Thursday, May 14, 2009

What I Learned from Dr. Charles Stanley

One of the great honors of my life thus far was serving as a Pastor under the leadership and direction of Dr. Charles Stanley. As a Preaching Pastor at First Baptist Church of Atlanta, I had a unique opportunity to be mentored by one of the greatest Bible teaching Pastors of all time. 

I realize that there are quite a few Pastors, Student Pastors and Bible Teachers that read my blog from time to time, so I thought I would share some of the wisdom that I learned directly from Dr. Stanley. After the first time I preached for him at FBA in December of 2006, he took the DVD of my message and watched it. After watching the message, he shared with me that he had taken a lot of notes. I wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing and was actually terrified to receive his critique (as you can imagine). As we chatted about the services that weekend, I asked him to be honest with me about the talk. He first gave me a few pointers and then some incredible encouragement.   Dr. Stanley then asked me to take out a pen and write down the things he observed about the message. He said, there were 15 things that he noticed about this message, and went on to say that these things ought to be in every message that I deliver from this point forward. At this point, I was listening... He said:

1. The message was filled with Passion
2. The message was convincing
3. The message was challenging
4. The message was convicting
5. The message gave answers
6. The message was humorous
7. The message was scriptural
8. The message was believable
9. The message exhaulted Jesus
10. The message expressed courage
11. The theme of the message was very clear
12. The message told us how... it revealed a formula
13. The message was personal
14. The messasge left expectancy
15. The message was concluded with a clear invitation

This was obviously a conversation that will reside with me the rest of my life. Every time I stepped onto his platform in Atlanta, or here in Houston, this has been the standard in which I have tried to uphold. I'm very thankful for the friendship I have with Dr. Stanley and pray that God gives him many more years of serving the God he loves so much. He will never know the impact that he's had on my life, but because of his influence, I will never prepare a message the same way again. Thanks Doc.

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