Friday, November 20, 2009

Be Yourself As a Preacher

Kevin DeYoung at the 9Marks blog:

One of the hardest things for any preacher to learn, especially young preachers, is to simply be yourself. Don’t put on someone else’s passion or humor or learning. And don’t take off your own personality because one of your heroes doesn’t share it exactly. Go ahead and learn from the best. But your congregation needs to hear you on Sunday, not an impression of the preacher you wish you were. Let your person constantly be refined by the Spirit of God, and let the truth of God’s word shine through your own personality. Preach as a dying man to dying men. And don’t forget to be your own man.

Read the entire, typically-Kevin (funny and insightful) post here.


Anonymous said...

Hey Thabiti,
We have met at least once (maybe twice) at Covenant Life Church and this is the best way I can think of to contact you.

My father is not reformed, but he has been warming up to the truths of God's sovereignty. Being raised in the black church this is a topic rarely preached on and most of his exposure to reformed doctrine has come from me and your books. I have gotten him several of your books in the past and he has really enjoyed those.

Aside from your books, what other ones would you recommend to African Americans who are on the fence about reformed theology?


FellowElder said...

Hey Lew,

Good to hear from you, bro. I pray you're well and rejoicing in the sovereign grace that saved you!

By far, I think the most winsome, interesting and helpful books come from Tony Carter. I'd recommend two, in particular:

1. Glory Road. That's the testimony of ten African-American pastors who came to embrace Reformed theology. The stories of migration are all different, all interesting, and hopefully effective.

2. On Being Black and Reformed. That's a good piece that tries to handle some of the concerns that might stem from the question, "Can blackness and Reformed theology really coexist?" Good read as well.

And when you see the appendix in Glory Road, you'll see that most of the men who have come to the doctrines of grace have in some formative way been influenced by R.C. Sproul, to whom the book is dedicated. I'd perhaps introduce your dad to Sproul's radio ministry and maybe one or two of his books, like "What Is Reformed Theology?" That's an excellent introduction.

Praying for your father's growth in the word!

Grace and peace,

wwdunc said...

Hello Thabiti & Lew,

Something to consider, when thinking about teachers to listen to: Coming out of the historic black church tradition, personally, I found the more emotive preaching of John Piper to be more immediately appealing. I mean, I can actually imagine Piper preaching to a black church congregation, and getting lots of vocal support ("Amen!", "Say that!", "Go 'head!", "Preach!", etc.).

FellowElder said...


I absolutely agree. Another would be C.J. Mahaney. Not so much the emotion of Piper; something about the cadence and repitition.