Tag Archives: celebrity pastor

Top 10: Celebrity Pastors

I am writing about my favorite “celebrity pastors” today.  Know that I am not saying in any way that I agree with 100% of their views on 100% of issues.  I am merely relating that these men have had a valuable (invaluable?) impact on my life and I love to listen, read, and follow them.  A couple are retired from pastoring, but still preach to God’s glory.

10. Mark Driscoll

Ok.  With this one, you may have already stopped reading.  But Mark Driscoll is not all bad.  He is usually pretty good with his understanding of Scripture and his application as well. I disagree with him on his stance of “discernment,” and I do not believe that cussing is a good thing for pastors (or Christians) to do.  I will be honest, I haven’t actually listened to his sermons in quite some time.  Not since before the whole Mars Hill thing.  I know he is now in Scottsdale, AZ and pastoring there.  I follow him on Facebook and Twitter, but have not listened to any sermons as of yet.  I have read many of his books and have found them a good resource.

9. John MacArthur

I like John MacArthur.  He is always well-prepared and always has something to say.  I am not sure whether it is his voice or his style, but I find it hard to stay focused with him preaching. I have to be prepared to listen to him. I can’t have just eaten anything heavy or be in a warm room or I cannot stay focused, and by that I mean I can’t stay awake. It isn’t his fault; it’s mine.  I have no idea why they always have him preach after lunch at T4G.  His commentaries are fantastic, and I love his books (especially The Gospel According to Jesus)

8. Crawford Loritts

I haven’t listened to Dr. Loritts in four years.  For whatever reason Bott Radio in St. Louis doesn’t play him.  I used to listen every Sunday on Moody radio when I was living near Chicago.  He is, hands down, one of the finest preachers in America.  I love Dr. Crawford Loritts.

7. Tony Evans

I love listening to Dr. Evans because he is simply a down-to-earth preacher.  His illustrations are just out of this world.  I wish I could apply the Scriptures like he does.  It seems to come so easy for him.  He exposits and applies seamlessly.

6. Kevin DeYoung

If I am in need of a mental-challenge, I listen to Kevin DeYoung.  Actually, I really like listening to Kevin DeYoung.  He is clear, concise, and has a wry sense of humor that makes listening to him enjoyable and enlightening.  There is power in his preaching.  The Spirit uses him in mighty ways in my life.

5.John Piper (ret.)

John Piper was at one time my favorite pastor.  He is still in my top five.  It is nothing that he has done that brought him down, at least negatively.  It was John Piper who opened up my eyes to a vast array of reformed preachers.  Because of that, I have found other pastors that I connect with in a variety of ways.  I will probably always seek to know what John Piper says about an issue, and I can honestly say that I don’t hold any other pastor with that much honor.  So perhaps, he should be number one.

4. H. B. Charles, Jr.

I did not know who H. B. Charles, Jr. was until this past year, when I heard him at T4G.  But his sermon on 1 Corinthians got me hooked.  I began following him on Twitter and reading and listening more to him.  I loves me some H. B. Charles, Jr.

3. Matt Chandler

There is something about Chandler that makes me want to listen time and time again to his sermons.  His in-your-face with the truth but out of a love and desire to honor God, gets a hold of my heart and mind.

2. Ligon Duncan (ret.)

I wish Ligon Duncan was still pastoring.  I am grateful that he is still preaching.  I have never heard nor read anything (that doesn’t mean I’ve heard or read everything) that has not impacted my life in some real and meaningful way from Ligon Duncan.  At one point in my life, I needed to explain my own position on complementarianism.  I began to write an explanation, came across a sermon manuscript (or transcript) of his, read through it, and just printed it out.  I told everyone when I read it aloud that they were his words from his sermon, but that I agreed with them fully and that he said it in such a way that I never could.  I could listen to him all day long.

1. Mike Fabarez

I was introduced to Mike Fabarez on Bott Radio.  I guess you could say I traded a Loritts for a Fabarez.  He is the pastor of Compass Bible Church in California and he is probably the least well-known of all these that I’ve mentioned in this post.  If you’ve never listened to or know who Mike Fabarez is, I would highly recommend following him on Twitter (@pastormike) and going to compasschurch.org and listening to his sermons.  They are phenomenal.  He has an ease of preaching.  He is funny but then hits hard with the truth.  Every word he preaches is to make the Word of God known and the glory of God manifested.  He is never flippant about preaching.

That’s it!  That’s my top 10.  Any surprises?  Any you’d disagree with (besides Mark Driscoll)?  Who did I leave out?  As always I love hearing from you so let me know by giving me a comment and feel free to share.  By the way, my list of celebrity pastors is in no way intended to be a dishonor to non-celeb pastors who work just as hard and perhaps harder than these men.  The church is in need of you all.  In fact I wrote about that need here.

The Church Needs More Matthiases

Have you ever stopped to think about Matthias?  Not too many sermons go into detail about Matthias.  He is a blip on the radar screen.  He’s mentioned once in the first chapter of Acts and never given a second thought.  Even the legends and traditions of the church don’t know that much about him.  Some say he was stoned and others say he died naturally.  Some say he went to cannibals and some say he went elsewhere.  Apparently, no one thought enough to write down his story.  He is the least publicized apostle in Scripture.  We know more about the guy who wasn’t picked than we do about Matthias.  And that’s okay.  The church needs Matthiases.

Here is what we know about Matthias.  Matthias was around from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  He was there when Jesus was baptized and he was there when Jesus ascended into heaven.  Thus he obviously saw the resurrected Jesus.  All that leads to the conclusion that he fit the calling to be an apostle.  The other apostles prayed over him (and Joseph, aka Justus, aka Barsabbas).  The lot fell to Matthias.  God called him and the eleven acknowledged his calling.  That’s all we know.  And that’s okay.  The church needs more Matthiases.

The church had its celebrity preachers from the beginning.  Peter gave the first sermon at Pentecost and 3,000 souls were won to Christ.  He stood up to the councils, and proclaimed the name of Jesus unashamedly.  John was with him.  Philip, the deacon, went to Samaria and heralded the gospel to the people, and many were saved.  Yet Peter was sent to pray that they may receive the Holy Spirit.  John went with him.  Paul went all around the known world preaching and defending and debating.  Everyone knew of Peter, John, and Paul.  Apollos was another celebrity preacher.  When Paul chastised the Corinthians he chastised them because they were dividing the church over those whom they preferred, as if one was not truly saved because he was not led by Peter, Paul, or Apollos.  There was nothing inherently wrong with being a celebrity preacher.  What was wrong was the hearts of those who pitted them against one another.  Yet, in the midst of all of this fame, somewhere in the world was the apostle Matthias.  His devotion was unquestioned by his following Jesus from the beginning even though he was never among the 12 before the ascension.  He was never even hinted at until after Jesus was gone.  He didn’t have recognition.  He didn’t have fame.  And that’s okay.  The church needs more Matthiases.

Matthias was a no name preacher in some no name town, proclaiming the gospel to no name people.  That’s what the church needs.  I love John Piper, John MacArthur, Ligon Duncan, Mike Fabarez, Thabiti Anyabwile, and a whole bunch of other people that I’m sure you all like too.  I have no problem with these men being celebrity preachers.  Praise God for them!  But that pastor laboring in the middle of no where is doing just as much of God’s work (and maybe even more in some cases) than those to whose YouTube channel we subscribe.

If you’re a Matthias, God bless your work.  Do not lose heart.  I may never know your name; and only 1 person may ever watch those pixely sermon videos you film on your iPhone.  And that’s okay.  The church needs more Matthiases.  We need more men who will work and endure through obscurity and die without throngs of people watching the funeral streamed live on Facebook.  We need men who will pour their hearts and souls into people who never seem to grow as fast as you’d like and who aren’t out to be a big star someday.  We have our Pauls and our Apolloses and Peters; what we need is more people being okay with being Matthias.  Because the church needs more Matthiases.