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James MacDonald on Preaching Like Jesus

Try to preach with authority, and you won't have it. Authority comes instead from one bedrock conviction.

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Editorial note from Brian Larson: On my commute home from work, I used to drive by a big-box, home-improvement store called Handy Andy, but eventually that store went out of business, and it was with delight that I one day realized a church steeple was being added to the structure. The new owner was Harvest Bible Chapel, pastored by James MacDonald. Their church in the Chicago suburb of Rolling Meadows was growing quickly, and they needed lots and lots of space. One reason for that growth has unquestionably been MacDonald's preaching. How would I describe his preaching? Let's put it this way: he's not shy, and the only time he sticks a wet finger up in the air to see which way the wind is blowing is when he's on the golf course. When the editors of began a series of articles on the theme of preaching with authority, we knew that James was one person we needed to talk to. James MacDonald is author of When Life Is Hard (Moody, 2010), and radio speaker for Walk in the Word, ...

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Pastor Tom Connors

September 12, 2013  12:11pm

Good,strong,consistent,application on the importance of authority that is centered in Scripture and not the messenger. I think, however, that MacDonald underplays the significance that scripture places upon the experiential manifestations of the Holy Spirit. On several occasions, Jesus pointed to the miraculous signs of His ministry as evidence that His mission and message was from God [John 10:38]. Additionally, you can hold to the authority of God's word, and yet, use reason to show the plausibility of a God-designed universe as a means to awaken an awareness void of God, aka, apologetics. Scripture is the bedrock upon which we build, but at times we must work through the top soil to reach the bedrock as seen in Christ's own ministry.

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Nelson Senft

July 18, 2012  11:53am

excellent description of a the core convictions of a preacher of the Word of God. Encouraged me to do the same in an age of uncertainty.

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Dr. James Willingham

January 10, 2011  2:54pm

I agree with with MacDonald: The authority is in the message and not the messenger. The message must be on fire to reach the lifeless and needy souls of the audience. If one truly has the message or, rather, the message has him or her, that person possesses authority and comes across as possessing such, regardless of the style, voice, appearance, education or lack of it.

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Dr Randy Poyner

October 06, 2010  9:59pm

As a junior in high school, I received a spiritual transplant of Christ's righteousness. God began a good, permanent eternal work in my life (Phil 1:6) God's Spirit (His Presence & Power) empowers us to receive, understand & appropriate resulting in trans-formation of our personalities & behaviors. It is this unique relationship with God's Spirit that is evidenced in our unique gifts of ministry. I have had the privilege of 50 years of ministry & 30 years of professional counseling to witness the transformation of God' power & presence in the lives of people. One of these days we will see the perfect completion of every person that God inaugurated a good work in as we celebrate our eternal life with Christ & all the saints.

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Mark Stevenson

May 10, 2010  9:41am

Be your self! God has you in mind and He has prepared you to do what only you can because you are the only you in all of creation!

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