My friend Michael Duduit, editor of Preaching Magazine, emailed me recently about the most influential preachers in the last 25 years.
It's been an interesting process, given the span of 25 years to cover. There were some who were major influencers of preaching in 1985 who would be little known to today's new generation of pastors; likewise, there are some major influencers today who weren't even on the scene 25 years ago. (OK, some of them were in grade school...) So I've been trying to bring some balance to it so that we don't neglect either end of the era we are covering.
I think the 25 year span makes this a more interesting question.
Recently, LifeWay Research asked pastors who was influencing them. Their top ten list included,
Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Atlanta, and founder of In Touch Ministries.
Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., and author of the best-selling book, "The Purpose-Driven Life."
John MacArthur, pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., and president and featured teacher of the Grace to You ministry.
Barbara Brown Taylor, religion teacher at Piedmont College in northeast Georgia and author of 12 books including "An Altar in the World."
David Jeremiah, founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in San Diego County, Calif.
Max Lucado, minister of writing and preaching at the Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, and the recipient of three Christian Book of the Year awards.
John Piper, pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and author of more than 30 books, including "Desiring God."
Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church, Buckhead Church, and Browns Bridge Community Church - all in the Atlanta area - and founder of North Point Ministries
But, Michael points out some of the challenges of how to cover the broader landscape. He is looking at 25 years, not this year.
Michael wrote and explained:
It has been interesting to think about the folks I was interviewing when the magazine first began (David Allen Hubbard of Fuller, John Stott, etc.), compared to today's interviews (Perry Noble, Jud Wilhite and others). A little historical perspective can be a humbling thing.
So, he asked if I might get the discussion going here at the blog, and I think that's a great idea.
Here's the question. Who do you think are the most influential preachers in the last 25 years? Now, the question is not who you like, but rather who has been the most influential in the last 25 years.
Weigh in... discuss... disagree... suggest. Thanks.