2013 Top posts #3 – How to have a famous guest preacher every Sunday


spurgeon“And today, we have a guest preacher….”

….you’ve probably had weeks where you wished you could say that on Sunday. And you’ve a speaking suspicion that your church has Sundays where they wished you could say it too.

Over the years I’ve come to admire a wide range of preachers, some well known and many others quietly and faithfully preaching in their churches, but all people who do the task of opening God’s word with faithfulness and clarity – and with a distinctive style.

I now have a list of them, and when I preach I ask myself, ‘If this person were preaching this sermon, what would it contain?’

Some of my list are my friends, not in any kind of spotlight, and I have left them off this list – you’ll want to include yours. too. But here are well-known ones I regularly invite to preach my sermon for me (and, yes I know they are all men, and yes I know they are all white: share the fabulous ones I have missed in the comments below). I physically go through this list, and force myself to answer each question:

20130712-115726.jpgIf Dick Lucas were preaching this sermon, he’d open my eyes to something I’d never seen before in the text, even though it’s obvious.

So I must…

iu-5If David Platt were preaching this sermon, there would be an unmistakeable and uncomfortable challenge to my life.

So I must…

20130712-120302.jpgIf Vaughan Roberts were preaching this sermon, it would be so clear that no one could miss a single thought.

 So I must…

20130712-120507.jpgIf Andy Stanley were preaching this sermon, he would ask only four questions: what do people need to know, and why do they need to know it; what do people need to do, and why do they need to do it? (A topic for another day – I suggest we add, what do people need to feel, and why do they need to feel it?)

So I must…

20130712-120430.jpgIf John Piper were preaching this sermon he would insist on the glory of God being the unchallenged heart of it, and he would be on fire with that.

So I must…

20130712-120448.jpgIf Peter Jensen were preaching this sermon, there would be a pattern of tension and release, and moving people from what they know, to the unknown.

So I must…

20130712-120332.jpgIf Tim Keller were preaching this sermon, he would make a point of deliberately addressing the objections of intelligent non-Christians.

So I must…

20130712-120535.jpgIf Rick Warren were preaching this sermon, he would have taken great pains to be memorable in his structure.

So I must…

20130712-120052.jpgAnd – not a preacher but a writer – if it were Michael Hyatt speaking, you would know what’s at stake.

So I must…

Who are the guest preachers you’d invite, and what would they bring to the party? Chip in below!

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6 comments on “2013 Top posts #3 – How to have a famous guest preacher every Sunday”

    1. Sorry if it’s a challenge, Nick! I keep the list on my ipad, and check it two or three times during my prep for a couple of minutes. That’s all.

  1. Thanks Chris, a helpful reminder for me even when Sunday is approaching. Little ideas tucked away can begin to shape helpful patterns. Hope you’re well.

  2. Very helpful. I like to think hard about my audience and imagine who would do the best job of persuading them. Some will benefit from a thoughtful, reasonable, Keller, others need a robust,fiery Piper.
    I’ve been reading Spurgeon’s sermons recently and have found my passion rating moving up a few notches. I’d hate to fake passion each week as I think it is bad for the soul, but I’m increasingly convinced that we can be a bit “buttoned up”, even when discussing life and death issues.
    Another one for the list is David Cook who will get to the nub of the issue and nail it with a couple of perfectly chosen anecdotes or illustrations.

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