Editorial: Baptists Preaching—Many ways to deliver a message

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I preached my last sermon at the First Baptist Church of Covington, Texas, on June 10, 2018. Every preacher knows Sunday is coming, and after that last sermon, Sunday was still coming for me, but I wouldn’t be the one preaching. What to do?

Pastors hear about all the great preaching in other churches, which is a bit ironic since we can’t go hear it.

We’re not always sure about the motivation behind informing us of all that great preaching elsewhere. Is it a subtle way to keep us humble? Is it a nice way to say our preaching isn’t all that great? Or is it simply a desire to share with us a powerful word from God we weren’t able to hear because of responsibilities in our own pulpit?

June 10 was in the books, and Sunday was coming. For the first time in a long time, I was going to get to hear a friend preach. Where should we go?

My family and I decided to attend Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, where Mary Alice Birdwhistell is the pastor. Our daughter was excited to see a woman pastor and to hear her preach. We were all anticipating the service. We hadn’t visited another church in a long time. What would it be like?

In the lead up to our visit, my wife and son started asking, “Are you sure Mary Alice will be there?” “Yeah, she’ll be there.” “I bet she won’t be there.” “Of course, she’ll be there.”

We walked into the foyer and were greeted by someone who rightly took us for visitors and asked, “What brings you here today?” “Mary Alice is a friend, and we wanted to hear her preach.” “Oh, well, she’s away on a mission trip today.”

Yes, my wife and son enjoyed very much being right about Mary Alice being away. I should have checked beforehand. My daughter, however, was disappointed by not getting to see and hear Mary Alice.

Joel Weaver, a lecturer at Truett Seminary, supplied—preached for—Mary Alice. His sermon was excellent. Since many in the church were away on one of several mission trips, attendance was down. As I listened to Joel, I thought, “More people need to hear this.”

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More people need to hear this

How many times have you heard an incredible, challenging, powerful or inspiring sermon and imagined people who should be there hearing it with you?

How many times have you wished you could share that sermon with someone else?

Frankly, just about every preacher I know thinks, “More people need to hear this.”

Sometimes, our motives for wanting more hearers are pure. Sometimes, we know how much the Spirit of God is speaking and know there are people not in the room whose lives could be different, could be better, could be saved if they would listen to the Spirit of God.

Baptists Preaching was born in one of those moments.

With the thought that more people needed to hear Joel’s sermon, I started thinking about how to give sermons a wider reach. From that seed of an idea grew Baptists Preaching.

Why call it Baptists Preaching?

There is no one style or form of Baptist preaching. Some sermons hang on three points. Some sermons weave back and forth toward a concluding central point. Some sermons tell a story in narrative form. Some sermons explain a biblical passage in detailed exposition.

Along with this variety of forms are the differing personal characteristics of Baptist preachers and their particular theological, political and social positions and contexts.

Added to all of that is our historic principles of soul freedom, the priesthood of the believer and local church autonomy. With so many variables influencing any given Baptist sermon, Baptists Preaching seems a much more accurate title than Baptist Preaching.

The purpose of Baptists Preaching

In keeping with our desire to inform, inspire and challenge people to live like Jesus, Baptists Preaching is an attempt to provide a selection of important sermons preached in Texas Baptist churches and, over time, to create a repository of Baptist preaching for future study and research.

What will you find in Baptists Preaching?

Among the sermons—one featured each week in our digital edition emailed to subscribers—you will find old friends and preachers you don’t know. You will find young and senior preachers. You will find men and women preachers. You will find rural, suburban and urban preachers. You will find large church and small church preachers. You will find preachers of every color.

Depending on what is available for any given sermon, you will find video, audio, sermon notes, manuscripts and/or transcripts. All supplied content is uploaded as is to preserve its original condition, which is itself part of the context of the sermon.

As Baptists Preaching debuts this week, you will find Rev. Mary Whitehurst, associate minister at David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin, delivering a powerful message of exhortation.

Our greatest desire—beyond providing a broader platform for important sermons, beyond reflecting the variety of Baptist preaching, beyond developing a resource for future research—our greatest desire is that you will find a word from God that inspires and challenges you to live like Jesus.

How to submit a sermon for Baptists Preaching

You can suggest a preacher or sermon to be featured in Baptists Preaching, or you can submit your own sermon by emailing [email protected]. You can submit sermons in one of three ways:

  • email links to the video, audio, or text files of a sermon,
  • email audio and text files to the editor, or
  • mail a hard copy (paper and/or disk) of a sermon to P.O Box 259019, Plano, TX 75025-9019, attention Eric Black.

Include a high-resolution profile photo of and contact information for the preacher.

Eric Black is the executive director, publisher and editor of the Baptist Standard and a former pastor. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @EricBlackBSP.

We seek to inform, inspire and challenge you to live like Jesus. Click to learn more about Following Jesus.

If we achieved our goal—or didn’t—we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to Eric Black, our editor. Maximum length for publication is 250 words.

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