As I was listening to a sermon by one of my favorite living preachers tonight, I thought I should give a short list of my favorite preachers of 2006. As a preacher I get great reward from hearing the preaching of others. Not only because it helps me learn what good preachers do and say, but because I get the Gospel over and over again.
These five preachers have been my Gospel teachers over the past year more than anyone else. I subscribe to their sermons and/or podcasts. They are in no particular order (except for the first one).
The sermons of Dr. Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, have haunted me for a couple of years now, but never so much as in 2006. He has a number of free sermons on the web that I link to on my Tim Keller Resources page. I also have a paid subscription to the weekly preaching at Redeemer, which includes mostly Keller sermons but others as well at Redeemer.
Keller's sermons are intellectual, a little more sedated than I normally like, and very reasonable. What is best about Keller's preaching is his simple explanation of the Gospel and truth. My Gospel vernacular is forever changed because of his sermons.
Bottom line: there is no other sermon resource that has so deeply challenged and changed me. Get on board.
Rick McKinley is the pastor of Imago Dei in Portland. On the surface Rick awakens my inner surfer. Is that an accent? Whatever it is, it works. McKinley is great on Kingdom and Gospel issues. He also speaks both practically and pastorally about simple and difficult issues alike. I rarely hear him preach without feeling compelled to get up and love my neighbor.
Matt Chandler is pastor of The Village Church near Dallas. He is a passionate guy with a solid handle on Scripture, quick wit, and compelling application. His sermon, "Gravity," is easily the most important message I heard in 2006 (video here). Matt is my wife's second favorite preacher next to me (I have to say that, don't I?).
Mark Driscoll, a little known pastor in Seattle (Mars Hill Church), has been a life-changer for me. Mark preached to my wife and me at least once a week in the first half of 2006. We would put on one of his sermons while doing "sabbath" on Mondays in my home.
Driscoll keeps you listening though his humor (which is sometimes over the top), but his content and theology are what feeds. What he often does best is kick your butt with the truth and open your eyes to the grace of Christ. We have been so thankful for what we have learned through Mark.
I'm sure a few people will gasp at my listing of Bell in my favorite preachers of 2006. Doesn't he have theological issues? Doesn't he waver on hell and love McLaren (which for some is essentially the same as wavering on hell)?
I don't agree with everything I've heard in Rob Bell's sermons (same goes for any preacher). But I've listened enough to know this guy loves Jesus, strives for Scripturally accurate sermons, and aches to see lives changed by the Gospel. So even if Bell hiccups on occasion, I can't help but be challenged and compelled to faithfulness through his preaching.
Find his sermons and podcast feed at the MHC site.