an advertising agency during graduate school, I remember there was always one
awards competition or another seeking entries. I’m not sure about plumbers,
but I wouldn’t be surprised if the “Golden Wrench” is given out every

a college football fan, I can vouch for the fact that football has an abundance
of awards. There’s the Heisman, which we all know about. (Indeed, it seems every
college football player knows how to assume “the pose” that appears
on the Heisman statuette.) But in addition to the Heisman, there’s also the
Walter Camp award and the Maxwell Award – both of which honor the “outstanding
college player of the year” just like the Heisman. (Apparently you can’t
celebrate the same person too many times.)

there are all the position awards, like the Bronko Nagurski Award (Outstanding
Defensive Player), the Outland Trophy (Best Interior Offensive or Defensive
Lineman), and the Ray Guy award for “the nation’s top punter.” I’m
just glad to know someone remembers the punter’s name after the season is over.

that so many fields have their annual awards, it makes me think: what about
preachers? Surely there should be some awards to recognize the best and brightest
among us! Allow me to suggest some categories for next year’s “Tall Steeple”
awards for the nation’s best performances in preaching:

  • Best sermon
    of the year
  • Best use of
    illustration in a sermon
  • Best use of
    animation in a sermon
  • Best use of
    someone else’s material in a sermon
  • Best use of
    choreography in a sermon
  • Best use of
    editing (requires an initial sermon draft of one hour or more, cut to a final
    presentation of twenty minutes or less)
  • Best original
    sermon manuscript
  • Best recycled
    sermon manuscript
  • Best achievement
    in visual effects (including but not limited to preacher’s attire)
  • Best performance
    by a preacher in a supporting role


any ideas of your own for future categories? Send them along (mail@preaching.com)
and we’ll share some of the best in a future issue of PreachingNow
(our weekly email newsletter).


Duduit is Editor of Preaching magazine and President of American Ministry
Resources. You can write to him at michael@preaching.com, or visit his website
at www.michaelduduit.com.

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About The Author


Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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