Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My top 5 well known living preachers...

Adrian Warnock has put out a call for us in the Blogosphere to list our top 5 well known living preachers.

So, in that spirit, here are my top ones:

1) CJ Mahaney - Mahaney leads Sovereign Grace Ministries. I had the chance to see him preach in person last fall along with Dr. Wayne Grudem. Mahaney has a way of communication that is unique, engaging, challenging and inspiring.
2) John MacArthur - MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California. I love the way he preaches the truth, pedal to the medal, and does not back down.
3) Leith Anderson - Anderson leads Wooddale Church, Eden Prairie, MN. You may know him from his ministry Faith Matters. There is simply something about his preaching that draws me in. It's simple yet deep. He has incredible sound bites that can really spur thought.
4) John Piper -Piper leads Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN. You may also know him from his Desiring God Ministries. Piper is always deep. I often prefer reading Piper's sermons to listening to them, so I can digest them at my own speed.
5) Bob Merritt -Bob is the lead pastor of Eagle Brook Church, White Bear Lake, MN. I was Bob's Teaching Assistant at Bethel Seminary for two years, so I'm a bit partial. Bob is also the least "famous" of pastors on this list, but he is incredibly gifted as a communicator. Bob has a way of teaching truths in a way that anyone can latch onto them. He has led his church from a modest 350 people to over 6000 in the past 13 years. They are impacting their community in great ways, and equipping people for ministry. There are a number of other people that preach from time to time at Eagle Brook Church that I enjoy, including Dan Rotach and Dave Tilma. I have served with Dave in ministry, and have been a Teaching Assistant for Dan Rotach at Seminary as well.
5a) John Ortberg -Orberg is teaching pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, Menlo Park, California. Every time I listen to Ortberg, he blows me away. He gets to be my 5a in case Merrit doesn't count. He is probably deserving to be in my top 5 anyhow, so I'll leave him.


Brenton Balvin said...

5 Guys I am Listening To...

1. Ed Young
2. Rob Bell
3. Brian McLaren
4. Brian Tome
5. Bill Hybels

A pretty different list than yours. I guess that tells us something about theological viewpoints, eh?

Chris Meirose said...

Not necessarily. I've listened to almost everything ever done (plus read) by Bill Hybels. Ed Young just doesn't really interest me, though there are certainly times he is great. For me he's either hit or miss, and since there are so many others out there, he doesn't get much of my time. I don't listen to McLaren, and won't. I'm not familiar with Tome, and I have listened to a number of things by Rob Bell. I enjoy Rob Bell, but my issue with him is that stylistically I cannot emulate what he does, so I again focus more on others. I don't think Bob Merrit is far from Hybels, and he frequently borrows from Rob Bell. I can sometimes incorportate what Bell does, but I could never translate it into my current ministry context without greatly compromising what he does.

I don't always agree with the theology of any of the posted people, but I learn tons on how to craft a message, how to communicate. That, as much as anything, is what I am looking to gain. I appreciate deep theological things, things that challenge me and apply to my life, but I really want to grow as a preacher. I had basically lived in a place where we didn't hear much conservative and Reformed preaching on radio/TV, so I am now getting that in ample doses.

Honestly, I go through periods though, and before I was listening to what I am now, (2-3 years ago) I listen to a ton of Chuck Swindoll and Calvery Chapel preachers - Chuck Smith, Bobby Coy etc. Some of it is simply what is readily available for me to listen to/watch.

And as far as Theologically speaking, if you embrace the BGC Affirmation of Faith statement, then you and I are incredibly close theologically.

Big Chris