Preachers of Influence

July 26, 2014

By Dwight Moody

MOody head shot, 2014My long time friend Mike Duduit, editor of Preaching magazine, has published a list of the 25 most influential preachers of the last 25 years. Duduit is an evangelical and his list shows his bias.

Of these 25 “most influential preachers” are three black preachers (Garner Taylor, Bill Jones, and E. K. Bailey), one woman (Barbara Brown Taylor), and one Pentecostal (Jack Hayford). Three others would represent mainline Protestantism (Fred Craddock, William Willimon, John Ogilvie).

And the rest?

All mainstream Evangelical or Fundamental: Graham, Swindoll, Warren, MacArthur, Rogers, Robinson, Stanley, Stanley, Stott, Criswell, Piper, Olford, Hybels, Driscoll, Kennedy, Wiersbe, and Keller.
The vast majority of Christian in American would not recognize most of these names.

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Finding More to Preach About

July 23, 2014

By David Telfort, AoP'12

IMG_7871My call to preach was confirmed in my sophomore year of college. I was in an internship at a financial firm and although I enjoyed my work I felt unfulfilled. I read a book that shifted my theological framework, “Cold Anger: A Story of Faith and Power Politics”. The book confirmed for me that God cares about our lives on earth as much as the desire that we make it to heaven. The book freed me to preach a gospel of justice, love and reconciliation. In the summer of 2011, through the Forum for Theological Exploration I was introduced to the Academy of Preachers (AoP). In AoP I found an organization that helps to refine and polish the gifts of communication God has given me.

Often meaningful messages do not reach their impact-potential because of the way they are communicated. During AoP’s preaching camp and my subsequent involvement in their festivals I learned effective ways of exchanging ideas. I learned that preaching is much more than exegesis of a passage. Preaching is body posturing, hand movement and identifying with one’s audience. AoP has pushed me to expand my idea of what preaching is and what it can be, beyond the bounds of my tradition.

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AoP Launching Out

July 14, 2014

By Dwight Moody

Dwight A. Moody Dwight A. Moody

Last week, in a meeting at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill (Kentucky) seven (of the eight) members of the Board of Directors met to assume legal and fiduciary responsibility for the Academy of Preachers. It was a grand and historic occasion; who knows where all of this will lead.

Shaker Village was a suitable place: old, sturdy, self sufficient community on a weekend of spectacular weather, bluegrass and choral music, and more food than we could possibly enjoy. Even the moon was phenomenal. Shaker Village itself, now reborn as a tourist and meeting destination, was home to a community of believers, one that lasted 150 years. May our Academy of Preachers be so blessed.

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“God Whispered To Me”

July 7, 2014

By Dwight Moody

Dwight A. Moody “It was amazing to be in such a Spirit-filled environment, people of all different backgrounds, styles, and interpretations. It made me happy to be a preacher again.”

So wrote one Young Preacher in assessing his experience at the National Festival of Young Preachers.

I don’t know his or her name, any more than I know the name of any of the other 194 Young Preachers who participated in our Five Year AoP Assessment Project.

This project consisted of a ten-minute on-line questionnaire designed by our Director of Assessments and Research, Dr. Lori Carrell. Dr. Carrell is a Distinguished Professor of Communication at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh.

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From South to North!

July 3, 2014

By Wyndee Holbrook

EmilyOwensWithin the past week AoP held two Festivals and the sermons of 26 Young Preachers were heard in Atlanta, GA and Green Lake, WI.  Both Festivals were hosted by Baptists, but of differing stripes. All followed the theme, “Tell Me a Story” sharing from their lives and biblical texts.

Sixteen of the Young Preachers gathered during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s General Assembly in Atlanta.  Their presence packed out the room and gave everyone reason to get there first next year!  This was true of the Young Preachers as well, since the 16 spots filled up a month in advance with four on the waiting list.

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“Providing young men and women with the opportunity to learn about preaching while they are still in high school, hopefully, will nurture the next generation of great preachers who can share the good news in a voice and manner that can be heard above the din of our chaotic world.”

— Reverend Thomas W. Smith, Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church