By Arron Chambers
Christian leaders, some of them preachers themselves, tell us about a sermon they can’t forget—and maybe you won’t either.
Bob Blanshan, his beautiful wife, Sarah, and three children live in Crowley, Louisiana, where he serves as the children and family minister at Forest Park Church of Christ. He grew up on the other end of the Mississippi River in northern Minnesota, attending a church just six miles from the Canadian border. Bob is fortunate to have heard a lot of great preaching throughout his lifetime, including his father, Dale Blanshan, and his grandfather, Bob Blanshan, who were both ministers.
Bob’s Best Sermon: The best sermon I’ve ever heard on God’s providence is “God Is: Active” by Matt Proctor of Ozark Christian College. The sermon is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5VasBF8Bu4.
Why Bob likes this sermon: “Sometimes we feel as though God has forgotten us, and we wonder where God is and what he is doing. In this sermon, Matt Proctor traces the life of Joseph and the theology of God’s providence. It is an encouraging message for anyone who is struggling to see God’s work around them.”
Rob Kastens has served as executive pastor with Mountain Christian Church, just north of Baltimore, Maryland, since April 2002. In that role, he provides leadership of the staff and serves as part of the church’s leadership team. Rob grew up as a preacher’s kid in Kingsport, Tennessee. He has two great kids, Kylie (25) and Blaine (21), and a lovely wife, Kelly, who is the Love God area leader at Mountain. Rob is a 1986 alumnus of Milligan College and also earned a master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago. Rob strives to develop leaders to accomplish Mountain’s mission—to make disciples . . . more and better disciples. Rob’s life mission is to have a life and faith worth imitating (Hebrews 13:7), to develop leaders of prevailing churches (Acts 2:42-47), to bind up the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18, 19), and to call all people to be authentic followers of Christ (Colossians 1:28).
Rob’s Best Sermon: The best sermon I have ever heard was by Christine Caine at the North American Christian Convention in Anaheim, California, this past summer. It can be found at www.catapes.com/viewresults.cfm?cid=335 and www.hatfieldmedia.com/north-american-christian-convention-live-event-streaming/.
Why Rob likes this sermon: “This message looked at the story in John 5 regarding the man by the pool of Bethesda. It was a familiar passage but Christine flipped the script and challenged each of us, as Jesus challenged this man, to stop playing the victim and get up. Then she challenged church leaders and churches to stop playing the victim and get up. Each one gathered there walked away challenged by Jesus through this dynamic communicator.”
Joe Snyder is a retired information technology executive living in Orlando, Florida. His retirement goal is to live out Psalm 71:18 by serving the church, and especially missions, with teaching and training based on many years of church and missions leadership experience. Joe became a Christian at an early age and has filled roles of elder, teacher, supply preacher, and missionary with Restoration churches in Texas, Oregon, Colorado, and Florida. He closed out his IT career by serving Wycliffe Bible Translators for 13 years. He and his wife, Jerry, have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and six grandchildren. Joe is serving with two ministries in Southeast Asia doing development, leadership training, Bible teaching, and support for five orphanages reaching out to children saved from human trafficking.
Joe’s Best Sermon: The best sermon I have heard calling the church to adopt God’s heart for the nations is Rick Warren’s speech at Exponential West 2014. You can view the sermon at https://exponential.org/register/dap2014/ (fee for Digital Access Pass).
Why Joe likes this sermon: “Rick Warren challenges all churches (including new church plants) to make God’s heart for the nations a centerpiece of their strategy and mission. He lays out the case for global and local (“glocal”) missions by tracing the focus of God on the nations and his relationship to them.
“God’s antidote for leadership burnout, as he directs Isaiah in Isaiah 49, is to think big and have a vision for the nations. That is God’s plan for your church plant. You need missions in the DNA of your church if you want God to bless it. Don’t expect God’s blessing if you are focused inward only. Saddleback church has experienced its greatest growth since adopting a global focus.”
Aaron Chambers, a CHRISTIAN STANDARD contributing editor, serves as lead minister with Journey Christian Church, Greeley, Colorado.