Even as many churches push for innovation, nothing can replace the power of a well-preached, gospel-centered message. Gallup has found that effective sermons still remain the biggest factor drawing Americans to church each Sunday.
This week, Baylor University’s Truett Theological Seminary released its 2018 ranking of the ministers who set the standard for contemporary sermons. It lists a cross-denominational mix of evangelical heavyweights ranging from Reformed leaders such as John Piper and Tim Keller, to classic preachers such as Chuck Swindoll and the late Haddon Robinson, to fresher voices such as Andy Stanley and Ralph Douglas West.
The 12 picks represent “the most effective preachers in the English-speaking world” (though all are based in the US), according to Truett’s survey of almost 180 sermon experts belonging to the Evangelical Homiletics Society and the Academy of Homiletics. The top preachers, in alphabetical order, are:
Alistair Begg, senior pastor at Parkside Church outside Cleveland. The author of Preaching for God’s Glory and the editor of the Spurgeon Study Bible, the Scotland-born preacher broadcasts his sermons through his Truth for Life radio ministry and serves on the council for the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
Tony Evans, founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. As the first African American to earn a doctorate in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, Evans has written and preached on the Cross as a remedy to racism. In 2009, he released a book dedicated to his favorite stories, quotes, and anecdotes from sermons; CT’s Preaching Today has featured a message he preached on finding joy in our differences.
Joel C. Gregory, endowed chair in preaching and evangelism at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Gregory?a contributor to Preaching Today?recently celebrated 50 years of preaching around the world, and through his ministry, he taught 170 times in 32 churches and 20 conferences last year alone.
Tim Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. Keller, who stepped down from weekly preaching at Redeemer last year, wrote in his 2015 book Preaching that “expository preaching should provide the main diet of preaching for a Christian community.”