Tim Keller, John Piper and Andy Stanley among the 12 "most effective" preachers (2023)

While many churches strive to innovate, nothing can replace the power of a well-preached, gospel-centric message. Gallup found that effective sermons still stickthe biggest factorAmericans go to church every Sunday.

This week Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor Universitypublished its 2018 rankingof preachers who set the pattern for contemporary sermons. He lists a multi-denominational mix of evangelical heavyweights, from Reformed leaders like John Piper and Tim Keller, to classic preachers like Chuck Swindoll and the late Haddon Robinson, to more recent voices like Andy Stanley and Ralph Douglas West.

According to Truett's poll of nearly 180 preaching experts affiliated with the Evangelical Homiletics Society and the Academy of Homiletics, the 12 picks represent "the most effective preachers in the English-speaking world" (although all are based in the US).

The most important preachers in alphabetical order are:

Alistair Beg, senior pastor of Parkside Church outside of Cleveland. the author ofpreaching for the glory of Godand editor of the Spurgeon Study Bible, the Scottish-born preacher broadcasts his sermons via histruth for lifeRadio ministry and board member of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.

Toni Evans, founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. Evans was the first African American to receive a doctorate in theology from Dallas Theological Seminarywrittenand preached on the cross as a remedy for racism. In 2009 he published a book dedicated to his favorite sermon stories, quotes and anecdotes; TCspreach todaypresented a message in which he preachedFind joy in our differences.

Joel C. Gregory, Endowed Chair in Preaching and Evangelism at the George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Gregory - acontributorforpreach today– recently celebrated 50 years of ministering around the world, and through his ministry he has taught 170 times in 32 churches and 20 conferences in the last year alone.

Timo Keller, founding pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City.Keller, WHOcome downfrom last year's weekly sermon on the Savior,he wrotein his 2015 booksermonthat "explainatory preaching should be the most important preaching diet for a Christian fellowship."

Thomas G. Longo, professor emeritus of preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Long described his preaching process ina 1991 interview with CT pastors, urged pastors to stick to “one-point sermons” and admitted his own critical view of her sermon: “I think serious preachers, preachers who are dedicated to this task, have to learn to forgive themselves that they don't produce factory cousins ​​every week. ”

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Otis Moos III, senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. The 40-year-old activist and minister, who was ordained in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ, is the youngest on the list. The Moss Congregation is best known as the Church in whichPresident Barack Obamacame to Christ.

Johannes Piper, longtime pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and founder of Desiring God.Pfeiferis attributedPopularization of Reformed Theologyamong a younger generation, many of whom were attracted to him after hisEpic Popular Sermon "Don't Waste Your Life"at the 2000 Passion Conference. 2010 LifeWay Research survey of Protestant pastorsclassifiedamong the 10 most influential preachers alive. Today he is chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis.

Haddon Robinson, past president and professor of preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston. the book by robinsonBiblical sermonIt is a required text for seminars and Bible colleges. Hedied last yearat the age of 86 and is remembered as an unrivaled championexponential sermon.

Andy Stanley, founding pastor of North Point Community Church and North Point Ministries near Atlanta. The megachurch pastor often describes how he tailors his sermons to resonate with both church and non-believer audiencesReplacing common phrases like “The Bible Says”with more precise settings. He is the son of the founder of In Touch Ministries.Karl Stanley; Father and son made LifeWay's top 10 list.

Charles Swindoll, senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. In addition to his radio ministry, Swindoll has led churches since 1963 and claims to have done sono plans to retire. In 2002, readers ofleading newspapercalledSwindoll the country's most effective preacher and the 2010 LifeWay pollfoundhis influence is second only to Billy Graham.

Barbara Braun Taylor, former episcopal priest, professor, author and theologian. She has served on the faculty of Columbia Theological Seminary, the Candler School of Theology at Emory, and the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University. Taylor wrote to CT pastors in "preach terror' and ventured into more recent books like Unconventional SpiritualityAn altar in the world. She also made LifeWay's top 10 list.

Ralph Douglas Oeste, founder and senior pastor of The Church Without Walls in Houston. Pastor of a multi-site megachurch and associate professor of preaching in Truett, West thought about itMartin Luther King jr. als Prediger, and a sermon by him on Christian maturitybe depicted in; characterized inpreach today.

A third of the preachers listed - Long, Robinson, Swindoll and Taylor - also performed at Baylorprevious list of most effective preachers, launched more than 20 years ago. The 1996 squad naturally included Graham; in honor of the legendary evangelist, CT recently investigatedwhy your sermon worked.

"Some things about preaching are timeless," like Bible teaching, the need for careful exegesis, and an awareness of context, said W. Hulitt Gloer, director of Truett's Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching, which led the sermonOpinion poll. "The form of the sermon may change, but the message remains the same."

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Gloer told CT that the styles of popular preachers vary wildly, even those who still stand behind a pulpit with their notes and follow the stage with wireless microphones and video illustrations.

Respondents were asked to rate preachers on seven criteria: biblical/exegetical quality, relevance, personal character, theology, preaching style, effective communication, and delivery. The 12 on the list were the most voted out of 1,000 nominees.

"To meet the demands that lie ahead, we need the same biblical, exegetical, and theological skills that we have always needed in the past, but we also need more improvisational, cultural, and cross-cultural skills than we do now," said Jared E. Alcántara , Homiletic Assistant to the Professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

"This historic moment compels us to learn how to timely preach timeless truths to diverse communities."

A quarter of the pastors on the list -- Evans, Moss, and West -- are African American. CNN's John Blakedescribedhis style in relation to the black church tradition:

Mos's approach to preaching is steeped in what he calls the "blue-note gospel," a message informed by the passionate prophetic tradition of the black church. He will quote Gaynor's disco anthem, a passage by author Flannery O'Connor and the Book of Isaiah, all in one sermon. West's powerful performance also embodies the black church's "start slow, climb higher, meet the fire and back off" approach.

Gloer emphasized the importance of exposing seminary students to a variety of preaching styles for inspiration and example. The broad list shows that there is no single way to preach effectively and that God speaks through many voices and approaches. "Each student has to find their own voice," he said.

But today's leading ministers also teach a measure ofinfluence and fame, and aspiring pastors and churchgoers can be enticed by a particular teacher's offerings—which, thanks to streaming video and videos, are more accessible than everSermon Podcasts. (It's no coincidence that Stanley, Swindoll, Piper, Keller, and Begg make the top 15Most Popular Christian PodcastsIt's iTunes.)

(Video) Andy Stanley & Tim Keller admonished at 2023 Shepherd's Conference Q&A w/ Pastor John MacArthur

As CT noted, the internet, particularly social media, has also increased the pressure on ministersaddress current eventsenavigate political issuesin his sermons.

But ultimately, the most effective ministers have an even higher calling.

"In a world where speech is cheap and seems to go on forever, the preacher must reclaim the priority and power of the word," Gloer said in onepress release.

“The Hebrew understanding of the words is that they both say something and do something. You have the power to bless and curse, to hurt and heal, to build and destroy. In fact, the worldview you work with is based on the words you know. Words are the tools of the preacher and that gives them incredible power."

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Tim Keller, John Piper and Andy Stanley among the 12 "most effective" preachers? ›

John MacArthur is probably the best known expository preacher in America, and is a proponent of the expository method of preaching (and an outspoken opponent of the topical method as used almost exclusively by some churches).

Who are the best expository preachers? ›

John MacArthur is probably the best known expository preacher in America, and is a proponent of the expository method of preaching (and an outspoken opponent of the topical method as used almost exclusively by some churches).

Who is the oldest living pastor in the United States? ›

The organization he founded in 1967, Eagle Mountain International Church Inc. (EMIC), is based in Tarrant County, Texas.
Kenneth Copeland
Years active1967–present
Political partyRepublican
MovementWord of Faith
6 more rows

What is a good preacher? ›

Great preachers make Scripture come alive for their listeners. They bring out the wisdom and life changing truth in God's Word. They make the Bible relatable and easy to understand. Great preachers motivate listeners to go home and read their Bible!

What is expository teaching from the Bible? ›

By expositionally, [he means] preaching in such a way that the meaning of the Bible passage is presented entirely and exactly as it was intended by God.” He defines expository preaching as “the proclamation of the truth of God as mediated through the preacher.” Expository preaching is as old as the Torah.

What is the most effective style of preaching? ›

One of the most effective styles of preaching is the expository sermon. These are sermons that are grounded in the biblical text and allow the biblical text to provide the theme and structure of the sermon.

Is expository preaching good or bad? ›

Expository preaching affirms a high view of Scripture.

To do so is illogical, and it undermines one's claim to believe in the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of Scripture. Consistent exposition affirms a Bible that is true, powerful, and life changing.

What is the name of the richest pastor in the world? ›

Without a doubt, Kenneth Copeland is the richest pastor in the world right now. The Kenneth Copeland Ministries was founded by him.

Who is the pastor of the largest church in the United States? ›

1: Lakewood Church. With the largest megachurch in the country, pastor and televangelist Joel Osteen reaches some 7 million television viewers in the U.S. with his "Christian light"-style message, which is broadcast to more than 100 countries.

Who is the pastor of the world's largest church? ›

David Yonggi Cho - Wikipedia.

What not to say to a preacher? ›

13 Things a Churchgoer Should Never Say to a Pastor
  • “You couldn't preach your way out of a paper bag.” ...
  • “We get it; we need to share the gospel. ...
  • “I can't look at you when you preach because you don't wear a suit. ...
  • “We aren't going to get as close to you as the last pastor.” ...
  • “You obviously don't look at my tithe amount.”
Oct 18, 2021

What should you not do when preaching? ›

Four Preaching Don'ts to Avoid
  1. Don't tackle too much information or cover too many topics. ...
  2. Don't stand up to preach until your heart is captivated by the truth you're proclaiming. ...
  3. Don't be afraid to call people to action and commitment. ...
  4. Don't preach to people who are not there.
Mar 19, 2018

What is difference between a preacher and a pastor? ›

What's the difference between a pastor and a preacher? While a pastor's role is incredibly varied, a preacher is someone who preaches. Simply put, all pastors are preachers, but not all preachers are pastors.

What are the 4 styles of preaching? ›

The four most common are: verse-by-verse, thematic, narrative, and topical. There are many different kinds of expositional preaching. The four most common are: verse-by-verse, thematic, narrative, and topical.

What are the three types of preaching? ›

With that in mind, let's look at these three methods.
  • Expository Preaching. This method is generally used by those who hold the Bible in high regard. ...
  • Textual Preaching. The textual method is preaching through a section of the Bible (or section of a book of the Bible). ...
  • Topical Preaching.
Mar 5, 2009

What are the 5 parts of a sermon? ›

So there they are—the 5 C's of preaching: Contextual, Convictional, Clear, Compassionate, Cross-centered. I pray they will serve you well.

What is the secret to great preaching? ›

The secret of great preaching, according to Charley Reeb, is to engage your listeners.

What preaching methods did Jesus use? ›

Jesus used two teaching methods—storytelling and a teachable moment—to illustrate and summarize this truth into three words: The Good Samaritan. These three words bring to memory an example of what it takes to be a good neighbor and shows an example of love.

What is black preaching? ›

The Black sermonic tradition, or Black preaching tradition, is an approach to sermon (or homily) construction and delivery practiced primarily among African Americans in the Black Church. The tradition seeks to preach messages that appeal to both the intellect and the emotive dimensions of humanity.

What is bad preaching? ›

Bad preaching either simply tells the story of Jesus, focuses on laws for people to fulfill, or plays on their emotions. Good preaching proclaims that this Christ is 'for you' and brings about comfort and joy.

What is the opposite of expository preaching? ›

For the purpose of this article we will look at the differences of the two under these two working definitions: Expository preaching is exegeting the text while systematically working through an entire book of the bible or a portion of a book of the Scriptures; Topical preaching is selecting a theme or topic and then ...

What is proper preaching in Bible? ›

Preaching must be God-exalting.

Preaching is about the God whom that man is charged to proclaim. Preaching should leave its listeners in awe of the holy, majestic, regal, omnipotent, omniscient, unchanging, just, wrathful, patient, compassionate, and loving God revealed in Scripture.

What church denomination is the wealthiest? ›

List of wealthiest religious organizations
OrganizationWorth (billion USD)Country
Greek Orthodox974.0Greece
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints100.0worldwide
Sree Venkateswara Swamy Temple30.0India
Catholic Church in Germany26.0Germany
10 more rows

What religion is the richest man? ›

According to a study from 2015, Christians hold the largest amount of wealth (55% of the total world wealth), followed by Muslims (5.8%), Hindus (3.3%), and Jews (1.1%).

Who is the highest paid church employee? ›

Church Staff Salary
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$72,500$6,041
75th Percentile$53,500$4,458
25th Percentile$27,500$2,291

What is the fastest growing church denomination in the United States? ›

According to various scholars and sources, Pentecostalism is the fastest-growing religious movement in the world; this growth is primarily due to religious conversion to Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. According to Pulitzer Center 35,000 people become Pentecostal or "Born again" every day.

What happened at Hillsong Megachurch? ›

It airs allegations that Hillsong's leadership got rich off donations while heavily exploiting volunteer labor. And it argues that pastors have engaged in extramarital affairs and mishandled accusations of sexual misconduct by church staff, despite teaching the evils of impurity and lying.

What is the most expensive church in the United States? ›

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

Which pastor is a billionaire? ›

Per our checks, pastor Kenneth Copeland tops the list of the richest pastors in the world. He is an American preacher born in Lubbock, Texas in December 1936. He is the founder of the Kenneth Copeland Ministries located in Tarrant County in Texas.

What is the most dominant church in the world? ›

Catholicism – 1.345 billion

Catholicism is the largest branch of Christianity with 1.345 billion, and the Catholic Church is the largest among churches. Figures below are in accordance with the Annuario Pontificio, at 2019.

What religion has the biggest church in the world? ›


What are the signs of an unhealthy church? ›

Why Do You Need to Know the Signs of a Dying Church?
  • Unhealthy Prayer Culture. ...
  • Attendance Is Consistently Decreasing. ...
  • Baptisms Aren't Happening. ...
  • People Aren't Being Saved. ...
  • Tithes Are Decreasing. ...
  • Age of the Congregation. ...
  • Lack of Disciple Making. ...
  • The Church isn't Serving Others.
Apr 13, 2022

Does the Bible say a pastor shouldnt drink? ›

If a pastor may not drink, then nobody may, yet that is not a teaching of God's word, but a further pharisaic restriction of man. The Bible clearly teaches, that if you “drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1Cor 10:31).

Where in the Bible does it say without a preacher? ›

Romans 10:14-15 American Standard Version (ASV)

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent?

What not to do at church? ›

10 Things You Should Never Do In Church
  • DON'T talk during services. ...
  • DON'T text or take phone calls. ...
  • DON'T save seats. ...
  • DON'T wear lipstick or gloss. ...
  • DON'T chew gum. ...
  • DON'T take pictures. ...
  • DON'T let your children get too rowdy. ...
  • DON'T wear revealing clothes.

What are three points in preaching? ›

The three-point outline is similar to the essays you wrote in high school or college—you introduce a topic, expound on three points relating to it, then conclude by recapping what you've discussed. As you're plotting a three-point sermon, you can use this standard structure or tweak it to make it your own.

What makes preaching effective? ›

An effective sermon must faithfully communicate the truth of God's Word. Statistics, trends, illustrations, poems, antidotes, object lessons, pop artist rhymes, and dead theologian's quotes can be helpful, but the truth is required. Not shades of truth, pieces of the truth, or truth mixed with lies.

What disqualifies a pastor from ministry? ›

Divorce and remarriage could certainly disqualify one from pastoral ministry, but maybe not always. Consider a man divorced and remarried before salvation. Or consider a pastor whose wife left him (divorced him) and is not interested in reconciliation.

Can a woman be a pastor? ›

Scripture is clear. Only biblically qualified men can hold the position of pastor in Christ's church.

How does God call a pastor? ›

Through his Spirit, God speaks to those persons he has called to serve as pastors and ministers of his Church. The great Reformer Martin Luther described this inward call as “God's voice heard by faith.” Those whom God has called know this call by a sense of leading, purpose and growing commitment.

What are the 4 C's of a sermon? ›

Here we find four foundational and timeless principles of the Godly union between Man and Woman; Comparability, Compatibility, Completeness and Complementarity.

What is it called when a pastor speaks at church? ›

A sermon is a religious discourse or oration by a preacher, usually a member of clergy.

What is the biblical difference between teaching and preaching? ›

28:18-20). Preachers must not be afraid of going deep and teachers must not be afraid of passionate proclamation. God's truth is not reserved for the seminary classroom, so God desires for preachers to teach. Paul instructed Timothy to do both preaching and teaching.

What is the most effective way to evangelize? ›

Personal evangelism has been proven to be the most effective method of evangelism. Peter, the apostle of Jesus Christ, was a product of personal evangelism.

Who is the best expository preacher? ›

John MacArthur is probably the best known expository preacher in America, and is a proponent of the expository method of preaching (and an outspoken opponent of the topical method as used almost exclusively by some churches).

What is the end of a sermon called? ›

You can summarize the sermon.

We are not to Worry About Anything, 2. We are to Pray About Everything, and 3. We can then experience the Peace of Christ”; your conclusion will summarize those points. This type of conclusion is sometimes referred to as a “recap” because you are recapping the application.

How long should a sermon be? ›

Pastors & Clergy

On average, evangelical leaders believe sermons should be 30 minutes and church services should be 75 minutes, based on the median response.

What are the seven marks of a good sermon? ›

In brief, a good sermon engages the biblical text, proclaims the gospel, connects God's word to the lives of God's people, is well organized and easy to understand, captures the imagination of the hearers, is delivered well, and orients people toward life in God's world.

What is the theology of expository preaching? ›

Expository preaching is that in which the preacher seeks to let the text speak again through the sermon with the same theological message. God intentionally had the original message declared; now he wants it to be preached again.

Is Paul Washer an expository preacher? ›

As you will see, Paul Washer preaching Matthew 28 is a wonderful example of an expository sermon preached in the power of the Holy Spirit.

What are the different types of expository preaching? ›

There are many different kinds of expository preaching. The four most common are: verse-by-verse, thematic, narrative, and topical.

What type of preaching does John MacArthur do? ›

MacArthur describes himself as a "leaky dispensationalist." MacArthur holds to the dispensationalist school of premillennialism, a pre-tribulational Rapture of the Church, and a literal Millennium. He teaches a completely restored Israel shall inherit physical ownership of the land of Canaan on the earth.

What are the three styles of preaching? ›

With that in mind, let's look at these three methods.
  • Expository Preaching. This method is generally used by those who hold the Bible in high regard. ...
  • Textual Preaching. The textual method is preaching through a section of the Bible (or section of a book of the Bible). ...
  • Topical Preaching.
Mar 5, 2009

What was Jesus preaching style? ›

Jesus said things that shocked people and exaggerated the truth to emphasize His point. If you want to preach like Jesus, Shock people. Exaggerate a little with your questions. Say outrageous things that aren't meant to be literal, but grab attention and communicate the point clearly.

What are the three elements of preaching? ›

The Word of God is what you want to preach. A definition of preaching that I heard from Bill Rice III is: “Teaching from a point of authority with the purpose to persuade.” There are obviously three key words in this definition: teaching, authority, and persuasion. Those are the three key elements to good preaching.

Who is Jesus in preacher? ›

Tyson Ritter, who plays both Humperdoo and Jesus Christ on Preacher, talks about why he has a soft spot for Humperdoo, what Jesus thinks of Hitler and how it felt to end the series.

What religion is Paul Washer? ›

Paul David Washer (born 1961) is an American Protestant Christian evangelist with a Calvinist theology affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

What are the 4 C's of preaching? ›

This paper presented the four Cs of Christian/biblical leadership in a hierarchy of first: Calling, second: Competence, third: Confidence, and fourth: Character.

What are the 4 P's of preaching? ›

If you have that solid foundation, then the “four Ps” of prayer, purpose, preparation, and persistence will help put you over the top.

What is the difference between a pastor and a preacher? ›

What's the difference between a pastor and a preacher? While a pastor's role is incredibly varied, a preacher is someone who preaches. Simply put, all pastors are preachers, but not all preachers are pastors.

What denomination is John Piper? ›

John Stephen Piper (born January 11, 1946) is an American New Testament scholar, Baptist theologian, pastor, and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
John Piper (theologian)
John Piper
Tradition or movementEvangelicalism Baptist (Converge) New Calvinism
Notable ideasChristian hedonism
10 more rows

What version of the Bible does John MacArthur teach from? ›

From decades of preaching and teaching, the NASB became the translation of choice for John MacArthur and many others who were trained by him. The LSB project was undertaken to preserve the legacy of the NASB for all coming generations, as the gold standard of literal, formal-equivalent translations.

What religion is MacArthur Bible? ›

The MacArthur Study Bible, first issued in 1997 by current HarperCollins brand W Publishing, is a study Bible edited by evangelical Calvinist preacher John F. MacArthur with introductions and annotations to the 66 books of the Protestant Bible.


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