Wednesday, February 29, 2012
I had a lot of comments on my top ten list. Just to state again this post was about the 500,000 pastors that show up every week that are not on T.V or Radio or known for their large church. Slot number one actually has 500,000 pastors in in. So.... T.D Jakes is number 500,001. Jeff Walling is 500,002 Andy Stanley is 500,003 and so on! I think you are starting to understand the point now.
Preachers are men who have been called by God to preach. We are NOT all the same. We ourselves have different gifts and different callings. Some lean toward evangelism while others lean toward discipleship. Some read their sermons word for word, some do NOT use notes. Some run around on the stage while others remain motionless. But the one thing we all have in common is the word of God. Trying to use our unique skillset to lift up the name of Jesus.
So often their are a few names that garner a lot of press and attention. The purpose of my list was not to compare or to judge who's good and who's not. The purpose of my list was to draw attention and to thank the 500,000 men and women who preach without any fanfare. I just want to let them know that they are appreciated beyond words!
Blessings to each of you!
Stay tuned this week at Shepherd of the Hills Church www.theshepherd.org as we begin our small group study on the book "God Has An App For That" DVD's and Small Group materials are now ready! see www.GodHasAnApp.com
Monday, February 27, 2012
I will never forget the time Billy Graham was on T.V and I commented to my son (who was about 9 years of age at the time) that Billy Graham was the greatest preacher ever. And my son started to cry and said "Dad, I thought you were the greatest preacher of all time". Even though I, too, would be partial in feeling that about my own father and even though I was thankful for my son's innocent expression of appreciation towards me, I want to share with you MY LIST of the top ten preachers in America. You'll notice several names like Billy Graham, Francis Chan and others NOT on my list. Because here is the criteria for making my list.
a) You have to be pastoring a local congregation. Writing sermons weekly.
b) You have to be more of a preacher than a teacher. For me... preachers have a tad bit more of emotion and passion with their delivery.
c) You have to have a heart that leans towards evangelism and reaching the lost.
d) These are men that I enjoy hearing. They move me to want to follow Christ and to reach the lost.
Here's the list!
#10) Wayne Cordeiro is the founding pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu, Hawaii with over 14,500 in weekend attendance. New Hope is also listed as one of the top ten most innovative churches in America with Outreach Magazine listing them as one of the "top five churches to learn from." New Hope is known for redeeming the arts and technology. Over 3,000 attending services each week via the Internet. New Hope has seen over 73,000 first time decisions in Hawaii since its inception 27 years ago.
Wayne is a church planter at heart with over 108 churches planted in the Pacific Rim countries of the Philippines, Japan, Australia and Myanmar. Nationally, he has planted churches in Hawaii, California, Montana, Washington, and Nevada. I know he is doing more more with his college than his church, but I love to hear this man preach!
#9) Pastor Ken Whitten of the Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa Florida. Pastor Whitten delivers the word of God in a way that touches the heart. He will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. He will set God's word as the ONLY standard to live by and will walk you through the scriptures verse by verse communicating in such a manner that draws the listener in. He has a true pastoral heart, caring for the many members of his church as a shepherd carefully guards his flock. A friend and mentor of mine and if I lived in the Tampa area I would gladly sit and hear him preach week after week.
#8) Dr David Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point Radio and Television Ministries and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church near San Diego, California. Dr. Jeremiah’s commitment is to teaching the whole Word of God. His passion for people and his desire to reach the lost are evident in the way he communicates Bible truths and his ability to get right to the important issues. I count his church as one of the most blessed churches in the land in having him be their teaching pastor. He makes me want to be a better student of the word of God.
#7) No list of top preachers can be completed without the name of Dr. John MacArthur. Sr. Pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. John's church is only 20 minutes away but his voice is carried around the world through "Grace to you" ministries. Known as an expository preacher he still delivers God's truth with unmatched passion and energy. Listening to John will leave you wishing for MORE! He is the standard for preaching with conviction.
#6) Greg Laurie of the Harvest Church in Riverside, California and the Harvest Crusades. He was once labeled the "next Billy Graham" and having heard Greg many times on the largest Christian Radio station in the world KKLA 99.5 FM Los Angeles it is easy to see why he makes my list. Greg has a rare gift in taking the word of God and making it relevant to today's modern listener. His heart for the lost and compassion to reach the unsaved is his calling card.
#5) Andy Stanley from North Point Church in Alpharetta, Georgia. Probably more preachers listening to Andy weekly than any other pastor. His messages are current, biblical, insightful and engaging. Chances are your pastor has preached a series or two from North Point Church. He and his father Charles might be the best father/son combo of all time. If you get a chance, go to his website and listen to one of his podcast and you'll know why he is on my top 5 list.
#4) Adrian Rodgers! smile! I hope you don't mind me putting Adrian on the list because I know he has graduated into heaven. Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian leaders of our time. For over fifty years, he consistently presented the Good News of Jesus Christ with strong conviction, compassion, and integrity. Under his pastoral leadership, Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee, grew from 9,000 members in 1972 to more than 29,000 at his retirement in 2005. Go to LWF.org to hear a voice and a sermon like no other!
#3) Jeff Walling! I have a host of men that I really could have put in this spot. My own father H. Dean Rutherford, Rick Atchley, David Stone, Don Wilson, Kyle Idleman, my brother David Rutherford, Kerry Shook, John Ortberg, Bill Hybels, Matt Proctor, Jud Wilhite, Jonathan Falwell, Jack Graham, Ronnie Floyd, Miles McPherson, Craig Groeschel, Robert Morris, Rick Warren, Gene Appel, Jentzen Franklin, Philip Wagner, James MacDonald, John Hagee, Chris Siedman, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, Mark Scott, Jack Hayford, Tim Spivey, Charles Swindoll, Jim Reeve, and John Piper. But my number 3 slot is the one and only Jeff Walling! Sr Pastor of the Providence Road Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Go to wallingondvd.com and you'll see why he is number 3.
#2) Can only be brother T.D. Jakes of the Potter's House. Time cited Jakes's delivery and his skillful handling of Scripture: "He purrs like Isaac Hayes and screams like Jay Hawkins … And however leisurely Jakes's presentation may seem, each sermon eventually reveals itself as perfectly calibrated and balanced, cohering into an often exquisite extended metaphor." When I hear him preach I wonder why I would ever attempt to even try.
Finally we come to #1 on my list of great preachers!
#1) Are the other 500,000 preachers whose names you'll never know that show up week after week in the pulpits across America and who "rightly divide the word of God". The one's that I most love, that I most appreciate are the local pastors of local churches who are never on the radio. They are never on T.V. They have never written a book. But every week, they study and prepare and then stand in their pulpits and preach their hearts out trying to reach the lost and edify the saved. They are the true hero's. The true soldiers of the cross. I salute every preacher who stands weekly in his pulpit preaching as a dieing man to a dieing crowd. May we forever lift up the Name and Word of Jesus! By his blood we are saved and redeemed! If you are a preacher.... simply write your name here _____________. YOU ARE NUMBER ONE ON MY LIST OF GREAT PREACHERS!
Friday, February 24, 2012
Spent the month of January coaching the Hillcrest Middle School Boys basketball team. Most of them had never played basketball before and we had a rough start. Our first game we lost by 50 points! Yes, I said 50! Our second game we felt really good because we only lost by 30. Funny how your perspective changes when your expectations are tempered by reality. Our third game we only lost by 4! hahahahaha We're 0-3 and are excited.
Friday, February 10, 2012
What I've learned so far about having a book published is that the marketing is primarily left up to you as an author. In that process, we need to promote and get the word out ourselves because book publishers are hurting, primarily due to technology. They have told me that there use to be 4000 book stores and now there are around 1500. So, please forgive me for post and pictures of our new book "God Has An App For That".
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Happy 59th wedding anniversary! That old granddaddy clock has written on its face, “tempus fugit,” which means “time flies.” I knew it was quick, but now it seems like we're having Christmas three times a year. I am not absolutely sure that we will make it to our sixtieth, so I'd better put some words on paper. Looking back, I now wonder why we had any reluctance at all to be married. The deep love I have struggled to define has now defined itself in time. We’ve lived together way too long to not know that we were made to live together. Living out the years with you keeps getting better. Once we figured out that we could not change each other, we became free to celebrate ourselves as we are. So my dear Trish-the-fish, we are gloriously together and it has never been dull company. It's kind of weird that we have been together for eight decades and yet still think of ourselves as young. There are plenty of moments when I find you to be that blushing and shy girl who took my cheap ring and name and then agreed to explore the world with me.
We began to dream and work and love and worship. Sure, we only started with forty dollars and a fistful of promises, but we were wealthy. I can still remember that Georgia wedding 59 years ago today and oh my, how young we both were. We experienced the sweet warmth and love of youth. We felt that God had decorated the night sky with stars just for us. We drove every false and threatening thing out of our lives with simple truth and honesty. We have met 240 changing seasons and met each challenge. I still smile when I think, how wealthy we thought we were when we were really so very poor. And talk about money, those five children came along. I've almost forgotten how they got here or what it took to get them here. You can remind me later. But I've always known that they came from God and belonged to Him. And I remember my promise before they were ever born, that they would never take ‘first place’ in my heart, the ‘first place’ that you have always held. I love those once-upon-a- time “tax deductions,” but I could never love them as much as I have loved you.
The other morning I was leaving the house and I found you in the kitchen, looking out the window while talking to Debbie on the phone. The morning sun fell across your hair and hands. I reached down and touched your hand, a hand made noble by its years of service and duty. I left that morning feeling like a king because you were mine.
I don't mean to sound morose, but I simply bring it to your attention that we will probably both not leave on the same day. The crispness of the fall air reminds us that we cannot have summer forever. Someday, all too soon one of us will be forced to test the shattering emptiness that we have seen transpire in the lives of couples who have gone on before us. One of us will go first but the other will celebrate our treasure, our union and love with a transcending joy. We will not sorrow not as those who have no hope. I walk so much slower now, and a little stooped. It's not because I'm tired or weary, but no one can walk fast, who is weighted down with great dreams and precious memories. My biggest apology is that I was never able to rebuke and turn back the wild, hurried pace of the years. There have been times when I actually dreamed that I might be the one person who could defeat old-age and remain in full health just for you. It was not to be. As I have repeated so many times: “Old “Father Time” is still undefeated.” Darn him!
Come walk with me my love. Just not too fast, we will not hurry, because there are still places to go, people to bless and vistas to see. We will continue to pace ourselves. And can I say it one more time with deep meaning and emphasis? “I love you.” Happy 59th!!!
Recently, Frank Pastore and KKLA 99.5 FM asked me to guest host for a couple of nights and I anxiously agreed. Many people don't know that I hosted my own radio program during my college days at Ozark Christian College in Joplin MO.