preachers of influence

I want to pick up on something I said in my last post. I was observing the influence of much admired and frequently listened to preachers on those who admire and listen to them. Here is a bit of what I said:

The preachers you listen to influence your own preaching. … I have spent hours listening to Mark Minnick. Mark was my Pulpit Speech teacher. I have intentionally tried to imitate his methods and something of his style. As I began listening to the Trinity messages this summer though (and most of them were Chuck Phelps), I caught myself a few times in the pulpit saying things in a way that sounded to me like the way Chuck would say it. I think Chuck has a certain cadence to his preaching that is a bit unique among preachers, and I was unconsciously (or semi-consciously) picking up on that.

Chuck himself mentioned this tendency among preacher boys in one of the messages I listened to today. He said that those who sat under Tom Malone often mimicked some of his habits as did those who sat under Dr Bob Sr. Of course, I have observed this with other admired preachers as well. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing!

But it does mean preachers need to be careful who they admire, who they listen to, and who influences them. I think that subject is probably worth another post at some point.

The influence of one preacher on another is all well and good if the admired and followed preacher is a fully faithful member of the clergy. You may pick up mannerisms – that is one thing. But much more you should pick up philosophy, methodology, zeal, and ministry patterns. And you will, if you make a study of a particular preacher or preachers.

That means you must choose your models very, very carefully. Some young men today are making extremely unwise choices in this regard.

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