Finding Your Own Voice

Three preachers on moving beyond imitation.

In a recent blog post at 9Marks.org, Kevin DeYoung wrote: "Since 2002, the year I was ordained, I estimate that I've preached almost 500 times. It took about 450 sermons to find my voice."

Finding one's voice is a challenge for any preacher. Who can resist that desire to become the preacher who first inspired you, or the preacher whose handling of the Word still moves you? After all, preaching is like writing: a skill learned by imitation.

Still, every young preacher must eventually learn that he is neither John Piper nor Rob Bell. And no congregation wants to sit under someone suffering from either delusion.

Leadership asked three pastors about their journeys in finding their own voice: Jonathan Falwell of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia; Bryan Loritts of Fellowship Memphis (Tennessee); and Joshua Harris of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Each has sought to do what DeYoung implores of preachers: "Let your person constantly be refined ...

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