The Best Sermon I’ve Ever Heard (8)
By Arron Chambers
Christian leaders, some of them preachers themselves, tell us about a sermon they can’t forget—and maybe you won’t either.
TRACEY D. LAWRENCE
Tracey D. Lawrence is an author and professor. She has written for Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint, the Wilberforce Forum, Promise Keepers, Sheila Walsh, Rebecca St. James, and others. She holds a BS in Christian education and an MA in church history and theology. Her book written with Eric Irivuzumugabe, My Father, Maker of the Trees, a memoir of the Rwandan genocide, was featured on The New York Times best-seller list. Tracey serves as a professor of biblical studies at Colorado Christian University. Her website is www.scribeink.net.
Tracey’s Best Sermon Series: The best sermons for leadership on pastoring and American church consumerism is a series by Eugene Peterson, retired pastor, scholar, and author best known for the modern Bible paraphrase, The Message. The sermon series is accessible at www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZS7-s6rn3I.
Why Tracey likes this sermon series: “Peterson is a pastor to pastors. He uses the story of Jonah to illustrate how church leadership often flees from the Lord’s presence, even while doing all expected status quo duties of shepherding. Jonah’s preaching was at his worst when he dutifully obeyed, but it became more sensitive to the lost in his wandering disobedience. Peterson candidly warns against wanderlust and [stresses] we need pastors to remain committed to their congregations.”
Ryan Allcott decided to enter Christian ministry while attending a Christ in Youth conference at Milligan College in Tennessee. He has served at Buffalo Valley Christian Church and Harrison Christian Church, both in Johnson City, Tennessee, and currently serves as communications and programming manager for the NACC. He is proud to be the husband of Haylie and the father of Lucy Kate.
Ryan’s Best Sermon: The best sermon I ever heard on dealing with depression in ministry was by Shawn Spradling, senior pastor of Center Pointe Christian Church, Liberty Township, Ohio. Watch the sermon at www.cpcc.church/resources/messages/the-water-walker/.
Why Ryan likes this sermon: “It can be tempting in ministry to hide your struggles and put on a good face for your church members. In this sermon, Shawn opens up about wrestling with depression in his own life; his openness showed us that it’s OK to admit you’re hurting and ask for help, something we all can get better at doing.”
Will Mullins is executive pastor at Journey Christian Church in Irvine, California. During 20-plus years of full-time ministry, Will has served as a lead pastor, teaching pastor, and executive pastor with churches in Ohio and California. In 2001, his church was one of five to receive the Purpose Driven Church Health Award from pastor Rick Warren. He has been a church planter, led churches through major transitions, and has worked in administration in the medical field. Will is serving on the Executive Committee for the 2016 North American Christian Convention in Anaheim, California.
Will’s Best Sermon: The best sermon I have ever heard on homosexuality and gay marriage was “What’s the Big Deal About Homosexuality and Gay Marriage?” (accessible at https://vimeo.com/119706007). It was part of a series entitled “You Asked For It,” where congregants submitted questions to be addressed in a sermon.
Why Will likes this sermon: “This sermon was delivered by Gene Appel, lead pastor at Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, California, in February 2015. Gene’s message is very clear that God loves everyone, and John 3:16 has no qualifiers on it. Gene speaks directly to the LGBT community (‘You are welcome here’) and he speaks directly to the church (‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself’). He uses the truth of the Scripture to address the sin that is present in each of us, and how we all need transformation that comes from the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Arron Chambers serves as lead minister with Journey Christian Church, Greeley, Colorado.