I've been leading worship for a long time. I can usually justify my ministry and music choices. But there are a few preaching giants out there that I would NEVER want to work with. Every one of these men are inspiring and awesome. I'd just prefer to be inspired from far off.
Washer is a late addition to the list. I haven't known about him for very long, and probably wouldn't know him at all if not for some good friends who share his stuff. And you know, I think I could probably pick a pretty solid set for a Washer sermon...I feel like I "get" what he wants to do when he preaches. I just know that my overall wretchedness and laziness would be obvious to a guy like him.
Washer seems like a pretty gentle dude. WHEN HE'S NOT PREACHING. The trouble with leading before Washer gets up is that I know I'm gonna' get so convicted I end up getting saved again. That dude's overall awesomeness makes me feel like the worst. Christian ever. Not his fault, by the way. He's just up there being awesome.
Personally, John Piper is a bit of a hero. If i had to list the most pivotal, life changing sermons I've heard, John Piper is on that list. A lot. Meeting him and sharing the platform with would be ah honor! But here's the problem: Piper will smack you down.
I've seen him do it. Somebody sings or preaches before him and he gets up and destroys you. Brilliantly, I might add. I have no doubt that Piper would pound the pulpit and begin to correct something Todd did wrong and I'd be off to the side weeping in embarrassment but at the same time thinking, "HE'S SO RIGHT. HE'S SOOOOO RIGHT!"
This guy is a giant in ministry. His commitment to the teaching of the Bible is unparalleled in this day. His book, Charismatic Chaos, was a real help to me as a teenager who was struggling with wanting "more" in worship. I believe the book gave me some skills that I still use to this day in processing worship expression.
I've heard his sermons and read a book, but other than that I know hardly anything about John MacArthur. But I do know this - HE LOOKS TOUGH. Doesn't he look like a guy who'd call you into his office and just stare at your for four minutes before grabbing your neck one-handed and then pinning you against the wall? I honestly don't believe he'd actually do it. But I don't want to find out for sure.
For starters, Voddie looks like he could bench press my car. I'd have a hard time leading before a guy who could rip my arms off and then beat me with them. But the real problem is that Voddie is a genius. Now, that may not bother you, but here's the deal - I'm an idiot. I imagine Voddie Baucham would want to talk some before the service and But he'd drop some theological truth bombs on me and then I'd have to ask him to explain it to me in simpler terms.
Voddie also does church way different that most of us. His views on children and youth ministry are bold and he does not shy away from confrontation when people press him on topics like that. I, on the other hand, feel that confrontation is the worst thing that can ever be experienced in this life, which means I'd immediately agree with Voddie and probably quit my job if he told me to do it.
This may seem an odd choice. As far as heady, precise and robust theology goes, Jimmy Swaggart may not seem like a good fit with these other men. It's true that Jimmy's background and teaching style aren't anything like the other guys, but I can guarantee you that singing before this man gets up to preach would scare me just as bad. Why? Because this guy is a PLAYER.
Jimmy Swaggart is a phenomenal musician. He's a fantastic piano player and singer and seems to know every hymn that ever got written. And that's scary because he very often will turn to the band at his church and yell out a song for them to play. Or even worse - he'll call for a certain key but will use "piano speak," meaning he'll say Give me two flats, please and the band will respond immediately. Do you know what would happen if Jimmy Swaggart looked back at me and said, "Two flats"? I'd be standing there shrugging. Then I'd get fired. No thanks. I much prefer working with preachers who are way worse musicians than I am!
Who's with me? Or am I the only chicken around here?