I have just finished reading a book entitled, Preaching Evangelistically (Broadman & Holman Publisher). It is written by Al Fasol, Roy Fish, Steve Gaines, and Ralph Douglas West. I saw an add for this book in a magazine a few weeks ago. And when I saw it in a store somewhere, I immediately picked it up. I wanted to read it for several reasons. First, Al Fasol is in it, writing about preaching. Fasol’s book, Essentials for Biblical Preaching, which I have read several times, is a really helpful book on preaching. And his work on sermon delivery, A Complete Guide to Sermon Delivery, is also a very helpful book. I also have his book on the history of Southern Baptist preaching, With a Bible in Their Hands. But I have not read it yet. So when I saw that Fasol had written on some more preaching, I was eager to pick up the book.
I was also eager to read the book because of its subject matter. There are not many books out that deal directly with the dynamics of evangelistic preaching. And, admittedly, I do not think this is an area that I am strong in. That might sound odd, seeing that I preach so many church revivals. But when I am out of my pulpit, I am preaching messages that I have already preached to my own congregation. And the messages I preach at MSMBC are primarily to edify believers. Indeed, I prepare to preach each week with sensitivity to the fact that there will be unbelievers present. And I believe that clear, faithful, and Christ-centered biblical preaching will bear fruit. But it would not be true to say that most of my preaching targets the lost. But I am praying that God would give me and Mt. Sinai a greater evangelistic zeal. And I want that godly zeal to be more evident in my preaching. I want to see more people saved, converted, and transformed by my preaching, even as I strive to faithfully nurture the saints who are already under my pastoral watch.
Another reason why I wanted to read this book was because of the other authors. One is Steve Gaines. I have never heard him preach before. But I know that he is the pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, who suceeded Adrian Rogers. So I was curious to read him. I was really interested in reading the work of Ralph Douglas West. West pastors the Brookhollow Baptist Church in Houston. His preaching has been a great blessing to me over the years. Even though I don’t like the fact that the back cover specifically notes that he is an “African-American” preacher (without speaking of the racial background of the other three authors), I am glad that West’s work was added to this book. I pray that he continue writing. I encourage the reading of this little book to young preachers and pastors. You may not agree with everything conclusion in it, but it will certainly encourage your zeal for the glory of God in your preaching and evangelism.