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.
Jeff Miller is a graduate of Nebraska Christian College in Papillion and Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Johnson City, Tennessee. He has held youth and worship ministries in Nebraska, Colorado, and Tennessee. He lives with his wife, Dana, in eastern Tennessee, where he teaches Bible at Milligan College. They have two adult daughters, Danielle and Cassady, and one granddaughter, Claire.
Jeff’s Best Sermon: Sara Barton, chaplain at Pepperdine University, preached the best sermon I’ve heard on pride. The sermon is entitled “Arrogance Dismantled” and was preached at the May 2015 Pepperdine Bible Lectures. The sermon is available at www.bing.com/videos/search?q=sara+barton+pepperdine+bible+lectures+sermon&&view=detail&mid=5315927FCDFB2B76798A5315927FCDFB2B76798A.
Why Jeff likes this sermon: “Based on James 4:11–5:6, the sermon is a call to be done with arrogant and judgmental attitudes and instead serve others, especially the poor. The sermon came alive as a powerful confluence of logos, pathos, and ethos. It rose to a crescendo with the final appeal, ‘Instead of sitting around and asking, Who exactly is my neighbor?—In the name of God, pick one!’ James the Just himself would surely have joined in applause with the thousands in attendance that day.”
Patrick Lightfoot moved to Colorado in 2002 with his wife of 18 years, Hannah, and two children, Nolan (12) and Libby (9). After working in the business world for 12 years, he felt God’s call to serve in full-time ministry. He served at Journey Christian Church in Greeley, Colorado, for four years as the adult minister until he felt God’s call again to plant Traverse Christian Church in Windsor, Colorado. Patrick has a passion for his community, discipling men, and enriching marriages. Most of all he loves seeing lives changed forever by Jesus Christ.
Patrick’s Best Sermon: “Flee Baby Flee” is the best sermon I’ve heard on why and how to put up sexual guardrails in your life. Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. The sermon is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=guQG_Bq8DeU.
Why Patrick likes this sermon: “The best sermons are the ones that give clear application based on biblical truths . . . and give an action for those listening to do immediately. Today’s culture is littered with sexual immorality, and the church is not immune to the opportunities of sexual temptations. Andy Stanley gives great practical advice based on 1 Corinthians 6:18-20 for married and single people of what guardrails people need to put in place to prevent falling in the area of sexual sin. “Flee Baby Flee” is a sermon I have sent to many men and couples to help encourage them in how to set boundaries to stay sexually pure.”
Alan Ahlgrim served as the founding and lead pastor of Rocky Mountain Christian Church in Longmont, Colorado, for 29 years. He now serves as pastor at large with the church and director of pastor care with Blessing Ranch Ministries in New Port Richey, Florida. His passion is to help leaders serve well despite difficult seasons and transitions.
Alan’s Best Sermon: The best sermon I’ve heard on struggle and difficulty was “The Land Between: Finding God in Difficult Transitions.” Rarely can I remember any message for long, including my own; however, this is one I can’t shake. Pastor Jeff Manion really snuck up on me at the Leadership Summit in 2010 with his message. So much so I even bought the book by the same title. Both the message and the book were more than timely as I continued to lead the ministry of Rocky Mountain Christian Church during a difficult season. As that season ended, my 29-year-ministry came to a close as God’s plan finally became clear. The sermon is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBak7qYvr6c.
Why Alan likes this sermon: “Life is filled with difficult and unwanted transitions. In my case, transitioning from being ‘pastor in charge’ to ‘pastor at large’ was a happy and healthy one. The years prior were the difficult years, and Jeff Manion helped me see that struggles in ‘The Land Between’ are to be expected. That’s part of the message I now share as I encourage leaders around the country to serve well in ‘The Land Between’ and to anticipate that by God’s grace the best is yet to be!”
Arron Chambers, a CHRISTIAN STANDARD contributing editor, serves as lead minister with Journey Christian Church, Greeley, Colorado.