Good Shepherds

The voices we listen to matter immensely in the quest for spiritual growth and deeper biblical understanding. After I wrote the blog series on false teachers, I was asked, “Who would you suggest we listen to?” It was a great question and made me think for a minute. I told you my dislikes, so I have listed some of my favorites in no particular order. This is not an exhaustive list either.

This blog highlights ten pastors whose teachings resonate with profound biblical insight and practical application. Each of these men brings a unique perspective to the study of Scripture and Christian living, making them valuable resources for any church community. As of the writing of this blog, there has been no fault or reason that any of these pastors should not be listened to.

1. Voddie Baucham
Voddie Baucham, a former pastor and current dean of theology at African Christian University in Zambia, is a respected voice in the areas of family, cultural apologetics, and church structure. His preaching often addresses the dynamics of family according to biblical principles, and he is a proponent of a strong, doctrinally sound church community. His powerful book, "Family Driven Faith," challenges Christians to embrace God's purpose for their families.

Baucham is a powerful speaker and a force when he is in the pulpit. He unapologetically preaches the gospel as well as its application to the Word.

2. John MacArthur
John MacArthur is renowned for his unwavering commitment to preaching the Bible as it is, for people as they are. With over five decades of pastoral experience, he serves as the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. MacArthur is also the president of The Master's University and Seminary and has authored numerous books, including "The Gospel According to Jesus." His sermons are characterized by a meticulous approach to exegesis and an earnest desire to uphold the truth of the Gospel.

While I don’t agree with MacAuthur's view of cessationism (the gifts of the Spirit have ceased)or the Five Points of Calvinism (secondary issues), I do feel he preaches sound doctrine that is edifying to the church. He’s not flashy or a charismatic speaker, but he delivers the Word of God for people to understand.

3. Jeff Durbin
Jeff Durbin is the pastor of Apologia Church in Arizona and a leader in Christian apologetics. He is especially known for his cultural commentary from a Reformed perspective. He actively engages with contemporary issues facing the church, bringing a distinctly biblical approach to topics such as abortion and cultural Marxism. His sermons are passionate and designed to equip believers to engage the culture with the truth of Scripture.

Thanks to his presence on social media, he has become increasingly popular over the years. His sermons are sound and he is an engaging speaker.

4. Charles Spurgeon
Charles Spurgeon, known as the "Prince of Preachers," was a Baptist preacher in the 19th century whose writings and sermons continue to be influential among Christians today. His church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, drew thousands each week. Spurgeon’s sermons are filled with rich, eloquent language and a deep pastoral concern for the spiritual welfare of his listeners.

Although none of his sermons are in audio, you can read them online for free. I have had the opportunity to read quite a few sermons through school and can hear his voice as if he were preaching.

5. Matthew Henry
Although he lived in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Matthew Henry's commentaries on the Bible remain a staple in theological studies. His work is known for its depth, practical application, and commitment to the exposition of Scriptural truths. His six-volume "Exposition of the Old and New Testaments" is a monumental resource for both pastors and laypeople.

Much of my commentary for sermons is from Henry. His scriptural insight is deep and very helpful. (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)

6. Craig Groeschel
Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of Life.Church, an evangelical multi-site church noted for its innovative use of technology to spread the Gospel, including developing the popular YouVersion Bible App. Groeschel began Life.Church in a two-car garage in 1996, and it has since grown to include dozens of locations across the United States with services broadcast globally online.

Groeschel is known for his practical and approachable style of preaching, which resonates well with a broad demographic, especially younger churchgoers. His teachings often focus on real-life issues like relationships, financial health, and personal challenges, providing biblical perspectives and solutions. His sermons are not very deep but have great "real-world" application. He is also a prolific author, with books like "The Christian Atheist" and "Chazown," that address critical aspects of living an authentic, effective Christian life. His leadership skills and vision for church growth and management have made him a respected voice in Christian leadership circles.

7. Chuck Swindoll
Chuck Swindoll was the senior pastor at Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, and the founder of Insight for Living Ministries. His teaching is known for its simplicity, humor, and practical application. Swindoll has written over 70 books, offering wisdom on issues ranging from spiritual authenticity to family dynamics.

Chuck has hundreds of sermons online, and they are well worth your time.

8. Warren Wiersbe
The late Warren Wiersbe was a well-respected biblical scholar and pastor, known particularly for his "Be Series" of commentaries, which cover nearly every book of the Bible. His teaching style was straightforward and accessible, focusing on how the Scriptures apply to everyday life.

9. Tim Keller
Tim Keller is the founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, a church known for its significant impact in a largely secular urban context. Keller's thoughtful, articulate, and engaging approach to Christian apologetics makes him a powerful voice for Christians living in a postmodern world. His numerous books address various aspects of faith and contemporary issues.

Keller is an amazing speaker and his sermons are well thought out with great application.

10. Local Pastor
This is not a plug for me but for all local pastors. We need to understand that we are commanded to be involved in a local church and encourage one another. (Hebrews 10:25). A local pastor often serves as a spiritual leader, mentor, and community builder within a church. This individual is typically responsible for leading services, preaching, and teaching, using biblical texts as the foundation for their messages. Their role extends beyond the pulpit; they also provide pastoral care, offering guidance, counseling, and support to members of their congregation during both challenging and celebratory times. This is where you should get the majority of your “feeding” and something you will not get from listening to others.

Although listening to others preach is not discouraged, I would encourage you to stay engaged with the local church and in tune with the biblical teaching while diving deeper into your own study of the Bible. This will help you better sift through the teachings of anyone you listen to and spot false teachings. Do not use a social media clip as your guide for good or bad teachings; take the sermons and personal walk of the pastor as a whole. Usually, where there is smoke, there is fire.

Each of these pastors has contributed significantly to the Christian faith through their preaching, teaching, and written works. By exploring their sermons and books, you can gain a richer understanding of the Bible and its application to life in the modern world. Whether through the timeless insights of Spurgeon and Henry or the contemporary challenges addressed by Keller and Durbin, these voices offer a wealth of wisdom and guidance for any believer seeking to grow in faith and understanding. Again, always use your bible as the lens through which you view the spoken Word and the World!

In Love,

Pastor Jody

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