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Meet the 2014 Best Sermon Ever preachers

The Best Sermon Ever series started with an idea: What if we invited some great Bible teachers to make a deposit in Mars Hill Church? This would benefit our people but also benefit our leaders by allowing them to take their summer vacations.

Once again, this year’s lineup is packed with dear brothers, wise leaders, and profound teachers of God’s Word. I’m honored and excited to introduce you to the men who will preach at Mars Hill Church this summer:

Dr. Bryan Chapell wrote the book on Christ-centered preaching

Bryan Chapell is a great friend to Mars Hill Church. I got to know Dr. Chapell when we served together on the Gospel Coalition, and he has since visited Mars Hill Church numerous times to teach at our ReTrain graduate program.

Dr. Chapell’s preaching ministry began in 1976, and he’s served faithfully as a pastor, a professor, and a university president. His ability to take any Scripture and connect it to the person and work of Jesus is astounding. In fact, Dr. Chapell wrote the best book on preaching I’ve ever read. He also wrote a great book about marriage, drawing from decades of experience as a godly husband and father.

Dr. Chapell writes to our church:

“I am looking forward to ministry with you at Mars Hill. The hand of the Lord has been upon you, but no true effort for Christ moves forward without challenge. Our testimony of him cannot be sustained without clear expression of the reality of his Lordship and unique provision for our brokenness. That provision is made dear and powerful by the reminder that he who was Lord of all was willing to become a slob like us (words of Joan Osborne) to bring his glory to slobs like us. In the confession of our ‘mutual slobbery’ is the hope of the gospel for us and the world about us.”

Dr. Chapell will preach live at Mars Hill Bellevue on July 20, and his sermon will play at all of our other locations on July 27.

Dr. Dan Wallace traded surfing for syntax

I greatly appreciate the work of Dr. Dan Wallace, one of the premier Bible scholars in the world today. Dr. Wallace is the Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, where our own Pastor Dave Bruskas sat under his instruction, once upon a time. This summer he’s visiting his home coast, though far north of where he spent his early years as a California surfer.

As a former pastor, Dr. Wallace loves the church family—and his own family, including his wife of 40 years and their four sons. His professional credentials are amazing. Dr. Wallace has contributed to more than 35 books and consulted on four different Bible translations. He is the executive director of an organization that’s seeking to preserve early copies of Scripture by digitizing all known Greek New Testament manuscripts, so if you’ve ever wondered how we got the Bible and whether we can trust it as a historical document, Dr. Wallace is your man.

Dr. Wallace says:

“A new age of skeptics has arisen recently. Their main attack on the Bible, though, goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden: ‘Hath God really said?’ The attack is simply that the Bible has been copied and translated so many times that we can’t possibly get back to the original. This sort of comment is heard at Starbucks, in the office, on the playing field. It’s often the first roadblock that a non-Christian puts up to avoid dealing with the great news of Jesus Christ. In my sermon this summer, I will lay out three linked answers to this objection and show why we can have confidence that the New Testament we have in our hands today is in all essential respects what the apostles and their associates wrote two millennia ago.”

You won’t want to miss this helpful, encouraging, practical word from Dr. Wallace. He’s preaching at Mars Hill Bellevue on July 27. All other locations will get to see the sermon on August 3.

Tope Koleoso moved to London from Nigeria

Pastor Tope has perhaps the most interesting background of all our speakers this summer. He was born and raised in Nigeria, where he began his ministry career leading fellowship groups in college and traveling to rural villages as an evangelist.

Tope told Desiring God:

“At night in these villages you feel scared and you feel emboldened at the same time. It’s a strange and weird feeling. I knew I could, by the grace of God, stand in front of people and talk about God, the Bible, and the gospel, and people tended to listen and tended to ‘get’ what I was saying. I knew I could organize my thoughts, and I could project biblical truth with conviction. I didn’t preach in the villages because I wanted to be a good Christian. I just had to do it.”

He hasn’t stopped preaching ever since. Tope moved to London in 1990, and soon got involved with the Newfrontiers church planting movement. He was a volunteer pastor at Jubilee Church London for a number of years, loving and serving the people, and when the lead pastor moved on, Tope got the job.

Tope and I have crossed paths a number of times in a number of places over the years. I’ve stayed at his home in London, where I met his wife and kids. He is a gifted leader and a godly man with a beautiful family.

You may not be familiar with him, but you’re absolutely going to love him. I love him and appreciate him, and I’m very glad to have him join us on August 3 in Bellevue. All of our other locations will get to enjoy Pastor Tope on August 10.

Dr. Jack Graham led the largest Protestant denomination in the country

For 25 years, Dr. Jack Graham has served as the lead pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Texas, a congregation with 37,000 members. He also started a national preaching ministry and served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Pastor Jack is an amazing leader and a highly gifted Bible teacher, and also a great husband, father, and grandfather. He’s been married to his wife Deb for 44 years, and one of the things they enjoy doing together is visiting baseball stadiums. Dr. Graham loves Jesus and baseball, so we get along quite well.

Pastor Jack is one of the most influential figures of modern evangelical Christianity, and it’s an honor to have him preach at Mars Hill Bellevue on August 10, and our other locations on August 17.

Dr. Larry Osborne pretty much invented the multi-site church

We’re grateful to have Dr. Larry Osborne back for this year’s Best Sermon Ever series. He is a huge blessing to our church in so many ways. In addition to his teaching ministry, Pastor Larry has provided invaluable wise counsel over the years as a member of the Mars Hill Board, and a trusted advisor for years before that.

As you may recall, Pastor Larry pioneered the multi-site church movement some years ago, and he continues to serve as the senior and teaching pastor at North Coast Church in Southern California, which he started in 1980. His wife, Nancy, has served alongside him the whole way. Since last year, they’ve welcomed two new grandbabies—twin girls!

Pastor Larry says:

“I’m thrilled to be coming back to once again share God’s word with you. Your church and pastor have long been among my favorites. And it’s been inspiring to see the fruit of God’s work in your lives and as well as in your ministry and campuses. I always find Mars Hill’s hunger to know God and his word to be a great encouragement.”

Pastor Larry will surely be a great encouragement to us as well when he preaches on August 17 in Bellevue, and August 24 for the rest of our church.

Enjoy these great teachers and have a wonderful summer, Mars Hill Church!

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