Advice for young preachers

Remember all that furore last year about Mark Driscoll’s plans to go global – planting video screen churches all over the planet? Here’s some timeless advice Mark should probably listen to – pulled from a list of tips for young preachers.

Beware of the radio preachers.
As a new Christian I listened to many hours of Chuck Swindoll, Greg Laurie, Tony Evans, Billy Graham, John MacArthur and others and was blessed. However, when men preach for the radio they are preaching to the masses. Subsequently, they are not as likely to speak personally of themselves, their struggles, their families, and the specific issues in their church because they are preaching to America. Most pastors don’t preach to the nation or world, but just to their flock who need to know their pastor, see what the Holy Spirit has been doing with the Bible in their life, and how the Bible is integrated into their daily life and relationships instead of vague and general illustrations and principles that are true but not specific to their community. Also, younger preachers can often listen to so many hours of a radio preacher that they end up parroting him rather than finding their own voice and style.

Emphasis mine. You could quite easily replace the word “radio” with “internet” and have it still ring true. The catch – this quote is from Mark Driscoll’s own list of tips for preachers. Which is mostly useful.


Stuart says:

The thing is, for people like Driscoll, Keller, and Chandler, what they do works at home first. That is, however many downloads Driscoll gets, his week-to-week preaching still makes it sound like the Bible was written in Seattle. He's preaching to his congregations, and we're listening in.

I think that's probably going to be the way for any 'movement': it has to work locally first, before it can be a blessing beyond. If you try to build something that works for everyone without first having something that works for these people in particular, you'll probably hit exactly the problem Driscoll is outlining.

(Meanwhile, I just think it's an error for anyone to try to replicate Driscoll, but that's another discussion.)