Jan 9, 2012

When your preacher is not John Piper, or Tim Keller, or John Stott….

In a day when it is easy to spend a lot of our time listening to great preachers from around the world on the internet how can we ensure that we are learning from those who preach faithful sermons to us Sunday by Sunday without wishing they were someone else or we were somewhere else.


This post by Steve Burchett on the Gospel Coalition site offers 5 suggestions.

One point that stands out to me and I’ve found to be true in my own church is that “The mature worshiper is easily edified.” He or she knows they are not going to be hearing the best sermon that’s ever been preached at their local church but they are ready to receive from God and learn. If it is novelty we seek, if it’s new and profound insights to blow us away we crave, we may well be disappointed because few preachers can live up to such expectations. If it is an opportunity to consider afresh even the things we know, to renew our commitment to live  for Christ we should rarely be disappointed.

Mark Twain was right when he said ‘it’s not the parts that I don’t understand that bother me in the Bible. It’s the parts I do understand.’


  • Great post but Steve Burchett forgets to mention a 6th important way we can ensure both that we are learning and that our preachers are growing in faith and ability, through the gift and privilege of prayer.

  • Thanks Steve, That’s something so important to remember. I guess at the heart of the matter is whether or not as members of a church we seek to be men and women who are other-centred. If we are we will seek to support (particularly in prayer) our pastors.

  • Neil, I love this post. I want to be a worshipper who is easily edified. I am sure it is linked to seeing every context as one in which there is something for me to learn. The Twain quote is great too.

  • An interesting article, thanks. I remember going through a phase in my late teens of thinking that our preacher was ancient and irrelevant. When I went with this attitude, I received nothing. Then I caught myself on, and realised that although it may not be the most inspiring delivery ever, it certainly was God’s word being expounded. When I went with that spirit in my heart I always came back blessed. Expect nothing, and nothing is what you get. Go with a humble, receptive, expectant spirit, and the Lord will speak. “Speak, for your servant is listening” 1 Samuel 3:10

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