I sometimes get asked about who my favorite preachers are, and I often rattle off my list that includes those who are well known (John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, Al Mohler, John Piper) and those who are not well known (Jack Hughes, Ed Wilde, Rick Holland, Jesse Johnson). I know that there are tons of other preachers out there, but I often don’t like a preacher for the same reasons that others like them.
I often like guys who are not only competent biblical exegetes, but homileticians. Exegesis is what marks out guys worth listening to; people who rightly understand the scripture and get the meaning of a biblical passage correct (This rules out most preachers; many simply lack the training/tools/ability to properly uncover the meaning of the scripture…no names folks, no names.)
Homiletics marks out what guys are listenable; guys who package their material in such a way that it’s well presented. Well developed homiletics involves making a sermon logical, orderly, interesting, clear, accessible, well-paced, emotionally engaging and personally challenging. When people often don’t like a sermon, they often dislike it because of homiletical problems that they simply cannot put their finger on (i.e. when someone thinks a sermon is “boring”, they might actually be saying that the sermon was not accessible to them; the pastor didn’t connect with them by doing something like speaking in flowery theological language that simply turned them off.)
As of late, I’ve been really enjoying the preaching ministry of HB Charles Jr., pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville Florida. He’s both a competent exegete and a wonderful homiletician; his outlines are clear but not painful, he does word studies with subtlety and finesse, he always pushes his congregation to a personal application and he’s amazingly engaging (and honestly, he’s a southern black gentleman who isn’t afraid to use a little volume…as a Canadian Mennonite, I just enjoy that). I got the SMBC app on my Android phone and my wife and I enjoy listening through his preaching archives; we usually do a sermon every other day. If you’re always up listening to a great sermon, then I highly recommend HB Charles Jr.
Just alerting my 2 dozen readers to something that may or may not interest them.
Until Next Time,
Lyndon “solid on the exegesis, lousy on the homiletics” Unger