Question: Who are your five or six favorite living preachers? Why? What can we learn from them?
It is difficult for me to list only 5 or 6 preachers that are my favorites who are still living. I listen to lots of preaching and I always have. I guess I would begin by saying that no one has impacted me, who is still living, more than John MacArthur. He is such a faithful expositor who simply walks us through the Bible and explains the text in a clear and careful manner. To this day, if I can listen to him on a particular book of the Bible that I might be teaching through, I make sure that I do. I have also been blessed over the years by the preaching ministry of Chuck Swindoll. What an incredible communicator and illustrator. We can learn much from him about how to tell a story. Of course when it comes to outstanding storytelling, no one does it better than Paige Patterson. I have also been blessed through the years by Jerry Vines. He has the ability to weave homiletical masterpieces that stay with you. I can remember the first time I ever heard him preach the sermon “Our Ascended Lord.” I must have listened to that particular message more than 100 times. And, I never grew weary of it! I also would commend gladly the preaching ministry of John Piper. What passion and theological precision! He always challenges me to think in terms of the greatness of our God, the sinfulness of man, and the glory of Christ. Again, any time I can listen to him I do.
Today, I am also blessed by the preaching ministry of a younger generation. I have been helped and edified by the preaching ministry of Mark Driscoll who is such an excellent communicator and faithful expositor within a healthy theological context. The same could be said for Matt Chandler. I also appreciate very much the preaching of David Platt, who reminds me of a younger John Piper! And, I would be remiss if I did not mention men like Alister Begg, Mark Dever, and Stephen Davey who are faithful and consistent expositors who serve up a delicious meal week after week for their people.
I also love the passion of Johnny Hunt and the homiletical craftsmanship of James Merritt. Robert Smith is also the total package when it comes to faithful biblical exposition. Two other African-American brothers who always bless me are Tony Evans and Eric Mason.
When I teach preaching I tell my students not to emulate any one man, but learn from them all. Ask yourself the question, “Why do I want to keep listening to this person preach again and again and again?” The men that I have mentioned in these 2 blogs are very different and yet at the same time they are very similar. All of them, given their own unique personality, gifts and abilities, faithfully teach the Word of God. That for me is the key. Anyone can deliver a single wowsier of a sermon! However, it is the man who can stand week after week after week and feed his people for years that is the model I want to emulate and pray our students will follow as well.