Peace if possible. Truth at all costs. ~ Martin Luther

My Top 5 Favorite Preachers Today

A list like this, of course, is very subjective, and I hasten to add that this is not some “fan” list; I do not wish to adulate or idolize these men. They are simply preachers that I find consistently helpful – they encourage my spiritual growth.

I also set the criteria for this list that they had to be currently active preachers.

If I were considering preachers in print, my all time favorite would be “The Prince of Preachers”, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, followed closely by a slew of 17th Century Puritans.

If I were considering preachers you can still get audio for, but who are no longer preaching, the list would be headed by Dr.Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and would include such legends as Adrian Rogers, Stephen Olford, Leonard Ravenhill, Alan Redpath and Vance Havner.

Disclaimers aside, here’s my current list:

1. Paul Washer.  Don’t listen to Washer if you want a fuzzy, feel-good, message to tickle your ears. He is a clarion voice challenging the issues plaguing the church today. His sermon 10 Indictmentswas possibly the most impacting message of the last couple of years; a kind of “shot heard around the world”.  You should also watch his address a few years ago at a Youth Evangelism Conference.

2. John Macarthur Jr. One of the finest expository preachers in the world today, and through The Master’s Seminary he has been at the forefront of a resurgence of the craft, inspiring a whole new generation of young preachers to be committed to Biblical preaching.

3. Alistair Begg.  Brilliant insights into Scripture with a disarmingly personable style. And you just have to love his Scottish voice.

4. Ray Comfort.  What a humble servant of God. Comfort has stayed on message for years now, and the result is a whole movement of young evangelists committed to taking accurate and passionate gospel preaching to the streets. His sermons, Hell’s Best Kept Secretand True & False Conversions are MUST listens.

5. Jim CymbalaLiving just an hour out of New York City, we have the privilege of being able to get to Brooklyn Tabernacle a few times each year for their Tuesday Night prayer meeting. Over 3000 people gathered midweek to pray! Cymbala’s preaching is intensely pastoral, and he never fails to bring a rich sense of God’s presence as he speaks. His sermon at “The Gathering” a few years back has been watched around the world.

Honorable mentions go to John Piper and Carter Conlon.

I’d love to hear any names you might include on your own favorites list. Leave a comment.

Phil

P.S. Get the fascinating docudrama “C.H.Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers”

Comments

  1. Stephanie BisagniNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Pastor Phil, thanks for this post. I think the most influential teacher/preacher I have recently begun listening to is Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Revive Our Hearts ministry (for women). No fluff there. Straight from the Word of God and convicting as ever. I recommend it to all women. Hope you guys are all well. We miss everyone!

  2. chris suttonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Phil – I agree I enjoy Alistair Begg, both content and scottish accent. I’ve enjoyed the US AOG Superintendent George O Wood, on their podcasts. I love reading C.J. Mahaney & John Piper. For some Spirit-anointed evangelstic passion I still love Reinhard Bonnke. Jim Cymbala both reading and listening stirs a passion for the Gospel, prayer,the Church. When it comes to Aussies, Alun Davies, always makes me think,as well as stirs me to action. I like MacArthur,except for his ardent anti-pentecostalism. Warm Regards, Chris Sutton.

  3. Great to hear from you Chris! I didn’t include C.J.Mahaney on my list, but he’s another favorite of mine too. I think He’s actually caused Macarthur some head-scratching the past few years. They are good friends, and Macarthur has been a regular at his conference now. Mahaney definitely “Reformed Pentecostal”. Blessings, Phil.

  4. What! Cymbala! So you prefer the dramatic emotional experientially based preached over Bible Centered Christ Centered preaching? Now sure how you can place Paul Washer John McArthur in the same class as Cymbala. I attended BT for over 10 years. Finally left because the shallow preaching. Year in and Year out it is the same kind of message. A verse and 45 minutes of his experience with God. Dim the lights, play the music, get people to come to the altar and cry out to God. Week after week. Year after year. BT is probably one of the most biblically illiterate churches I know of. They can sing, have great worship, the choir packs them in. But the depth of bible knowledge is sorely lacking. I am shocked that you wold put Cymbala in the categories of these great preachers of the word.

    Gerry

  5. Hi Gerry,

    I listed preachers that I have found encourage my growth in the Lord. I don’t understand a statement about “classing” preachers. I don’t find that helpful at all, and quite frankly it smacks of “Corinthianism” (I am of Paul, I am of Cephas, etc.)

    I love expository preaching. Listening to it, and doing it. I believe it to be the most God-honoring and effective form of preaching for a congregation over time. So John Macarthur has been a great inspiration and help. Paul Washer, who I also love to listen to, is not an expository preacher at all. Does that mean his preaching cannot be useful to the body. Of course not. He has a different role.

    Len Ravenhill was an outstanding voice, but his preaching was usually hardly organized, let alone expositional. But God used him.

    Whenever I’ve heard Jim Cymbala preach he has brought an uncommon sense of God’s presence. The effect on me has been to want to seek and know God more. Furthermore, in a day when hardly a church HAS a prayer meeting any more, the Tuesday night Prayer Meeting at BT is a glorious anomoly. I don’t know a serious pastor in America (including Macarthur, Washer, et al) who wouldn’t love to see their people with such commitment. Remember that the Apostles’ commitment was two-fold … to “prayer and the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4). Ravenhill used to point out that we have a lot of men who can preach – not many who will pray.

    Phil

  6. Jim Cymbala??????????? CHECK THIS OUT!
    http://thebtexperience.wordpress.com/

  7. I would put Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian near the top of that list. Thoughtful, insightful, reformed, the closest to a C.S. Lewis for our times. Most impressively, a heart of deep humility, dignity, and grace. Very rare qualities, indeed, in our age of the cult of personality that has invaded, dare I say, even our churches.

  8. @Jay. I thought Tim Keller’s book “The Prodigal God” was excellent.

  9. Dear Phil,

    I am shocked with message from Mr. Gerry. I do not beleive he is a christian at all becuse of his accusation against pastor Jim Cymbala who is one of the gratest men of God today. To hear such a comment is realy shamefull and I suggest you to delele it. I am an elder in local church and have a deep wish to secure the church of God from such a satanic strikes! I am arminian-pentecostal but love to listen my brothers calvinist Paul Washer and John Piper mens of God!!! I will never leave such a comment against my brohters even if I have somehting I do not agree with them.

    My favorite preachers today;

    David Wilkerson
    David Ravenhill
    Jim Cymbala
    John Piper
    Rick Renner
    Paul Washer

    Thank you!
    Regards from Croatia!

  10. 1. ZAC POONEN by far!!!
    2. Derek Prince

    John MacArthur, Chuck Missler, Andrew Strom, Mark Driscoll

  11. blessing mwandiwataNo Gravatar says:

    i gues i got a different,dnt wanna rank them,but i have chose to have one father and listen to him alone lest i end up making comparisons.gues who it is,Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

  12. I love John Piper,Paul Washer and Jentezen Franklin

  13. After 3 months of searching the internet and you tube to decide if I wanted to come back to religion, I finally found someone who preaches from the heart, the way my Mama and Papa used to hear when they went to church, DR John Collins with the Church of Biblical Christians tells it the way it should be plus he does not accept donations, He preaches against todays prosperity preachers, My Papa said hes the only guy he has heard of lately not affraid to tell you what he thinks and use scripture to back him up. So I Listened to all of his sermons read all of his blogs and than decided to leave my number to see if he would really call as he says on his web site, With in 2 hours I recieved a call and DR. Collins never rushed me off the telephone answered all my questions, And After just that one call you can tell he loves and believes in what he does, He wont be for everyone, Because he does talk about damnation and what it takes to get to heaven, And its not from giving ministers our money> I watched the you tube videos of many and he is just for me, everyone has a choice but in listening to his sermons and reading his blogs and than the telephone call this guy is the real deal. The one on Gossip , wwjd hypocrites and the land of milk and honey not greed and money were right on, anyway if you get a chance listen to the guy you might be as glad as I am that I took the time. http://www.ucofbc.com/

  14. Mac-DiamondNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Phil, I’m a lay pastor from Ghana West Africa and a full time lawyer. Maybe my profession accounts for my choice of favourite preacher. I wonder why his name didnt appear on your list since two of his mentors – Spurgeon and Martyn Loyd-Jones appear. He is currently taking the world by storm with the gospel of grace. He is Joseph Prince of New Creation Church in Singapore. i never heard a singular preacher whose teachings opened up the Bible to me the way Pastor Prince has done by means of the Holy Spirit. Through him, i found meaning to life and the the christian walk. indeed, there where way too many unanswered questions about my walk with Jesus, living me uncetain untill I met Joseph Prince. My ministry as a teacher has transformed and more importantly my relationship with Jesus has never been bettef. What say you about Pastor Prince?. Please if u happen to be one of those who write him off as a giver of license to sin, i encourage to get his tapes and listen carefully. There are only few pastors who are against sin as much as he does. here from u Phil, blessings!

  15. I’ve been a Christian now for twenty years. I encountered Jesus at 17, and am still more than happy to call Him my Lord at 37. In the last two decades, I’ve been to all kinds of churches, and denominations across the board. (Where I’m from in Southern Ontario, it’s not really taboo to have friends from all kinds of churches). I have to say that I’m seeing a pattern – in hindsight of all the ministry I’ve experienced – and even worked alongside with.

    I’ve been to large scale churches, and others that were pretty much obscure and off the map, and I can say now – on average – the best preaching I’ve heard comes from out of the smaller ones. There’s a lot of great preachers scattered around, who can be found in little ‘nowhere’ churches – who really know how to walk that fine line between being tactful – and factual, at the same time. Not too harsh. Not too ‘sickly-sweet’. Not too compromising. Not too ‘jokey’. Not too somber… But speaking the truth – with love.

    I can’t help but remember their example – and the words Jesus gave to the ‘angel of the church in Philadelphia’ in Rev. 3.

    I’d just like to give that word of encouragement – you can find great men and women of God in humble and unassuming places. Thanks.

  16. Dear Phil, Paul Washer and John MacArthur both preach salvation by good works. Alistair Begg is biblical. Just look online at all of the condemnations of Washer and MacArthur’s ~salvation~ teaching.

  17. With all due respect, Curtis … no they don’t. And just because a falsehood is repeated often enough doesn’t make it true. The internet is loaded with instances of people breaking the 9th commandment.
    The fact is, if you preach GRACE completely enough you will be accused of licentiousness, and if you preach HOLINESS completely enough you will be accused of works righteousness. But both are part of the gospel … “by grace are you saved through faith” and ” without holiness no man shall see the Lord”. One is the root, the other the fruit.
    Romans and James are both part of Scripture, and the two writers are in perfect agreement, though they are standing back to back and shooting at different enemies. If you cherry-pick a single statement from either book you can make them sound like they are teaching something contradictory to the other, but if you read them both in context they harmonize. You are doing the same with Macarthur and Washer; cherry-picking without listening to the whole.

  18. Oscar GonzalezNo Gravatar says:

    Jentenzen Franklin pastor of Free Chapel in Gainesville, GA is my favorite preacher. He is also the author of a New York Times bestseller “Fasting”.

  19. Igor FoukzonNo Gravatar says:

    Paul Washer, Francis Chan, Tim Conway, Leonard Ravenhill, Soren Kierkegaard are my favorite among English-speaking/translated.

    However, I can’t say that I’m of a high opinion about Charles Spurgeon, John Piper, John McArthur. May look a little bit strange, but that’s how I think and feel. Neutral concerning Tim Keller and positively neutral about A.W. Tozer, but I’m almost not familiar with their sermons.

    Still searching for the new horizons/depths. Any thoughtful suggestions will be appreciated.

  20. joseph prince of new creation singapore is my favourate preacher he has brought answers to many unanswered questions he preaches a radical message on grace he has has managed to bring a clear revelation on the beauty of the new covenant, distinguishing the old and the new covenant with clarity,

  21. please take time to listen to Tim Conway of Grace Comminity Church, San Antonio, Texas.
    “Battle with Sin” series is specially good.

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  23. joshua mtandiNo Gravatar says:

    what about billy graham? i think you should include him

  24. My fav 2 preachers are Zac Poonen and Paul Washer!

  25. Dion GordonNo Gravatar says:

    Paul washer is my all time favorite. I wish he could disciple me

  26. Good list. “10 indictments” was powerful. I like all the preachers you listed but would have to add Leonard Ravenhill. His book “why revival terries” was the “10 indictments” Before washer began his ministry. I also enjoyed David Wilkerson, and Steve Lawson.

  27. How about Zac Poonen?

  28. Brittany jayNo Gravatar says:

    My favorite are

    1.Paul Washer
    2.David Wilkerson
    3.John Macarthur
    4.Shane Idleman
    5. Voddie Baucham
    6.Leonard Ravebhill

  29. Steven SNo Gravatar says:

    Josh White- Door of Hope Portland. Best sermons I have ever heard.

  30. I love those preachers who sincerely love Jesus Christ, who’s passion is to preach the true gospel which was long been perverted by majority wolves. I love God’s living and infallible word, the only blue-print of God, the most amazing truth I have ever received . Praise be to the Father,to the Son and to the Holy Ghost ! at time past I was spiritually dead and blinded but thanks be to the Father who saved me through the blessed sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, the passover Lamb, perfect Sacrifice my Savior, and thank be to the Holy Ghost,Who guides, protects and the one who gives me strength and power to stand against every fiery darts of the devil. May God bless us!

    Preachers needed by America(birthplace of heresy) today:

    1. Paul David Washer- a sound and solid preacher a true man of God and evangelist, that’s why many hate him, because these people having itching ears, they opposed God’s Word delivered by Washer because they want to feel good in themselves. Washer is just an instrument and all glory and honor belongs to the Alpha and Omega.

    Brothers lets pray for everyone who belong to the household of faith around the globe. our brothers and sisters in Christ in China, NorthKorea, Middle East Countries.

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