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.
Neill Snyder grew up in the church and became a Christian at the age of 12. His love for Latino people led him to plant Iglesia Cristiana Southwest in Denver, Colorado. He and his wife, Rosy, have two preschool-age children.
Neill’s Best Sermon: The best sermon on compassion is “Get God in Your Gut” by Vince Antonucci. The sermon can be heard at http://vivalaverve.org/media/messages (it’s part of the Renegade series).
Why Neill likes this sermon: “It is one of my favorites because it explains what Christ had when he had compassion on a great multitude of people. This nearly four-year-old message still colors my thinking.”
Dan Schaffner and his wife, Sue, live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where they get to enjoy God’s creation. He loves animals, music, books, and sports, but most of all he loves people. He serves as pastoral care minister with Journey Christian Church in Greeley, Colorado.
Dan’s Best Sermon: Every new sermon, no matter who speaks it, is great because it’s fresh and touches me in that very moment of time. One that has affected me greatly recently was preached by Ramelia Williams at Jesus People USA in Chicago, Illinois. “When Did Your Hope Die?” is based on Hebrews 6:17-20 and is available at http://jpusa.org/sermons/when-did-your-hope-die/.
Why Dan likes this sermon: “This sermon is one of encouragement for the broken person. Ramelia mentions different individuals from Scripture, their painful situations, and how God touched them at what seemed to be a hopeless time in their lives. Ramelia also reveals some of her personal hopelessness, which gave me helpful insight into my sister in Christ. It reminded me that everyone’s perceived reality and hopelessness is real to them even if I don’t see it. I need to accept this if I am to minister to people effectively to help them regain hope.”
Matt Shears serves as director of alumni relations at Johnson University. He is a 2016 graduate of Johnson University and is currently an MDiv student at Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan College. Matt also serves as a representative of the Christian churches/churches of Christ on the Stone-Campbell Dialogue. He and his wife, Lauren, have been married for a year.
Matt’s Best Sermon: The best sermon I have ever heard on what it means to be part of God’s community was “When the Roll Is Called Down Yonder” by Fred Craddock. Watch the sermon at www.youtube.com/watch?v=X20Sd8NKLsk.
Why Matt likes this sermon: “The sermon text was the list of personal greetings at the end of Romans 16. He talked about how each of these names was a particular person who had a particular role within the life of the community. The sermon focused on how God’s community is just that . . . a community. We are a group of people who share a common connection through Christ. More than the programs we have, the buildings we build, and the goals we set, the item that defines us most is our relational connection with each other. We can live out our faith only within the context of community, and for that we rely on each other—the church.”
Seth Andrews came to Christ his senior year of high school while attending Wednesday night Bible study at his home church in Elizabethton, Tennessee. His minister, John H. Smith, mentored and encouraged him to go into Christian ministry. Seth obtained at BA in Bible and preaching from Johnson University Tennessee (2005) and an MA in religion in Christian leadership from Liberty University School of Divinity (2009). He has ministered with churches in Tennessee and North Carolina. He currently works as an emergency medical technician and provides supply ministry to churches in northeast Tennessee. He is the husband of Ashley, and they have three sons.
Seth’s Best Sermon: The best sermon I’ve heard on persevering in ministry is by Scott Kenworthy, lead and teaching pastor at Owensboro (Kentucky) Christian Church. The sermon was delivered at Johnson University Tennessee Homecoming 2016. Listen to it at http://bit.ly/2eghAQX.
Why Seth likes this sermon: “The powerful sermon from Isaiah 2:1-5 inspired me to persevere through the difficult, draining times of ministry. He exhorted those attending to find seasoned ministers to ‘fan into flame the gift of God’ (2 Timothy 1:6), and for those seasoned in the ministry to mentor and encourage Christians to use their gifts and abilities to carry the gospel to our particular ‘vocations and locations.’”
Arron Chambers, a CHRISTIAN STANDARD contributing editor, serves as lead minister with Journey Christian Church, Greeley, Colorado.