I have been going to church my whole life, I have heard thousands of sermons and fallen asleep in many a church service… I have been impressed by few however, and often feel confused or unsure of what was being said. I remember one preacher years ago who seemed to go in circles around something that I think could have been important but then in the end he didn’t follow through… frustrating.
I have seen some amazing preachers, teachers who walk you through a passage and make it so real that you can smell it, taste it and you leave knowing exactly where he was going, what he meant, and changed by the experience.
Is God a part of it? YES, of course he is. He calls people to this position according to the gifts he has given them, and sometimes, he uses this person to literally touch your heart and speak truth into your life. It’s a beautiful thing to see. For those of you who don’t believe that God still works in practical ways in today’s world I ask you to head to church, watch a man/woman called by God preach a God breathed sermon, and allow yourself a moment to return to your childlike faith. God absolutely still works in today’s world, practically, skillfully, and he uses his people to do it.
I mentioned some of the preachers who have been less than great in my opinion, now, let me tell you about some of the people who fascinate me with their ability to preach. I once heard a sermon by a guy named Norm, he spoke with a humble heart but with the words of God, and his sermon was outstanding. Tim Keller is another example of a preacher who can, but lately there is a preacher who has been speaking to me more and more, I have watched this man grow leaps and bounds as a speaker and I have seen God pull his gifts out of him and use them to speak truth into the lives of many. People will think I am biased when I give the name of this preacher but I promise you I say this as objectively as possible.
Tim Haughton, Minister of Discipleship at St Paul’s Bloor street in downtown Toronto is one of the most gifted preachers I have had the pleasure of listening to. I have personally seen how he mulls over a passage, asking God to speak into it, I have watched as he wrestles a topic through so that he can best get his point across. His passion for teaching and preaching comes straight from God, and in his obedience to this call I have seen him grow, learn, and ultimately get better and better.
When you try to tell Tim how great the sermon was, or how much he has improved, he simply says ‘praise God’ and moves on to a new conversation. So, you ask… why are you writing about this? What do you gain? Well, simply put. I am just really proud of my husband, but I am also proud of my pastor who is seeking God to speak through him. This man that God gifted me with has an amazing ability and I want to let him know how much I respect him and how proud I am to be his wife, and his parishioner!