Q&A 16 (Part 2): Who are your five or six favorite preachers?

Question: Who are your five or six favorite living preachers? Why? What can we learn from them?


It is difficult for me to list only 5 or 6 preachers that are my favorites who are still living. I listen to lots of preaching and I always have. I guess I would begin by saying that no one has impacted me, who is still living, more than John MacArthur. He is such a faithful expositor who simply walks us through the Bible and explains the text in a clear and careful manner. To this day, if I can listen to him on a particular book of the Bible that I might be teaching through, I make sure that I do. I have also been blessed over the years by the preaching ministry of Chuck Swindoll. What an incredible communicator and illustrator. We can learn much from him about how to tell a story. Of course when it comes to outstanding storytelling, no one does it better than Paige Patterson. I have also been blessed through the years by Jerry Vines. He has the ability to weave homiletical masterpieces that stay with you. I can remember the first time I ever heard him preach the sermon “Our Ascended Lord.” I must have listened to that particular message more than 100 times. And, I never grew weary of it! I also would commend gladly the preaching ministry of John Piper. What passion and theological precision! He always challenges me to think in terms of the greatness of our God, the sinfulness of man, and the glory of Christ. Again, any time I can listen to him I do.

Today, I am also blessed by the preaching ministry of a younger generation. I have been helped and edified by the preaching ministry of Mark Driscoll who is such an excellent communicator and faithful expositor within a healthy theological context. The same could be said for Matt Chandler. I also appreciate very much the preaching of David Platt, who reminds me of a younger John Piper! And, I would be remiss if I did not mention men like Alister Begg, Mark Dever, and Stephen Davey who are faithful and consistent expositors who serve up a delicious meal week after week for their people.

I also love the passion of Johnny Hunt and the homiletical craftsmanship of James Merritt. Robert Smith is also the total package when it comes to faithful biblical exposition. Two other African-American brothers who always bless me are Tony Evans and Eric Mason.

When I teach preaching I tell my students not to emulate any one man, but learn from them all. Ask yourself the question, “Why do I want to keep listening to this person preach again and again and again?” The men that I have mentioned in these 2 blogs are very different and yet at the same time they are very similar. All of them, given their own unique personality, gifts and abilities, faithfully teach the Word of God. That for me is the key. Anyone can deliver a single wowsier of a sermon! However, it is the man who can stand week after week after week and feed his people for years that is the model I want to emulate and pray our students will follow as well.

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  1. Bruce H   •  

    I would like to add to your list David Jeremiah. He and John MacArthur are my favorites.

    I was saved at 25 and asked to lead music in a start-up church on the other side of town. I knew very little about scripture and, honestly, it looked like a mountain to tunnel through. After about 2 years I was beginning to starve for the meat of the word preached even though I was reading the Bible. Our pastor was more of an evangelist with no depth in his sermons. When I would come to his office to let him know it was time to begin the services I would hear a tape of someone preaching. He would let me in and we would pray together and go out to the services. I remeber seeing a bowl full of cassett tapes of John MacArthur. I finally asked the pastor if I could listen to a couple of them and his answer was unexpected. He said, “That is over your head.” Looking back, I understand why I was so hungry.

  2. Scott H   •  

    I would have to say that tastes in preaching vary as some of the men you mentioned in both articles are among my favorites but you also mention some that are not my cup of tea. Among those preachers of the past, Adrian Rogers certainly was tremendous but I would also include E.V. Hill in a list of favorite preachers. Among those active today that were not mentioned in your list, Louie Giglio is one who preaches in a way that captures the greatness and majesty of God and the meaning of the Atonement. I would also add Wayne Barber and Mel Blackaby to this list of great current day preachers. Some that you mentioned I am not familiar with (Matt Chandler, Robert Smith, Eric Mason) so I would like to hear some of their messages at some point.

  3. Luis Luna   •  

    What about Steven Furtick?

  4. Jay Bre   •  

    He’s not as well known, but one of the best preachers around is Mac Brunson at First Baptist-Jacksonville Fla.

  5. Jimmy Jones   •  

    My hero, D. L. Lowrie, Pastor Emeritus of First Baptist Church of Lubbock, Texas, is a great Spirit-anointed expository preacher.

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